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Old 04-22-2009, 02:19 PM   #7
Arctic Wolf
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edmonton Alberta
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Great Thread

I do live in a cold climate with low humidity so the evaporation rate is very high. In B.C. where you are you will have to decide if the humidity in your house (or where ever you are doing this is high or low). My understanding is that alcohol will evaporate faster than the water unless you are in hot dry conditions outdoors. Kind of like a hot desert or prairie condition. Indoors Alcohol will almost certainly evaporate faster. (my understanding is frequently wrong but my experience has been a substantial drop in alcohol content in every batch I have done.)

The thicker wall of a five litre barrel will mitigate this.

If I understand what you are trying to do Vann Patt then I would suggest this technique for your first batch.

Step 1

Fill your Barrel with hot water from your tap and let it sit to see if it leaks. If it does not leak then leave the water in for seven days turning one third each day. This initial sitting with just water will help eliinate some of the harshest tannins from the barrel.

If you barrel leaks then you need to place it in a bucket of water and soak it for a week before you do this.

Step 2

Fill your barrel about 1/3 full of Port. Turn your barrel about 1/4 each 2 days and let the port sit for two to four weeks. (with your larger barrel I suspect yoou need to leave it in longer than I would in a smaller barrel.)

Step 3

Take out and rebottle your Port. You may actually have improved it slightly although you will still be at the stage where harsher tannins are coming out of the barrel. (By the way I might be tempted to leave the water in at step 1 for a longer time frame to eliminate more harsh flavours)

Step 4

Do not flush the barrel! After draining the port just fill with rum as full as you can. Let the Rum sit and turn the barrel once a week a quarter turn. (If you are less than half full I would recommend more frequent turning)

Step 5

After four weeks start to draw a small sample out and taste. Write you impressions down and keep a log of each weekly sample. When you have achieved something good then bottle your success.

(Please do not consider me an expert. I am a trail and error kind of guy and anybody with other experience or information should correct my procedure.)
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