How to Store an Oak Barrel
Drinking a batch of aged spirits will take less time than making a new batch, so you will want to start again as soon as possible. But, if you don’t plan to use your barrel for a while, storing it correctly will keep it healthy and ready for when you want to use it again.
Rule 1 of barrel ageing club: don’t let your barrel dry out! If looked after well, your oak barrel could last up to 8 to 10 years. Oak barrels must be stored with water to ensure they don’t dry out.
How Do I Store An Oak Barrel Between Batches?
Source a barrel cleaning kit, which will contain suitable storage tablets. Please see the respective storing tablet instructions for the correct solution ratio.
- Fill the barrel with a solution of storage tablets and water
- Store in a cool, temperate controlled area
- Once a month, empty and refill the barrel with a fresh solution of water and storing tablets
- When ready to use the barrel, empty the storage solution and rinse 3 times
Follow our Barrel Cleaning Guide to retain the full effectiveness of your barrel.
My Barrel Dried Out, What Do I Do?
Letting the barrel dry out is a big no no, and you should ensure this doesn’t happen at all. But, if this unfortunate event has happened to you, there are some steps you can take to try and bring your barrel back to life.
- Curing the wood is an essential part of ageing barrels, so start by going through the curing process again. The curing process will take longer this time around.
- If your barrel still has leaks after curing, try submerging the barrel for a couple of days.
See our Oak Barrel Curing Instructions for full instructions.
Leaving the wood to go dry can cause a build-up of bacteria. Make sure to sanitise the barrel use a solution of sterilising tablets and water.