the modern distiller

Angels Share...

Angels Share...

Postby bigfoot » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:12 pm

I haven't been doing a lot of running lately due to a number of projects on the go.
But, I do have quite a few products aging which brings me to my question.
I have some 5 barrels with very similar product aging at the same height on my shelf.
The product was barrelled at 62% abv across all 5 barrels. The barrels were all brand new, some were pre soaked with port and sherry, others with neutral product.
Now - I tested the abv across the 5 barrels today and was shocked to see not only had ABV lowered with huge discrepancy across the 5 oak barrels(down to 50's and some high 40's. Only 1 stayed in the 60's) but also, some barrels had lost 25% inside 9 months...what is going on? Do I have a leak that I am not aware of? I turn the barrels every month or so...thinking a leak would show up...
The product seems great, absolutely gorgeous in some cases, but the Angels seem to have been very busy - it's weird that a barrel next to another, can have such large variances...
BF.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby Otago Elvis » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:09 pm

That's a strange one indeed BF :think:

Surely it has something to do with timber variance etc. Perhaps seals? :confusion-shrug:

The big guys have row upon row of barrels, and while i don't know for certain, i'm confident they wouldn't experience such erratic numbers :shock:

Is it possible you've missed something mate? :confusion-shrug:
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby Otago Elvis » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:11 pm

Halloween??

:occasion-happyhalloween:
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby bigfoot » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:01 am

On a few tours I have done, the distillers said they could expect to lose up to 20% in the extreme cases - over 4-5 years.
But the abv discrepancies are very confusing to me...
BF.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:24 pm

Take this with a grain of salt because I've never used a barrel - but, are there other variables you may be overlooking? For instance, are all the barrels made by the same cooperage? Did you use the same protocol to season all the barrels? Etc.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby Bushman » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:56 pm

When you presoaked the barrels if you did not empty them completely that could effect the abv.
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby bigfoot » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:06 am

The barrels are all made by the same ppl. Some are 10's and some are 20litres.
The barrels pre soaked with port and sherry were left empty and on end to dry prior to filling.
Very, very strange...
I guess wood has individual characteristics and is slightly unpredictable in regards to porosity - which results in both possible abv escape and deep saturation.
I recall from a YouTube clip, barrel Steves were typically 4-5mm ingrained with the whiskey...if I was so inclined, I'd be interested to see how deep the liquid has penetrated...
BF.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby kimbodious » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:15 pm

teenage son?
--
50L Beer keg boiler, 2200W element
Modular SS Pot Still 2"
Modular SS CCVM Reflux Column 2"
Modular SS Gin Head 2"
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby RefluxEd » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:52 pm

I've given up on barrels due to borers (insects). The preferred method now is to have the liquid outside of the barrels by using dominoes in glass demijohns. No angels share, much quicker as the ratio of wood to liquid can be greater and it's affordable to chuck out the dominoes when they are spent. Not so with barrels. The result is every bit as good as what you can get in a barrel except that you get a result in 6 to 8 months instead of years. :handgestures-thumbupright:
2 inch BOKA/LM/VM
Bubbler with 14 4x3x4 inch tees and 15 bubble plates under a 4 inch section under the dephlagmator (RC).
2 inch Pot still.
2 inch to 4 inch Gin head.
2x 1.2 mtre Leibig condensors.
2 inch x 800 mm shotgun condenser.
Love it!
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby bigfoot » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:40 pm

I respectfully have to disagree...there is something that happens in a barrel that cannot be replicated with dominoes or wood chips. I've tried both (for some time) and there is an unexplainable quality that comes from a barrel...I used to think exactly the same as you but, I wanted to see for myself first hand what the differences were...so procured some American oak and frenchboak barrels...if I put the same recipe(UJSM) in a Demi with charred AO V's a charred 10L barrel - 6-10 months later and get a few friends to taste test, it's the barrel every time...
BF.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby SunShine » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:18 pm

BF, I also use barrels, my 10L will usually lose about 8-10% over a year and 30L about 3-5% a year. I live in a fairly cold area about 400m above sea level, also no crazy variations in temp.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:13 pm

The best aging method is the one that works for YOU. I'm generally the only one who drinks my product, so I'm the only one I need to satisfy. Hell, I mostly use chips and I'm pretty happy with the results. Others look at chips as some kind of sacrilege.

Whatever method you use will have its own set of idiosyncrasies and its own learning curve. Wood aging seems to create more contention among hobby distillers than any other part of the process. Doesn't matter what method you use - barrel, sticks, dominoes, chips - what really matters is the effort you put into it to make it work.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby Bushman » Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:17 am

S-Cackalacky wrote:The best aging method is the one that works for YOU. I'm generally the only one who drinks my product, so I'm the only one I need to satisfy. Hell, I mostly use chips and I'm pretty happy with the results. Others look at chips as some kind of sacrilege.

Whatever method you use will have its own set of idiosyncrasies and its own learning curve. Wood aging seems to create more contention among hobby distillers than any other part of the process. Doesn't matter what method you use - barrel, sticks, dominoes, chips - what really matters is the effort you put into it to make it work.

I agree Mash Rookie only used chips and it can make a great drop. I do a combination. Sometimes I kickstart my alcohol by using Ultra Sonic adding my chips with alcohol then store on oak chips for 2 months before transferring to a barrel. I like this because I feel I get a lot more use out of a barrel by not having to age as long.
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:49 am

And I hear you make a pretty fine drop.
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Re: Angels Share...

Postby bigfoot » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:22 pm

I have some rum aging on AO stick that I charred and it is as close to pretty damn decent as I expect I'll ever get...wood(get it lol) it have been better in a barrel, I'll never know and probably not.
It may well be a placebo effect with barrels...who knows, seeing a drink pour out of a barrel has its own magic, kind of like beer from the tap V's a cold stubby...or cola in glass V's can.
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