Alcoholic strength and storage
The right storage
Another factor is the storage of the barrels. Only with the right storage conditions will you enjoy your barrel for a long time. The most important points are: Barrel storage, temperature and humidity.
With the right drum bearings, broken staves – and thus pre-programmed leaks – are prevented. Another advantage is, of course, that the barrels can be stacked on top of each other with certain barrel storage systems, thus saving space. The storage units are available in wood, stainless steel, hot-dip galvanised and concrete – for the heavy chunks
Temperature and humidity in the storage room play an important role. In general, the rule of thumb is that the humidity should be between 75 and 85 %. If the temperature is wrong, leaks can occur as a result of drying out and if the humidity is too high, in the worst case strong mould formation could occur and bacterial processes and infections could be favoured. On the other hand, the formation of Brettanomyces is possibly wanted. An advice of the expert I can put to you here only to the heart.
Alcohol content during storage in the barrel
Often asked and therefore also at this point the correct alcohol content is mentioned with the storage in the barrel. With this question I limit myself to the distillates, the topic beer, wine and others enjoy other complexities.
Extensive experiments and scientific investigations have shown that wood barrel ripening ideally takes place between 58 and 63% by volume.
Products matured in wooden barrels are fine, soft and characterized by the full aroma of the refinement due to the storage.
Interaction between barrel and product
At this point it should also be said that a good wooden barrel does not turn a bad product into a good one and vice versa, remember this sentence and write it down, practice shows that a lot still has to be done here, be it through ignorance, negligence or indifference. The basic product, whether fruit, grapes, grain or malt – treat the raw materials gently and cleanly, because you already lay the foundation for the later end product when distilling, brewing or making wine.
These products are presented more and more around High Spirit range between 46 – 50% Vol. Here the presence on the palate and the sustainability in the finish is greatest, without a “scratching” in the throat is perceived. The higher alcohol content in the final product makes for a special experience, don’t be afraid to try it out with your fruit distillates, the taste will thank you, the necessity of a higher price you will get paid.
Occupancy of a barrel
You can find out more about the subject of barrels in the next article.