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PeteB

ABV% for barreling

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I have some rye spirit at 57% ABV that I wish to put into barrels.

Around 62% is the highest that is normally put into wood, but I have no information about a normal lower limit.

I have been doing late cuts (pot still) because I find it gives a better taste and smell for "white dog".

I hope 57% is high enough as I would rather not redistill., any information would be appreciated.

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you should be good to barrel. We distill our "whiskey mashes" at around 105 proof and then it goes straight to the barrel. Back in the day, everything was barreled at a lower proof. IMHO, as long as you pay attention to your heads and tails, lower proof means more flavor. If you like the flavor from what you're mashing, than that should be a good thing, especially if you want to set yourself apart and accentuate whatever it is instead of "just another rye." I will say that by barreling your whiskey at a lower proof, in our experience, it tends to age somewhat slower. Again, a trade off for flavor. We age our 5-gal barrels for a year, give or take, just for reference.

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Thanks for that Paul. This batch is actually 58% ie 116 Proof so it is well within range.

I am putting this lot into 50 Litre (13 gall) reused, recharred barrels. Will have to wait 2 years by Australian law to call it Whisky.

I wonder if I could get away with less than 2 years and call it whiskEy rolleyes.gif

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Pete- That small a barrel, recharred, for two years is a long time. It may get way overwooded.

Thanks for that Paul. This batch is actually 58% ie 116 Proof so it is well within range.

I am putting this lot into 50 Litre (13 gall) reused, recharred barrels. Will have to wait 2 years by Australian law to call it Whisky.

I wonder if I could get away with less than 2 years and call it whiskEy rolleyes.gif

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Thanks for the tip.

The small barrels have been used at least twice before so hopefully there is not too much "wood" left.

I will monitor the progress and put into larger barrels if it becomes a problem.

Another distillery I worked at was using 20 L (5 gall) and on approaching the 2 years they were concerned the wood would take over so they transferred to larger barrels and ended up with a fantastic "scotch" after just 2 years. Incredibly smoothe to my palate.

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From: AJEV

The 1994 James F. Guymon Lecture

Maturation of Wines and Spirits:

Comparisons, Facts, and Hypotheses

VERNON L. SINGLETON*

Ethanol concentration effect on extraction:

Maximum solids extraction from oak is obtained at 55%

ethanol and close to that is traditional barreling proof

for spirit maturation (121). Today, to make lighter

products and use fewer barrels, spirits may be barreled

down at higher proofs, but less total extraction results

under otherwise similar circumstances. Pre-extraction

with water depleted following ethanol extraction (29.3

g/kg versus untreated 56.1 g/kg) of solids from American

oak, but the maximum extraction remained at 55%.

Solids extraction from oak heartwood versus ethanol concentration

and pre-extraction with water as percent of the 55% ethanol value taken as

100. Each point an average of five samples at each alcohol level over one

to 16 days (121).

(Fig. 4) (121). The substances extracted are shifted from

water solubles such as sugars to poorly water-soluble

components like lignin. Several other studies show

similar effects regardless of wood source. With European

oak, extraction was maximal at 45% ethanol and

increased from pH 4 to pH 6 (125). Barrel reuse raised

the maximal extraction to 55% ethanol as more lignin

was extracted. At 55% brandy quality was considered

better and was described as "vanillin-floral" whereas at

lower alcohol "oaken" was the descriptor. At 10°C the

brandy retained a raw flavor and six months at 50°C

produced a strange "rummy" flavor.

Whiskey aged eight years in new charred American

oak was judged normally flavored at 59% alcohol, less

mature at 63% ethanol, and weaker and different with

a "spicy, green oak" taste at 77% ethanol (10). Wine, of

course, is only 10% to 18% alcohol and would extract

considerably differently than spirits, emphasizing the

more water-soluble components.

121. Singleton, V. L., and D. E. Draper. Wood chips and wine treatment; the

nature of aqueous alcohol extracts. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 12:152-158 (1961).

just one guys opinion.......so ~57% or so....but other comments on over-oaking should be considered since Tasmania has the 2ye restriction.

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