Those who prefer beer will have to go through the meticulous process of home-brewing, but for those of you who prefer a stronger taste, you’re in luck – creating your own flavor of spirits in your charred oak barrels is a relatively simple process. To start, you’ll need to get a wooden barrel, which you can find on our oak barrels for sale page.
Once you have it, the first step is curing your barrel. As aging liquor is a lengthy process, you want to make sure that everything is perfect before the process begins. Curing your barrel removes all of the debris from it, and also ensures that your product won’t be contaminated by anything that’s already absorbed into the wood. For complete instructions on how to cure your barrel – click here.
Before you move to step two, you have to determine what type of flavored alcohol you want to make, like whiskey or vodka.
You’re going to have to get an unflavored/flavorless Vodka or grain alcohol if you are making; bourbon, whiskey, tequila, or scotch.
If you want to make Rum, you’ll want to start with unflavored/flavorless clear Rum. The second step is purchasing this base and having it on hand.
If choosing Brandy, you’ll want to start with a brandy liquor base
The second step is purchasing this base and having it on hand.
Step three is determining what type of essence you want to use. Just like how you see a slew of different flavors on liquor store shelves, there are a slew of different essences for you to pick from. The essence you choose will ultimately determine what the final product of your aging process tastes like. Shop for different type of essence here.
Next, assuming you have already cured your wooden oak barrel, step four is getting to work. You’re going to fill your barrel with the essence and the base alcohol. Usually, essence manufacturers follow the guideline of one bottle of essence per liter of base alcohol, but always read the label – putting in too much or too little essence will result in a less than desirable final product.
Once they’re both in, move to step five. It’s time to seal your wooden barrel up and play the waiting game. We recommend that you wait two to three weeks before checking on its progress, as the essence needs time to seep into the base alcohol.
After a reasonable amount of time, step six is opening up the barrel and sampling your product. It’s not always going to be perfect the first time – you may added too little essence or not let it sit for long enough. If the taste is too strong from the essence, then sorry – there’s no way to remove essence. You’ll have to try again. But if it’s not flavorful enough for your tastes, you can add more essence and repeat the process. If the flavor is fine but you think it could use some more time to age, seal it back up and repeat step five.
Once your pallet is happy, step seven is bottling it up and enjoying your creation!
Important things to note:
- You must cure your barrel in between each separate batch to prevent different base alcohols and essences from contaminating the next batch
- We recommend sampling your product when your pallet is neutral – not after a meal of spicy food or anything of that nature
- Pick a few different flavors of essence and try them all – even if you like a certain flavor that’s storebought, there are far more flavors of essence available than just that