PLEASE READ BEFORE POURING ANY SPIRITS IN YOUR NEW BARREL
Welcome to the Old Dog Barrel family and thank you for purchasing your barrel from us. We know you’ll love your barrel and we hope you tell your friends and family about us.
Here are your instructions for curing your barrel.
Curing your barrel MUST BE DONE before you put ANY spirit inside. Curing the barrel will stop your spirits from leaking out from the sides or any cracks and crevices that the barrel may have.
Step 1 = When you get your barrel, you’re going to want to first put the spigot in the hole on the front face of the barrel. Line it up with the center of the barrel. Press hard with your hand to fit the tap in the face of the barrel, it may not be snug at first, but the next steps will swell the wood and tighten the wood around the spigot
Step 2 = Fill the barrel with water and rinse out your new Barrel a few of times so you can get the excess wood shavings that are in the barrel.
Step 3** = Fill barrel with HOT water, not boiling. Let the HOT water stay in the barrel for 2 to 5 days…The barrel will leak in different spots for the first few hours/days so use a paper towel underneath the barrel, so you know when it stops leaking. Put Barrel on a plate or in something to collect water as curing ... As the water gets absorbed into the wood, the leaks will stop and in a few days your barrel will be ready for your custom blend.
NOTE** Make sure the Bung (top cork) is OFF during the curing process. You don’t want to the Bung, aka Cork to swell into your barrel. You won’t be able to remove it if gets too tight. So make sure the bung is off during the curing process.
Step 4 = After you allow the water to sit in the barrel for 2 to 5 days you want to drain your barrel and rinse a final few times. Allow the barrel to dry for 30 to 45 minutes before putting in your spirit.
Step 5 = Pour your spirit into the hole on the top of the barrel. Use a funnel, if you want, so that your spirit doesn’t spill. *Keep the original bottle, or have a decanter ready for finished blend.
Step 6: IMPORTANT* = Allow your spirit to sit in the barrel for 10-16 days before you start to taste it. We recommend that the FIRST 1 to 2 BATCHES never sit inside the barrel for more than 16 to 35 days. You are seasoning your barrel, if you allow the spirit to sit longer than that, you could get a very OAKY tasting drink. So do not go over 16 days unless you want a very OAKY spirit.
*Remember the longer you allow your spirit to age…the more the Angels keep, the more spirits you will lose! See my articles and blog about the "Devil's Share" and the "Angels Share"
Step 7 (Final Step) = The spigot or tap on your barrel is to sip your blend to taste while aging. Before you taste, swirl your blend or slowly “shlosh” the liquid to mix up the blend so you are not drinking the bottom of the barrel. Gently rock or jiggle barrel to mix the blend. Once you have the blend to your taste (35-65 days), REMOVE YOUR CUSTOM BLEND FROM BARREL; so the blend does not continue to age. Pour your custom blend back into the original bottle, or (suggested) pour in a nice decanter, or your own custom bottle.
-- You will appreciate your blend when it is resting in a decanter --
HOW DO I STORE MY BARREL WHEN I AM NOT USING IT?
If you are between batches and not using your barrel. HYDRATE - HYDRATE - HYDRATE!
Fill your barrel with distilled water while not is use. We can't imagine you won't be aging or blending, but if that occurs, fill with distilled water and rinse out before next batch.
You will get the most out of your barrel if you keep it hydrated. Wrap your barrel in a wet wash cloth every once in awhile, if you are watering your plants; squirt it with a mister, keep your barrel in a climate controlled area. Do not keep your barrel in a dry area.