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temperature cycling for barrel room


jlevac

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My personal thoughts on this are to let your weather do the work for you. I am building a Rick House which will be insulated but with no heating or cooling for my place in Minnesota. I think this is a huge part of the local, unique character of this industry. In kentucky they are just brick and metal buildings with dirt or concrete floors. I was out at Woody Creek in Aspen with Bill at the conference at those guys have a room which is satellite linked to a weather tower in bardstown, KY (i think) which matches the humidity and temps of their Kentucky climate. I think it is a mistake to try and emulate them. Your aging may take more or less time depending on your area, but I want that to be a determining factor in my Whiskey profile. I don't want to be like the others.

I would like to know what you hope to accomplish by temperature control as well? Where are you located? Is this a necessity for your climate?

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I was out at Woody Creek in Aspen with Bill at the conference at those guys have a room which is satellite linked to a weather tower in bardstown, KY (i think) which matches the humidity and temps of their Kentucky climate. I think it is a mistake to try and emulate them.

I think if you were trying to control the temperature in the barrel house, then energy costs would be crazy high.

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My first response, admittedly somewhat snarky... was "depends on the weather“. And I wasn't going to bother being snarky. But I do agree that trying to control temperature and humidity would be energy prohibitive, if you are in a locale with wild, wide swings in temps. Some of the energy costs would be shared if your barrel storage area is shared with your distillery and production area, but a separate area or building would be prohibitive.

As for Woody Creek.... Can't put anything on the internet that isn't true, right? They claim to be the first and only distillery with full control over all stages of vodka production. I appreciate the vodka designator, but I am still doubtful on both claims of 'first' and 'only'.

They also claim to harvest their potatoes and have them in the still the same day. So either they are using their 'multi million Carl distillation plant' to cook their potatoes, or......

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I have no idea if the idea is feasible, or if it even makes any sense, but a few weeks ago the idea of running radiant heating under your barrels went through my head. The thinking was you would insulate the room fairly well and run "spent" steam from the still through the plumbing which would create a spike in the room temperature during still runs. I hadn't given it any more thought until I saw this thread.

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I will only say this for Woody Creek, They are telling you the truth with how they run. The main owner owns a huge farming operation and they are producing the Potatoes right there and bringing them in on an as needed basis. They have a full potato processing plant in the facility. As for the room, these guys obviously have enough money to do whatever they want, up to and including the temp controlled room, and importing the same potatoes used to make Chopin Vodka and growing them in Colorado. It was impressive to say the least and daunting to anyone like me trying to start on less than 5% of what they spent. If you get a chance to see it you should go. The guys are very cool and they put a ton into building a great distillery.

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