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> Scrape an oak barrel?, How to prep a 5 year old port barrel for beer
Thorhale
post Jul 18 2012, 02:43 AM
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So I have read that oak barrels are scraped to restore their oxygen permeability. Has anyone ever done this?
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threedogsne
post Sep 9 2012, 10:21 PM
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From a wood perspective, the oxygen permeability would be determined by the wood type and thickness. Liquid containing barrels are white oak, selected because its "springwood" and rays do not remain open when it becomes heartwood, so it does not leak through. Red oak won't work for a barrel for liquid, because those "pores" remain open, and it will leak. Whiskey barrels are charred inside, which gives color and flavor to the colorless liquor put into the barrel. Eventually you will extract all you can from the wood surface. You could conceivably remove the ends and scrape the char to fresh wood, then re-char the barrel, then reinsert the ends. That's a lot of work with a scraper, plane, disk sander, or whatever, working in an akward space inside of the barrel. You would also have a "fresh" barrel, not the usual used whiskey barrel, so the flavors transmitted to the beer would be different. It would be more like having an unused wine barrel; again, a different flavor proposition.
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