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Thread: oak barrels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Merrimack, NH


    anybody got a good place to get 1 and 2 gallon barrels?

    been making all kinds of wine for years using juice i get from a grape distributor. i cant wait till my 1st honey haul to try my hands at making some mead.....
    NH Beekeeper

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Lyons, CO


    Small barrels like that are very tough to find. At that size, the ratio of surface area to volume is so high that you have to use probitively short contact times. Once the amazing amount of upkeep for barrels is taken into account it's not worth the effort IMHO. You might consider using oak chips in the carboy, readily available and easily sanitized by steaming, for more control over oak character and ease of use. They're available toasted and not. There's even an oak extract available (it's a tincture actually) that's added to taste if you're in a hurry, never a good idea with mead. The only real drawback is that you can't get the same gradual oxygen exposure from a chip that a barrel provides, but unless you're barrel-aging a much larger amount the oxidation would be similarly prohibitive again due to the surface area problem. I think the smallest barrels usually considered practical is somewhat over 10 gallons.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Clarksville, MI


    I agree completely, for exactly the same reasons. Don't waste your time with small barrels. Expensive, difficult to maintain, and they really don't provide much advantage over oak chips.
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  4. #4

    Post p.55 on my 2002 catalog
    You can call them at 1800 Get Lehmans 24 hours to request a catalog. They have 1,2,5,10,15,30 gallon plain and charred white oak. Also the bungs that go with them.

    Having listed this, I agree with small contact times for small batches. Try some oak chips first as even the 1 gallon barrels are $74.


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