Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bourbon Barrel, part 4

I hauled the barrel out of my basement in the middle of the summer and put it out in the basketball area behind my garage. I brew there, so I keep a fairly close eye on it and keep it topped off with water so it doesn't dry out. It got cold, I started brewing inside the garage, and sort of forgot about the barrel. Then it snowed, and the temperature dropped to single digits. Bad news for the barrel.

The barrel was completely full of water. When it froze, it pushed out the barrel end.

I set up a tarp and a heater and got it thawed out. The head came out during the thawing.

A few of the boards making up the head were cracked, so I glued them back together. The head itself is put together dry. There are dowels, but no glue between the boards.

Since the end of the barrel was off, I took a few pictures of the inside. Here I'd pulled off the two end hoops so there will be some slack to be able to put the head back in.

I make a few new dowels to replace the ones that had broke, then pounded the boards together with a rubber mallet.

Looks pretty good. There is still a little surface splitting just to the right of the "bourbon".
Looks pretty good. Here the head is in, but the hoops are not on yet, so there are still some gaps visible.

Repaired! It still needs filled and seasoned, but I think it's good for a barleywine now.

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