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Offline Fletch  
#1 Posted : Monday, January 11, 2021 7:29:37 PM(UTC)

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I am interested in getting into home-based distilling, and am currently doing my homework regarding all the equipment I will need and the total cost. The one item in particular that I am reviewing in depth is how and where I plan to age my whiskey. Now I understand that aging this kind of spirit in a charred or toasted American white oak barrel is the standard tried-and-true method. However, due to the cost of a fine oak barrel, the need to cure them to prevent leaks, and the reality that they probably could only be good for one batch before going neutral, I had another idea: Use a 30 gallon stainless steel open-head drum with bungs, and place 12 or more toasted/charred white oak planks,(About 3" wide x 30" long x 1" thick), and close/seal the lid prior to filling with the white whiskey/moonshine. This way, the drum is highly reusable, and only needs to have the old oak replaced with new, freshly toasted or charred white oak before filling with a new batch of moonshine.

The problem with this idea,(As far as I can see), is the cost of new 30 gallon stainless steel drums. The cheapest I found on the internet is $315 each. Another supplier, The Cary Company, lists them for $850 each! The used ones still go for about $245. So I found a much cheaper alternative. There are 30-gallon food grade polyethylene open-head drums with bungs going for as little as $73 each brand new. The critical question that I need to ask anyone is: Will polyethylene adversely affect the taste and quality of my whiskey? Will the polyethylene stand up to the 75% or so ABV that exists in the moonshine/whiskey?

Offline tntc  
#2 Posted : Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:27:03 PM(UTC)

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Welcome to the hobby. The easy way is to buy oak chips or other and add to your quart jars . Watch and taste as you go.
Offline Cowboy 9374  
#3 Posted : Sunday, March 14, 2021 11:32:25 PM(UTC)
Cowboy 9374

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Bushmill's buys used bourbon barrels from the US, and reuses them three times. You would be better off to add charred wood to wood barrels. Whiskey doesn't age in sealed containers.
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