Templeton Rye Barrels

There’s a guy selling these in my area… Good deal or overpriced?

It would depend on what you plan to do with them/it. They look bigger than 5-10 gallons, so for making beer, well, I don’t see myself trying anything with it. As a home furnishing, well, nope. I know there are sites you can look at buying right from the coopers that can help evaluate your thinking… Sneezles61

It’s not a great price. A good deal on a used spirits barrel is more in the $150 range, especially if they’re being sold to breweries.

Thank you both. What is the right sized barrel for a 5 gallon boil? And how do you sanitize a used spirit barrel? Seems like a high risk for infection and oxidation.

Well, that’s almost certainly a full size barrel, so you will need 55-60 gallons of finished beer to rack into that beast. Doable for a homebrew club, but that’s a seriously tall order for an individual homebrewer.

I would recommend a 10 gallon spirit barrel. Less than that, and the barrels are pretty shotty, with really thin staves. It’s still a bit of a task to fill a 10 gallon barrel, but you can do it in 2 brew sessions. For clean beers, you want to add high gravity beers, minimum 8% ABV to keep out bacteria. RIS, imperial IPA, etc… These are what you want to cycle through a barrel.

Don’t let me discourage you, but a barrel is a lot of work. You need to have a constant pipeline going to keep it working. Leave it empty for a few days and you’re risking acetobacter taking hold. You can always fill it with a storage solution, but that drains some of the barrel flavor. Before you invest in a barrel, make sure you’re ready to put in the work of maintaining it. But it is VERY rewarding in the end.

You don’t need to sanitize a fresh spirit barrel, but you want to have enough beer on hand to fill it as soon as possible, maybe even the same day you receive it. So plan ahead, and have some beer in secondary before you order it.

I don’t feel too bad about posting it here, since NB doesn’t sell used spirit barrels, but farmhouse brewing supply has a great supply of rum and whiskey barrels from the Old Sugar distillery in Madison. Get on their mailing list or email John, and he will let you know when they’re going to get them. Fantastic quality and very fresh! Their rum barrels are killer.

I appreciate your in-depth answer @porkchop. You’re the man. Thank you