Getting Started: Curing
Coopering is the trade of barrel making and every one of our virgin barrels has been carefully handcrafted by a seasoned professional cooper. Now, with that said, there is no glue or nails holding your barrel together, only the steel hoops holding everything in place. The curing process will swell the barrel into the hoops and create a natural seal. This process usually happens within 3-5 days and on rare occasions, up to a week. If your barrel does not seal in a week, please contact our customer support team at 941-227-7357.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1 - Curing your barrel
We understand you are overwhelmed with excitement, however, you must cure your barrel before using it. Skipping this step will definitely result in lost spirits. Follow these simple step by step instructions to complete the curing process:
Insert the spigot in the hole on the face of the barrel head. You can lightly tap it in with a rubber mallet or twist it tightly into position by hand.
After securing the spigot, completely fill your barrel with HOT (not boiling) tap water and store it in a safe place so that when it leaks, it doesn't make a mess.
Once your barrel has been sealed, you will continue to let it sit full of water for 3-5 days for the barrel to absorb as much water as possible. You want the barrel absorbing the water, not your precious libations, when you start aging your spirits.
Step 2 - Fill your barrel with spirits
Place your barrel in its aging stand without the bung, and make sure the spigot is in the off position (far left or right).Aging Store-Bought Brands - If you are using your barrel to age store-bought brands, simply empty that bottle of your favorite brand spirit into the barrel and secure the bung in the top bung hole.
Step 3 - Age to taste and decant
Barrel aging at home is totally subjective to one's taste. While another person's palette may enjoy it at 27 days, you might like it at 86 days. This is the beauty and power of owning your mini barrel for aging. You get to decide when its uniquely yours!
We recommend keeping a journal & circling the date on your calendar when the batch was started. Taste it frequently and bear in mind, if you love it on the 32nd day, it doesn't mean you will double love it on the 64th day.
Step 4 - Make another batch or store your barrel
The first batch is complete and sitting in the bottle waiting for your company to arrive. What to do next? Well your barrel is counting on you to make that decision quickly. Empty barrels will dry out, shrink and break that precious seal you waited a week to create! You have the following options:Make another batch - Repeat steps 1-3 above.
Store Your Barrel - Wondering what those white tablets included with your barrel purchase are for? Well now you know. They are for storing your barrel between uses. When spirits are in your barrel, bacteria can't grow because the alcohol content is too high. When you fill your barrel with water, it's a cool, wet & dark environment that is ideal for bacteria to grow. You don't want science projects growing in your barrel so dissolve the proper amount of tablets (see Storing Tablet Instruction Card) in water, fill your barrel with it and secure the bung. This will insure your barrel stays wet and sanitary until you are ready to use your barrel again. NOTE: Before reusing your barrel after storing, empty contents and triple (3x) rinse your barrel before making your next batch.