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Second use barrels - ABV recommendation


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Hello!  New here.  Brewery in planning.  Doing some business planning.


question re: getting a second use out of a 15-gallon barrel.  Using the first for shorter-term (18-24 months) then re-using the same barrel for a longer-aging or for a more tightly cut whiskey also in the 24 month range.


For first use, I'm planning on 120 proof.  On second use, thinking of upping the proof.  

Curious your recommendations.  I'd love to get at least 2 uses out of a barrel. 


If there is a thread already discussing this I couldn't find it. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

I would say it depends on the type of whiskey and what you are looking to get from the maturation. I am aging gin,single malt, and a light whiskey in used 15g anywhere from 110 to 130 proof. I honestly think 120 is still sufficient for 2nd maturation in a barrel this small for most things especially if you can go 18-24 months.

I would also consider what proof you want to bottle this spirit at. If you enter at 130 into a small barrel (with large angels share) and get a nice abv bump, a lower bottling proof may require a ton of dilution which could be a detriment to the final product. In Scotland they can enter at 130 (in used cooperage) knowing they are coming down 1-2 proof per year. 

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