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Excessive Angel's Share

This weekend, I was very excited to check on my aged Cachaca.
I was in Brazil about 18 month and purchased a 5L wood barrel with the corresponding amount of Cachaca. Back home, I filled the barrel with water and left it for a couple of days to make sure the wood is properly sealed & then filled it.
Now I emptied the barrel and my yield was 0.2L (!) - There mus be a bunch of drunk angels around my house...
Couldn't find any signs of leakage under the barrel and the bung was also firmly in place.
Anyone had similar experience?
Barrel bad?


  • Are you saying the barrel was basically empty? 5L in, 0.2L out?

  • How long did you age the product in the barrel? As far as I know, are the small barrels tricky. They can really dry out very quick, that's why most distillers only use them for finishing some small amount of product in a very short time. I would say, the angels had a lot of fun with it.

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

  • I remember a similar story, little barrel pretty much empty without leaking. Such small barrels do not seem to be suitable for long time aging or storage.

    StillDragon Europe - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Europe & the surrounding area

  • edited January 2015

    Yes i bought one of those little ornamental barrels of ebay second hand, was about 9l. I lost half in a few months and the half that remained tasted like moldy books.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Moldy books?

    I dont wanna know.

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  • edited January 2015

    @Grim - Exactly! 5L of hand carried brazilian goodness in, 0.2L out

    @Sunshine @SDEurope Aginng time was 18 months

    @Punkin taste is really good with a dark golden brown hue. Only problem is that I cry with every sip about the wasted alcohol

  • Maybe that's why so many of the little barrels have a varnish coating on the outside?

    Just another reason why I want to be an angel when I die.

  • Did nobody tell him about the party?

  • edited January 2015

    Do you have teenagers in the house? There's more than one type of angel ;;)

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • You occasionally hear a rumour that your bottle of 20 year old booze isn't really 20 years old.

    You just can't tell the difference between what is in your bottle, and some that did spend 20 years in the barrel.

    Accelerated aging using smaller barrels or other methods. I have no idea if it is true or not.

  • I have three 2.5 gallon barrels.

    One of the three is a bitch. Outwardly cracked stave and used to give up a big angel's share. I started coating the split with bee's wax. And it has more or less straightened up. It has had three batches of alcohol in it, bourbon, then rum and a second all wheat whisky now.

    Number two I coated the steel rings with coconut oil...the coconut oil seeped slightly to the barrel and it looses nothing, NADA. This may be good or bad depending on how the booze ages.

    Number three is a gem. No leaks or seeps, all on it's own.

    I don't think I would want a varnished barrel. But the idea of bee's wax doesn't bother me. Leather flasks are coated in bee's wax and pine tar mixture.

    As for barrels that give a woody taste. I imagine there are decorative barrels that get no toast or char.

    DAD... not yours.. ah, hell... I don't know...

  • Well said @dad, I read somewhere that the smaller the barrel the thinner the wood so a tiny barrel may have a problem getting a char without burning up?
    Agreed, I also would rather have wax than a paint of any kind... the cocoanut oil sounds like a good idea.

  • I agree with @punkin someone might have been sneeking drinks

  • No teenagers in the house. And I doubt that my cats are able to operate the spout. Maybe I need to put up a cam and keep watching it ;)

  • The solution is easy, get a larger barrel! Fill in more booze, then there will be enough left after the angels had their share. :)

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  • Throw the cats outside, put up the camera and get pics of the angels.

    DAD... not yours.. ah, hell... I don't know...

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