A barrel refers to a hollow cylindrically shaped container that is made of wooden board for storing drinks. The manufacturers of the barrels do make different barrels of unique shapes, design and size based on the liquid that is stored in them. Barrel making is a broad industry with people who specialize in making the barrels, such individuals are referred to as coopers. The following are the types of barrels, but are not limited to; cooperage, pipe, pins, butter churns, buckets, firkins, tierces, puncheons, breakers, among others. Ever since their discovery, barrels have been used for various purposes , including storing liquids such as sake, water , and beverages such as beer, wine, port, whiskey, as well as sherry. Other than storing liquids such as water and oils, barrels are also used for maturing of beverages.
Whiskey barrels are mainly used to assist in maturing whisky. The casks work by adding oxygen into the liquid and some of the air is released through an outlet pipe. The whisky ageing process is best when done in wooden barrels since they contain compounds that are vital in improving the tastes, though, the availability of the compounds in the wooden barrels depends on the magnitudes and number of times the barrels have been toasted, the ways in which the stave are cut as well as the place of origin of the barrels. Despite the preference, most governments require that whiskey be aged in wooden barrels. Other requirements vary with nationality include whisky to be stored for at least two years in new wooden containers. In addition, the international laws require the whisky processing companies making whisky with the label “Scotch” to be distilled in Scotland and left maturing for at least three years.
When a whisky making company wants to age the beverage, it can choose from the following types of barrels, hogshead, barrel butt, puncheon, barrique, quarter cask, port pipe, Madeira drum, among others. Maturing is not only essential in whisky but also for brandy, however, just like in whisky maturing, for a better taste wooden barrels are also used in brandy due to their ability to transfer certain aromas to the spirit. Besides, wooden barrels can be used to age the following drinks including balsamic vinegar, tequila, beers, as well as soft drinks.
When you want to make the whisky be tastier, these guides will assist you in the aging process. One of the essential factors to consider is the temperature of the barrels, for good taste, the temperature need to be constant throughout till the aging process is completed.
Besides, one need to pay attention to the level of wine in the barrels especially when working with new barrels since new ones tend absorbing more whine in the beginning of aging process than the older barrels. In addition the barrels need timely raking , at least after every three months.