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Since my 15 gallon oak barrel is larger than I really need for a hobby sized operation, I have been trying to figure out a way to keep it stocked while giving up some of the booty. Filling it full for an extended time isn't feasible. I've been filling it about halfway and then emptying it until this last use when I removed about 3 of the 7 gallons that were in it. I plan on starting a quazi-solera style where I never remove all of the rum and then just add to it, maybe eventually until it is full. When the rum ages to my satisfaction, I will then again remove a portion of it. I also have a 5 gallon barrel that I haven't used yet.
I want to add some French oak dominos to the barrel to kind of supplement the oak. I will probably add 3 or 4 per gallon and have 2 questions to throw out there.
First, has anyone ever charred the French oak dominoes? I was thinking of charring one side and leaving the other side toasted.
Second, I want to tie the dominos together on some kind of string, maybe 6" apart so that I will be able to get them out whenever I want to. I don't want to drill a bigger hole in the barrel so getting them out will be a challenge. Pouring the rum out of the barrel is a big enough pain without wood chunks plugging up the hole. My question is what kind of string, twine, monofiliment should I use that won't disintegrate in the alcohol?