View Full Version : cheap good barrels

09-23-2004, 05:04 AM
Hello, I am Erik and I discovered your forum through my search on mead making.

I am going to purchase a basic mead making kit from leerners.com and try my hand at brewing.

While searching and reading your entries, I thought I would share my discovery of a place that sells whiskey barrels at about $75 a barrel. The site is:


So far it looks like a great deal for mead and whine brewers. After I get my kit shortly, I might exapand to get a barrel. though I think a smaller 5 gallon barrel would be better.

Well, just wanted to share and say hello.

09-23-2004, 06:14 PM
I think a danger in using those $75 barrels is that your mead is going to end up tasting like whisky. Not a good thing, or maybe it is, depending on your point of view.

IMHO, small barrels aren't worth the money. They impart oak flavor far more quickly than a large barrel making it unlikely that you'll reap any of the benefits of aging in a barrel. Unless you are going to go big, use oak chips/cubes/etc and save yourself some money.

09-26-2004, 12:46 PM
Hey Erik,

If you're going to get a whiskey barrel you should look into having a good cooper re-condition it for you. There is nothing wrong with using a whiskey barrel for aging mead as long as you are cognizant of the issue Scott made about having some of the whiskey flavor imparted to your mead which is not a bad thing at all when done correctly.

Many whiskey makers (notably Glenmorangie) use port, sherry, madeira and burgundy barrels to impart the flavors of each of these wines to their single malt whiskey. The same can be done for mead with whiskey barrels, and/or any other barrel as long as you take the time to learn about the characters of the barrel, the flavors it imparts, how quickly the flavors are imparted, and what the "reasonable" threshold is for flavoring that can be complimentary to your mead, but not overpowering.

You may want to take some oak chips or cubes (I prefer cubes) as Scott suggested and try them in your mead first to see if you even like the character they bring. I think you will. Do this with several batches and several toast levels of the cubes/chips, along with different oak (American, Hungarian, Croatian, French, etc.) to get a good feel for what each of them bring to your mead. Once you can "oak" your mead consistently, then you might try "conditioning" your cubes/chips with some whiskey and then putting them into the mead to see if you even like the flavor. After you have that down, you can move on to barrels.