The wood of the new barrel contains too many tannins – tannins, the concentration of which has to be reduced. If in an oak barrel without preparation pour the wine or distillate, the alcohol will quickly turbid, and then there was an unpleasant astringent taste, which received national called “pintusova”. To soak the barrel requires time, patience and a lot of water.
In home distillation is better to use barrels with a capacity from 2 to 10 liters. The smaller the volume, the faster the wood gives tannin, which reduces the time of exposure. The reason for the contact area with alcohol. For example, in a five-liter barrel 1 liter of the drink is in contact with 400 sq cm of wood, and in pyatidesyatimetrovoy – only 152 sq. cm Respectively, the ripening of vodka, cognac or wine in large capacity increases significantly.
Barrel with volume from 10 up to 50 liters is suitable only for long aging spirits. In the process of maturation part of the content evaporates through the pores of the wood. Regardless of the volume of the barrel losses amount to 1 liter per year, in the technology of cognac production is the evaporation is called the angel’s share. If you pour the distillate into a small barrel, after 5 years the inside is almost nothing left.
Suggest to buy already waxed oak barrels. Waxing protects the wood from external factors, prolonging life, prevents leaking and makes the barrel more beautiful. This wax does not affect the gas exchange, the drink continues to “breathe” through the pores. Still it is desirable that the barrel was without a crane, as it is the most vulnerable element of design, which often gives a strong flow. At one point all the content can be on the floor. For a beautiful submission it is better to buy a little bochechka 1-3 liters and before the arrival of guests to pour there drink.
The faucet — convenient, but dangerous!
Technology training barrels
1. Fill a new barrel on 90% of the volume of clean, filtered room temperature water, close the stopper and leave for 3-4 hours.
2. Check the barrel for leaks, inspect the wood around the perimeter of the rings, then the bottom front and back. Light flow is not critical, this problem will resolve itself in the next stage, when the wood swells. The main thing that was not a jet as such a barrel is considered to be leaky and in need of repair.
3. Fill the barrel to the top with water, cover tightly and transfer to the room temperature. If there is leakage every 12 hours to add water until the leak stops. After 3 days drain the water (it will be a dirty brown or yellow color), then pour a new batch of clean water.
First the water is the dirtiest
4. A day later, drain the water, add in a barrel of scalding water (1 liter for 10 liters of volume), close tightly and several times to shake the product from side to side to the boiling water washed the entire inner surface of the barrel. After 45 minutes top to bottom to fill with water and close tightly.
5. After 24 hours, change the water again. The process of soaking the barrel (daily replacement of cold water) repeat until, until the water stays clear, without taste and smell. Usually it takes from three to six weeks.
6. To boil the water (50% of the volume of the barrel), and then cooling to 70-75°C, add soda (20 grams in 1 liter), stir and pour into the barrel. Intensively shake for 8-10 minutes, then drain the soda solution.
7. Fill the barrel to the entire volume of hot water, hold 15 minutes, drain and again fill with clean cold water, which pour out after 8-10 hours.
8. If barrel destined for spirits (vodka, brandy, whiskey, Bourbon), capacity is ready to use. In the case of wine I recommend first to withstand 30-45 days diluted up to 18-20 degrees distillate double-distilled odorless.
In addition to the volume of the barrel on the outcome of exposure depends on the humidity (optimal 80-85%), temperature (10-12°C wine 14-16°C for spirits) and the steeping time. Process control is performed by periodic tests. When satisfied with the taste, the drink is poured into a glass container for long-term storage.