There are countless traditions in the world of whiskey. Several of these traditions have come from approaches that distillers have emerged over the year which help them create a finer whiskey.
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Other legacies are tied to regulation that need to be adhered to to make a whiskey of a certain style.
One common tradition among whiskey producers is to use whiskey barrels that hold 53 gallons (200 liters), i m sorry is called the US conventional barrel.
This post will describe why the US conventional barrel has end up being the most common barrel size amongst whiskey producers.Why execute whiskey barrels hold 53 gallons?
There are plenty of legal regulation relating come whiskey production. Tennessee Bourbon whiskey, because that example, should be do in Tennessee using a mash that is at the very least 51% corn, climate aged in charred new barrels.
However, once it pertains to the size of barrels, there room no regulations in most countries. Interestingly, almost all distilleries have worked out on barrels that organize 53 gallons. Why is that so?
Barrels supplied to it is in a an essential part of international commerce. They would be supplied to carry everything native beer come molasses and grains on ships cross every ocean on the planet.
Barrels were useful due to the fact that they were simple to make, watertight, stackable, and also could be rolling when inserted on their side.
They room still often used to carry spirits today however are less commonly used for other varieties of cargo.
Before WWII, the standard dimension of a barrel to be 48 gallons. Beverage and also food producers discovered this size straightforward to handle and also roll roughly the manufacturing facility floor.
Racks in many distilleries to be designed to manage 48 gallon barrels.
When the war arrived, resources became scarce.
Distillery owners had to mitigate the amount of timber they were using to develop their whiskey. They changed the shape of the barrel slightly, so it can hold 53 gallons.
This brand-new shape offered a tiny amount of added timber, but it organized an extra 5 gallons — saving an important resources needed for the war effort.
This new shape also fit racks the were designed for 48 gallon barrels, which expected distilleries wouldn’t have to build new racks.
Distilleries kept using this 53 gallon barrels after the war because they held more liquor, were fairly easy come handle, preserved their structure integrity and also did not leak.
They additionally have what countless distillers consider to it is in the optimum fluid to cask surface area proportion for aging whiskey.
Most US typical barrels are made indigenous American white oak or european oak.
Whiskey casks come in plenty of other sizes, including:
Gorda (185 us gallons / 700 liters)
These large casks are usually make from American oak and also often offered for tires of whiskey. However, they space not offered in to mature Scotch whisky because they are above the maximum allowed cask size.
Madeira north (172 gallons / 650 liters)This short, fat cask is made european oak and is regularly used to period whiskey.
Sherry butt (126-132 united state gallons / 478-500 liters)
Made from european oak, these space long and slender casks. Offered sherry butts are often used in the whisky industry to flavor the spirit.
English Tun (259 us gallons / 982 liters)
These substantial barrels are exactly 216 imperial gallons, i m sorry is double the dimension of a butt.
Port pipeline (172 united state gallons / 650 liters)
This big cask is do from europe oak and often supplied in the port industry. Scotch whisky producers will periodically use it to complete their spirit.
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Hogshead (59-66 gallons / 225-250 litres)
Many whiskey distillers will certainly repurpose old bourbon barrels come make big hogshead barrels. These larger casks permit distillers come save space in your aging rooms. The takes 5 normal whiskey barrels to make a single hogshead cask.