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Using wood other than oak


patrick260z

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The regs are pretty clear on the oak part for brandy. Maybe you could do something under distilled spirits specialty.

That being said, the reason oak is used for barrels is because oak has tyloses that are key for holding liquid. Maybe some other wood might work, but to my knowledge oak is the standard for that reason. Some people have done stuff with different woods and chips.

You could use an older oak barrel which would have little flavor contribution, and then chip with desired wood. I'm not certain, but I believe that would meet the regs.

Woodford did a maple barrel finish for its masters collection, I remember hearing varying numbers as high as 50% loss in one month. I saw a picture of one of the barrels, and it was leaking like crazy.

"One account suggesting that maturation of period of 4 years in a traditional American white oak barrel will result in a 20% loss due to evaporation, compared to a 30% from the Sugar Maple within a period of 3-6 months!"

-http://www.nicks.com.au/woodford-reserve-master-s-collection-maple-wood-finish-bourbon-whiskey-700ml

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Slightly off top0ic...Regarding Looses

I've reused small barrels with split and "bee's waxed" the split. Got me thinking...

Then I tried coconut oil on the staves of a new barrel, not the heads, and cut looses.

Call me a hieratic, but I found no undesirable effects from the oil.

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On the outside? You do want some of that permeability for the oxygen to work it's aging magic on your spirit. Even further off topic. If I'm planning a ridiculously long aging program for brandy, should I be maintaining the ullage?

Back on topic. Acacia does experience a bit more evaporation loss than oak. Starting to see a lot more use in white wine production, decided to give it a shake with some brandy aging. Have to say, Tonnellier Giraud coopers one beautiful barrel...

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Chris Thiemann, the Regulation and Ruling Division (RRD) Program Manager for distilled spirits, stated that, “Oak containers for purposes of aging spirits which require oak containers as part of the standard of identity must be made only of oak wood and not any other types of wood.”

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Chris Thiemann, the Regulation and Ruling Division (RRD) Program Manager for distilled spirits, stated that, “Oak containers for purposes of aging spirits which require oak containers as part of the standard of identity must be made only of oak wood and not any other types of wood.”

Right, so that means you might add things in the container, but then you have to get approval from the TTB to make sure they don't require formula and special type designation for adding flavoring or coloring from other than the standard oak containers.

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  • 2 years later...

I am doing this now proving out whiskey on Brazillian woods that are used for aging cachaca.  Its going very well. I am aging them in 50l stainless barrels with the brazillian woods cut into 4 inch x 1 inch fingers.  Giving some great results. 

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