THE BLOG

Commercial Barrel-Aging

How we add belly bungs to head bung whiskey barrels

A Midwest Barrel Co. team member drills a belly bung hole into the side of a head bung whiskey barrel. Used bourbon and whiskey barrels aren’t easy to find right now. If you’re a brewer or you’re in charge of a brewery’s barrel program, then you have probably noticed this...

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Barrel-aging 101: Maple syrup barrels

A bottle of BLiS Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup and BLiS Maple Syrup barrels (ex-bourbon) It’s no secret that used bourbon barrels are some of the most popular for aging beer. The vanilla, spice and oaky flavors pair so well with imperial stouts, barleywines and strong ales.  While there’s no shortage of...

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Your guide to used whiskey barrels with head bungs

Starting or scaling up a barrel program is a big step for any brewer. It makes sense, given the popularity of barrel-aged beers from high ABV stouts to big barleywines.  But getting started with this style takes its share of financial resources. It also takes up a good deal of...

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What is a wet barrel?

I believe getting to the point quickly is a virtue. So if you’re here because you just purchased a used whiskey barrel that you intend to fill with a beverage, but there isn’t any remaining liquid from what it aged before in there and so you’re concerned, here’s what you need to...

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Barrel-Aging 101: How to swell a dry or leaking barrel

Barrels are good for two things – holding liquid for long periods of time and making cool stuff out of the repurposed wood. So when a barrel is leaky, that’s a major issue for most of what a barrel is supposed to do. So if you just bought a barrel...

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How do we prep a whiskey barrel to be refilled?

One of the most common questions we get here at MWBC is “How do I prep the bourbon or whiskey barrel I just purchased to be refilled?” Well it’s a very simple answer – NOTHING! If you are having to clean or swell your whiskey barrels before filling you definitely...

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Barrel Care: My barrel has a leak!

Barrel-aging is an exciting undertaking. Some time spent in a barrel can take a homebrew, craft beer, wine or distilled spirit to the next level.  But the barrel has to be able to do its job. A leaking barrel is a no-go and will only delay your beverage’s barrel-aged journey....

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I can't fill my barrel right away

Barrels have a shelf life. Or should we call it a rack life? No matter what you want to call it, it’s true. You can’t just get a used barrel, let it sit in the corner and expect it to be ready for barrel-aging whenever you need it. In a...

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Is my barrel dry?

When it comes to ingredients, fresh is best. For brewers who are barrel-aging craft beer or a homebrewer dabbling in the style, the barrel is another ingredient. So, like all other ingredients that go into a beer recipe, quality matters.  In the barrel-aging world, quality is often determined (for the...

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