How Long To Age Whiskey In A Barrel By Size (From 1 Liter To 5 Gallons)


Recently it’s become easier and more accessible than ever to barrel-age your own spirits. This is due to a lot of online retailers like our white oak barrel aging store and others offering oak barrels and mini oak barrels that you can use to age liquor at home. You can find a 1 liter barrel or 2 liter oak barrel (immediately ready for barrel-aging) for an average of $50-$100 online.

The great part about mini barrels and aging at home is that you can have custom flavored liquor in a fraction of the time. It’s because of the larger surface area that’s in the small barrels. With less liquid for the wood to cover – the aging process is accelerated.

It’s best to know what to age but our barrels can age everything from whiskey, beer, wine, cognac, even kombucha, and more. Whiskey is the best of course and what we pride ourselves on using our barrels for but your choices are nearly unlimited.


How Long It Takes To Age A 1 Liter Barrel.

We’ll assume you want to age whiskey since that’s what we’re best at and what we love the most. You’ll want to start with a little less than what your barrel can hold (so for a 1 liter barrel, slightly less alcohol than 1 liter). Also depending on the type of whiskey you use, your flavor profile will change so make sure you pick exactly what you want. Make sure the spigot is closed and then add your whiskey.

This is the waiting part. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month for a 1 liter barrel and similar sizes (like our 2 liter and 3 liter barrel), to get the best flavor into your whiskey. For the large barrels (like our 4 liter, 5 liter, 10 liter, and 20 liter barrels) it’s best to wait anywhere from a couple of months up to 5-6 at the most. Liquor like bourbon and whiskey will age longer while some spirits like gin for example will age less than even the standard 2-4 weeks in a 1 liter barrel.


Bottling and Storing Your Newest Barrel

You’ll want to store your barrel that’s now full in a cool and humid area, away from sunlight. It can even slow down the aging process if ideal storing is not used. You can also keep refilling and reusing your barrel. It isn’t a one-time usage thing. It might take longer once you’ve filled it more than a few times to age fully but it will continue to take on new flavors the older it is. 

oak barrels stored in a humid cellar

Last Things To Keep In Mind

Keep in mind you won’t be able to recreate the flavor profile of 5, 10, or 20 year old aged whiskeys. That’s not what the barrels are meant to do. It will however give you a great amount of added flavor that is hopefully something you prefer more than the base taste of whiskey.

Another thing is that you’ll want to be careful over-oaking your whiskey. This can happen sometimes if you take out the whiskey too early or too late in the aging process. It’s possible to taste your whiskey while it’s in the barrel using the spigot so don’t be afraid too. That’s how you’ll be able to tell if it’s ready for you to enjoy or not.

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