Charred Bourbon Barrel piece

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by TastyAdventure, Jul 2, 2014.

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  1. TastyAdventure

    TastyAdventure Disciple (393) Nov 13, 2012 Kentucky

    I got a strip of a barrel bow from a friend, and the inside has been charred. Black flakes easily come off, obviously don't want to put beer on top of it in it's current state.
    It has been in a hot garage for awhile, kinda dried up, no bourbon smell left.
    What should I do this thing before I rack beer onto it? Should I use it at all?
     
  2. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    I wouldn't.
     
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  3. sarcastro

    sarcastro Disciple (335) Sep 20, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I was thinking the same thing.
     
  4. Brew33

    Brew33 Crusader (753) Oct 24, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Agreed, pass.
     
  5. WelshBrewer

    WelshBrewer Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2013 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Soak it in bourbon for 2 weeks and use it the bourbon will kill the germs and it might work for you, what are you risking but 5G's of wort?
     
  6. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Pass. (10 Characters).
     
  7. kdb150

    kdb150 Zealot (505) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Can you cut it smaller, and maybe soak it for a while in alcohol to see if you can revive it, perhaps scouring it with dry steel wool or maybe a rough grade sandpaper to take off the charred bits that are flaking away? I'm betting you could salvage it; oak chips and cubes are nice and all, but the char is what makes a whiskey bourbon. You might consider soaking it in bourbon cut with grain alcohol instead of straight bourbon, as the charred wood will impart extra char-ness to whatever you soak it in, and bourbon has already sat in charred wood.
     
  8. PINOT8

    PINOT8 Initiate (139) Nov 2, 2013 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I wouldn't take the risk
     
  9. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    Drink some beer around a fire and use that charred piece in the fire.
     
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  10. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,401) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Premium Member Beer Trader


    The bourbon won't get all the way into the wood and kill things like brett.
     
  11. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,186) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    I was pretty sure that 40% ethanol wasn't an effective surface sanitizer even...
     
  12. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,401) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Premium Member Beer Trader


    Not sure what you are getting at, or if just being snarky. Too late in the day, and too much to drink.

    Putting cubes, spirals, chips, staves, whatever in a spirit will not make it sanitary for brewing purposes. Regardless of how high the alcohol is, it simply won't completely permeate the wood. Hence the reason, despite a bourbon barrel being of high proof, you can still get an infected beer as the wood will harbor and feed bacteria you can't get even the harshest spirit on to.
     
  13. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,186) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Not trying to be snarky, sorry. I was under the impression that even 80 proof vodka on a smooth surface will not sanitize, never mind oak. It is a common misconception that the soak sanitizes, hence why I boil or steam my oak, as it increases the temp to a pint where most stuff dies.
     
  14. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,401) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Premium Member Beer Trader


    Correct on all accounts.

    It will deter, but once something has taken hold, it's got food from within the oak, and it's in there.
     
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