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Port Barrel

Discussion in 'Geek Grog & Homebrew' started by Ma Baker, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. Greenman

    Greenman Member

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    So, I got a 5L fresh oak cask for Christmas, and have sealed it up by soaking water in it (changed every day).

    Filled with 3L of Ruby and 2L of tawny from Chambers, but I'm worried it'll pick up too much wood from the fresh barrel? I've heard I should try to cycle the port through fairly quickly for the first 6 months?

    How soon should I start drawing some off? I've got 3L more to put through before I need to think about buying more port.

    Should I just cycle out 2L at a time into glass and then put it back in along with fresh? That'd mean I could spread out the fresh wood over a higher volume than 5L..

    Anyway, really looking forward to how this turns out. I've got longer-term plans to age some higher-proof meads in there, though I could also just end up with multiple casks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  2. OP
    OP
    Ma Baker

    Ma Baker Retired

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    I believe the smaller barrels do need to have some drawn off sooner and replaced as it gets a lot of the wood flavour when it's a new barrel. We started having a glass a night but then drew off a bottle and replaced it. When the bottle was empty we drew off another bottle, rinse and repeat. It doesn't take long to settle, definitely will be fine after 6 months, probably less. We haven't drawn any off our 15 litre barrel yet, well apart from a few tastes. :D
     
  3. Greenman

    Greenman Member

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    Sounds good.

    It's only been about a fortnight yet, should I draw off say, 700ml after a month? Maybe even less?

    What do you think about the idea of passing it out to glass and putting it back in again to spread the new wood over a larger volume?
     
  4. OP
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    Ma Baker

    Ma Baker Retired

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    We bottled it and drank it so that we weren't taste testing the barrel all the time. Once it settles we left it longer.
     
  5. eilsel

    eilsel Member

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    Trust your taste buds,taste and sample (try to keep a sample of the raw original product so you can compare how its progressing in the barrel).
    If its too woody draw off a bottle or two and refresh the barrel with younger product.
     
  6. Greenman

    Greenman Member

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    Ok, tasted some from the barrel, and yeah, it's picked up very noticeable wood withing a fortnight, but it's a long way from too much. I think I'm going to try cycling it through, but probably not for another month or two.

    Thanks for the advice guys, appreciated.
     
  7. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

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    This sounds right up my alley.
    I need a new expensive hobby so I can spend my meagre pay.
    Whereabouts do I go looking for small barrels? Would probably only be myself and maybe 3 friends who would be drinking it.
     
  8. hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    You can buy them online, or look on the net for a winery that sells port in your area. I would advise spending the money on a decent one, my mate recently bought a Dan Murphy's special and took it back twice before going to a winery and buying a decent one.

    If you can, get one made from old barrels, it will take on flavour a lot quicker than one made from new wood.

    I personally would recommend getting a 10L. 5L is a bit small i've found.
     
  9. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

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    I guess I'm not that far from Yarra Valley. I wonder if De Bortolli or something would sell one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  10. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    Rutherglen is where it is at for fortifieds.

    Ma Baker posted a link not that far back in the thread to a place that makes nice looking barrels, I'd start there.
     
  11. eilsel

    eilsel Member

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    I have always found Tubbies to be an excellently manufactured port barrel and would recommend them to anyone starting in this fascinating and rewarding hobby http://www.tubbies.com.au/ . Please don't buy a cheap barrel you will be very disappointed in the long run if you do and it will cost you more money due to spoilt or foul tasting port due to poor quality tainted barrels. I would recommend at least a 10 - 15 ltr barrel filled with a reasonable quality Ruby or Tawny port. Note:-You cant put just crap in and get something fantastic out as a result, you need to use something of reasonable quality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  12. Carbon Rod

    Carbon Rod Member

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    I hope you all don’t mind if this thread is resurrected. I wonder if any of you might be able to provide some moral support?

    Got a 5l port barrel for Christmas, it is from Dan Murphy’s but a Corowa Woodware branded barrel, and said to be made with American oak. It’s not lined with plastic or anything so I figure it should be decent!

    I followed the the instructions to prepare it; filled with warm water (under 45 degrees) for 4 hours, then emptied and filled again for 12-24 hours (it said it may take a few days for it to completely seal)

    after 12 hours I couldn’t see a drop, I waited the full 24 just in case and it was definitely not leaking. Or so I thought because I have filled it with 5 litres of Golden Oak Australia Oak Tawny and it is not leaking a consistent drop every few minutes.

    Should it eventually seal it self, or should I empty it and do some more warm water cycles?

    or have I completely stuffed it :upset:
     
  13. OP
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    Ma Baker

    Ma Baker Retired

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    Doubt you've stuffed it. I'd empty the tawny out, give it a good was out and start the sealing process again. Barrels need plenty of time to let the wood swell to stop them leaking.
     
  14. Carbon Rod

    Carbon Rod Member

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    Thanks for the reassurance Ma Baker :)
     
  15. hsvguy

    hsvguy Member

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    Welcome to the club! As Ma said, just keep sealing it till it stops leaking, changing the water every day.

    You're in for a journey, my barrel is 7 years old now, and i'm still not happy with it. putting in too young of a port, and expecting my barrel to perform miracles has been the issue I think.

    Fortunately, a mate of mine gave me 5L of port from a barrel his grandfather started. The stuff is like mother's milk, and i'm hoping it will help to improve my barrel.
     
  16. OP
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    Ma Baker

    Ma Baker Retired

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    We buy the Seppeltsfield 'Classic' Tawny 20L for around $174 delivered direct from Seppeltsfield. We've got a 15 litre and a 5 litre barrel. We also add some brandy to our barrel when we do a big fill. We bottle our 5 litre to drink then fill that out of the 15 litre and top the 15 up with the raw port and about 250ml of brandy. Ours has about 6 months in the 15 litre then 6 months in the 5 litre then its beautiful to drink. With evaporation we have about 3.5 litres in bottles that we then drink until we bottle it again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  17. Carbon Rod

    Carbon Rod Member

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    wow 7 years, well I have heard you get out what you put in, I think this cheap young tawny was a good choice for the first run as I hear it takes on a lot of woody flavours.

    Could I re cycle the port I have in it again? Or should I use fresh stuff? If fresh stuff, do I just bottle the current stuff and call it done?
     
  18. Radley

    Radley Member

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  19. OP
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    Ma Baker

    Ma Baker Retired

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    I'm sure you could re-use the port as long as you put it back in a clean containers/bottles. At first you do get a lot of woody flavour from a new barrel. Best to draw some off and replace it with some more. Don't forget to keep your barrel topped up or you could get leaks.

    You always have to wash them out and soak them to make sure the wood has expanded so that you get no leaks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
    Radley likes this.
  20. Carbon Rod

    Carbon Rod Member

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    Good news, after about a week of water (changed every 24 hours) it has stopped leaking, I am going to leave it one more day and hopefully head out tomorrow to buy a fresh 5 litres!

    I live in the Adelaide hills so I might hit up a seppelstfield if they do a 5 litre!
     

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