In the following paragraphs we will indicate what you should do before and after during the use of you barrel or cask these are the most common terms used to describe these incredible wooden containers that have undoubtedly played a very important role in the history of mankind.
Below we will be going into detail regarding the indications mentioned before.
Unpacking: unpack the box and make sure you have received all the necessary pieces, like the spigot, bung, stand and oak barrel.
REMINDER: Before you can use your barrel you should cure.
Place the valve or spigot. It is important to make sure that the spigot is placed correctly on the barrel to avoid spaces for leaks. You can put the spigot by softly hitting the spigot so it can the deepest part of the hole. You can also use banana fiber for additional packaging.
One the spigot is placed successfully make sure that the pivot is facing the direction on the barrel and bung and the tip of the spigot is facing down. Click here to see a video of a demonstration. Just spanish for now.
Rinse: With natural water would will need to rinse the inside of the barrel a couple of times to make sure there is no remaining residue left from the manufacturing process.
Curing: After the barrel has been cleaned from the inside the next step will be pouring hot water between 90-100 Celsius and with the 10% capacity of the barrel. The steam from the hot water will help close any possible leaks. After doing this process three times the next step will be to fill the barrel up to 50% of the total capacity and turn it on all its sides to evenly hydrate the wood. We recommend to turn every 2 hours.
It´s very important to not leave the same water for more than 3 days, the reason why is because it can generate fungi that affects the flavor and qualities of the beverage.
Video of this process available here. Just spanish for now.
REMINDER: Dripping or small amounts of leaking is normal during the curring process, the dripping and leaking will stop once the barrel has expanded.
Hydration: Wooden barrels are designed to stay hydrated and be in a place which has a cool environment and little light, this type of environment helps the barrels stay moist. The best way to keep your barrel in good condition is to have it constantly filled with the beverage you would like to age inside your barrel, the other option would be to fill it with water but make sure to change the water every three days to avoid generating fungi inside the barrel.
The barrel should not be empty for more than 6 days otherwise the hoops will begin to loosen and open cracks between the staves and the lids which will cause leaking.
Filling the barrel: Once the barrel is clean, hydrated, and with the spigot placed and adjusted correctly, we can now place the liquor or spirit that we would to be aged.
Aging: When placing a distilled beverage or spirit inside the barrel, that is when the aging process begins, regular maintenance is required to keep the barrel hydrated.
· White: has not gone through the process of aging
· Reposado: from 2 months up to 12 months of aging inside the barrel
· Añejo: more than 12 months but less than 3 years of aging inside the barrel
· Extra Añejo: more than 36 months of three years of aging.
Although there is not an established rule, we recommend that you taste the liquor inside the barrel every two to three weeks to determine when it will be ready, once it has reached the desired aging time you can now drink your beverage and repeat the process.
How to serve directly from the wood barrel?
To serve the liquor you will need to turn the pivot from the spigot and then take off the bung to let the liquid flow out once you are done pouring place turn the spigot to the position in was in and put the bung.
If you have any questions or doubts, please let us know.
Blog made by Barriles la Arboleda