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barrel aging in cold temps


bradocaster

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I was told recently that the barrel aging process stalls out at 45 degrees f. i've also heard that the swings in temp is what causes the aging process to work. am i wasting the winter months by leaving my aging whiskey in the cold below 45f?

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Constant temp actually retards the aging time. Large swings promotes rapid aging. Heat opens up the wood like a sponge. Then the cold of 40 or so squeezes the wood pores together and , like a sponge, the product goes out of the wood. Heat it up and start the process over.

If you don't believe it, try this.

Put same amount of wood strips in 2 jugs, not wood chips. Put one in the fridge or freezer for 24hours, take it out for 24 hours. Do this process every day for 30 days while leaving the other jug set. To be equal you can shake the still jug when you move the changing jug.

The difference is absolute. The 30 day cycle jug will have at least 6 months color/flavor aging.

If you haven't tried it don't dispute it.

Commercially it's just too expensive to run large chillers/heaters to do this. But there's no reason to heat your barrel room if you live in cold climate, let it breathe in the winter.

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Most large distillers in cold climes cycle temps during the winter or at least keep the temp above 65 degrees. Even a few in KY do as well. Buffalo Trace is one. Well worth it in my experience.

That's a bit confusing. How do you cycle in cold climates and keep above 65? Unless you heat it up, which isn't good. While many do keep temps very close, much like wine in the caves, it does add a different character to it to get fast aging going by natural heat/cool for at least couple of years. Or months if you can cool the entire batch, which can be done in stainless with glycol and oak/cherry/pecan or whatever you want to use. -BRADOCASTER----As for -temps, did you ever look at the freezing point of barrel strength 120proof? Somewhere around -40f, at that point it really doesn't matter. For some reason the page doesn't like the <enter> key on Win8, so my lines are run together, sorry............
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Bottom temp does not matter, let it go to whatever it is outside, then they turn the heat back on. As long as it gets the heat cool cycle. I guess if you wanted to never bottom out below 65, monitor inside barrel temp and adjust heat to kick off when that bottom is reached. Of course all the big guys use steam that I know of, but one could use an xp heater of some sort.

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For my location in Ontario, The temperature varies between 81F - 21.2F and never really goes below 9F or above 90F. I like the idea TetonVodka had for just letting it age laturally with the climate and developing our own character. Just trying to see if this raises any immediate red flags in anyones mind or not.

Thanks

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For my location in Ontario, The temperature varies between 81F - 21.2F and never really goes below 9F or above 90F. I like the idea TetonVodka had for just letting it age laturally with the climate and developing our own character. Just trying to see if this raises any immediate red flags in anyones mind or not.

Thanks

which city in Ontario?

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I used a very small barrel (5 liters) and moved it in and out of a fridge. It aged really fast. My preference would be to let the natural changing of the temperature work but the one problem that may come up is the smaller aging time with smaller barrel. I'm using a recipe book now which calls for aging in 5 gallon barrels for 6 months. Depending on when you start your six months you will get mostly all cool temps or all warm in Pennsylvania.

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For some reason the page doesn't like the <enter> key on Win8, so my lines are run together, sorry............

I am running WIN 7 and WIN 8 on another computer and have the same problem when using INTERNET EXPLORER

No problem with Google Chrome

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Tasmanian whisky is quickly gaining a high reputation on the world whisky scene.

Apart from our very clean air and water, I think it is the very variable weather conditions we get here on our small island in the Southern Ocean

Last week the maximum was 32 c (nearly 90 f) the next day it snowed to quite a low elevation.

Humidity and air pressure are also all over the place.

Hey Porter,

Just proving that my <enter>

key works :) with Chrome

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