Whiskey Barrels

A little history about our whiskey barrels….

Kentucky Bourbon is America’s only native spirit.  By law Bourbon must be made in NEW white oak barrels.  Bourbon spends many years aging in the new barrel.  After the Bourbon is removed, the barrels are sold and are REUSED to make Wine, Beer, Scotch, Irish Whisky, Rum, Tequila, Spirits, Balsamic Vinegar and the famed Tabasco Sauce. The best quality barrels come from Kentucky where they are made and used.  At America Wine Grape it is our pleasure to offer this valuable part of Kentucky heritage to you.

Using barrels to make wine or beer

For those of you who like the “whiskey taste” in your wine or are looking to grow as a wine maker, these are the barrels for you!  Our Premium Kentucky Bourbon Barrels have recently been emptied and inspected to make sure the barrels are in excellent condition.
While there are many different types of containers in which to ferment your wine, experts agree, that fermenting “on barrel,” as opposed to in a steel or wine-grade HDPE (High density polyethylene) results in a far superior wine. Aside from barrels, wine can also be fermented in large wooden tanks or casks.

The benefits of aging wine in barrels occur throughout the entire fermentation process.  Upon being immediately poured into the barrel the liquid soaks into the wood drawing from it color, tannins and other flavors.  As the wine ferments small amounts of oxygen replace the evaporating water and/or alcohol.  The evaporating water and/or alcohol is traditionally known as the “Angels’ Share.”  In an environment with 100% relative humidity, very little water evaporates and so most of the loss is alcohol.  Storing your barrels in that type of environment provides a useful technique to the wine making process if you are making a wine with very high proof.

Beer fermentation can take place in two stages; primary and secondary.  Depending upon the type of beer being brewed a variety of effects can take place that help to enhance the final product.  Aging beers in barrels did not become common until the early part of the 20th century.  Barrels which were previously used for maturing wines or spirits are used in the brewing of Sour beers, Porters, Stouts, Saisons (French pale ales), Barley wine, and blonde ale.

History of Barrels

The term “Barrel” typically refers to wooden vessels made of wooden staves bound with wooden or metal hoops that are small enough to be moved by hand.  Barrels are mostly made from white oak and historically have been used for the storage and transportation of goods.  For nearly 2000 years barrels were the most convenient form of shipping or storage container.  (Bags and most crates were often cheaper to make but they were not as sturdy and couldn’t be rolled for easy handling.

Barrels come in many sizes and qualities. In ancient times liquids like oil and wine were carried in barrels.  Back in the 18th century over one third of all goods were transported in barrels.  Dry goods such as flower, sugar, gun powder and nails were packed and transported in barrels.

In Kentucky, the best was for farmers to sell their surplus corn was to turn it into alcohol.  The easiest way for them to transport alcohol was in oak barrels.  Because barrels are so valuable, they were frequently used to transport many different types of goods.  One day a corn farmer bought some barrels that had been used to transport dried fish. In order to clean out and sanitize the barrels the farmer singed the inside of the barrel.  The alcohol the farmer made was then stored in the same barrels.  When the home brew arrived at its destination it was found to have acquired flavor and color from the charred oak barrel.

Specifications of the Premium Kentucky Whiskey Barrels that America Wine Grape stocks are:

Material:  1″ White Oak and 6 steel hoops
Capacity: 53 gal.

Dimensions:    H- 37”

                       W-22” top and bottom

                          -24” middle

Weight: 125 lbs.

Other Uses

Besides storing whiskey, wine, beer and spirits, barrels can be used for a variety of other purposes.  Some people like to cut barrels in half and design planter “boxes” out of them.  Other folks tap the barrels and create rain catches.  Wineries, Distilleries, Restaurants also use barrels as a form of display for customers and some have made barrels into bar stools or chairs.

Wholesale Prices Available!!!

About americanwinegrape

American Wine Grape Distributors Inc. AKA A. Silvestro Wine Grape, has been in business for over 5 decades. We are wine enthusiasts just like you and want to share in that enjoyment. This is why we are developing a new and exciting platform for growers, restaurants, sommeliers and home winemakers. Our goal is to bring the wine community together and is the driving force behind our new blog.

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