Bourbon whiskey is a barrel-aged distilled beverage common in the United States. Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon, distilling about 95% of the world’s supply. It has the perfect natural mix of climate, conditions, and pure limestone water, ideal for crafting the world’s best Bourbon. The aging process is what gives whiskey its smooth, sweet flavor. Aging also makes whiskey more mouth-watering by removing some of the chemicals that make spirits taste harsh.
The following is a guide on how to age your own whiskey.
1. Purchase or Build a Kit
The most common kit used to age your own whiskey is a barrel. A charred white oak barrel is the most suitable kit used to age whiskey, as they work faster than other options. You can purchase or build one in some brewing supply stores or online.
2. Prepare the Kit
The process of preparing a barrel kit when you age your own whiskey is called hydration. It involves filling the barrel with warm water and leaving it for a while. Effective hydration will prevent your spirits from leaking out of the barrel between the staves. The hydration process could last for a few hours to a few days. Drain the water from the barrel kit once it is hydrated.
3. Add Un-Aged Whiskey and Oak Sticks
Add un-aged whiskey into the barrel and leave it to settle for a couple of weeks. Add charred sticks into the whiskey to hasten the aging process. The wood will transmit its flavor to the aging whiskey. You should open the barrel regularly to allow fresh air to replace trapped alcohol vapor.
4. Store the Barrel and Its Content Away from Direct Sunlight
You’ll want to store the barrel and its content away from direct sunlight. Sunlight affects the taste of whiskey. Increased temperature may make the charred sticks swell, making the whiskey spill out of the barrel. It would be best to store the barrel in a cupboard or closet at room temperature.
5. Strain the Drink
Once the whiskey is aged, use a cheesecloth to strain out the charred sticks. Your aged whiskey is ready to drink after straining. It should be golden brown, caramel, or dark brown. Put your whiskey in a glass or bottle for long-term storage.
There you have it: that’s how you can age your own whiskey! Aging will increase the quality and flavor of your un-aged whiskey. Your whiskey is ready for drinking once it has achieved a brownish color. When it’s ready, enjoy it in your favorite glass. To purchase your own kit and whiskey barrels, contact Red Oak Barrels today!