What You Need to Know about Whisky Barrels
Barrels are containers that are cylindrically shaped and used to store drinks such as water and alcohol. The shape size and design of the barrels depend on the type of liquid stored in them. Barrel making is a broad industry with people who specialize in making the barrels, such individuals are referred to as coopers. There are different types of barrels, these include 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. The main roles of barrels is to store water and oils and assist in the 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. During whisky processing, manufacturers do prefer using wooden barrels since they are believed to contain essential compounds that are vital in the aging process, however, the compounds depends on several factors including 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. Besides, the whisky need to be stored for at least two years in new, wooden containers. Besides, international laws require whisky makers of the label Scotch to be distilled in Scotland and left to mature for at least three years.
Companies that prepares whisky can choose the following types of casks for maturing scotch whisky, these include hogshead, barrel butt, puncheon, barrique, quarter cask, port pipe, Madeira drum, among others. Furthermore, when one wants to mature brandy, they need to also keep them in wooden barrels due the ability to transfer certain aromas to the spirit. Other than whisky and brandy, other types of beverages that need ageing include balsamic vinegar, tequila, beers, as well as soft drinks.
The following are the essential tips to whisky aging. 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 the type of barrel that one uses influences the taste, for instance new barrels tend to absorb more wine in the early stages than the old barrels, therefore one needs to ensure that they monitor the levels and add wine when the level falls. Moreover, whisky processing companies need to ensure that their barrels are raked after every three years.
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