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Make your own Reserve Port with a Swish Barrel Bootleg Kit. Get a ruby style port reminiscent of the Douro Valley wine traded by 17th century British sailors. It is typically fortified with grape brandy. Alcohol NOT included.
How does it work?
Pour the contents of the bottle and a 2 tbsp of granulated suger into a barrel or (750ml) bottle. Fill with 23 fl. oz. of 13-15% full bodied wine and 3oz of 40% alc./volume brandy or vodka. Shake well to mix thoroughly. Makes 26 fl. oz. (750 mL).
For barrels larger than 1 liter, use 1 bottle of Reserve Port essence per liter of alcohol. For extra body and mouthfeel, add 1oz of finishing formula.
Age spirits to your taste in an Oak Barrel for at least 2 weeks!
No glue or nails are used in the making of our barrels. As such, barrel preperation called "curing" is required prior to use. This process serves two functions;
1) Allows the barrel to swell to prevent leaking, and
2) Limits the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel.
Start by placing the appropriate number of storing tablets in the barrel and filling the barrel with boiling or hot water. Allow it to soak for 3 to 5 days.
Water may leak from between the staves or at the barrel head seam. This is normal and will stop within 24 hours as the wood swells. Barrels that do not leak should still be cured for 3 to 5 days. This will minimize the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel staves.
After curing the barrel, empty the solution and rinse with hot water 3 times. Now fill the barrel with your spirits and place the bung in tightly. ...Enjoy!
When storing your barrel between uses, always keep the barrel filled with a sterilized water solution. This will keep the barrel from drying out and keep bacteria from growing in the barrel. We suggest using Swish Barrel Storing Tablets .
Swish Barrel Storing Tablets are pre-measured doses of sulfites formulated to kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of wild yeast and microbes in the barrel.
When storing or cleaning your barrel between uses, dissolve the appropriate quantity of tablets in water. Pour mixture in the barrel and fill completely with additional water. Store in cool damp conditions if possible. Rinse 3x prior to use.
Sanitize your barrel with a Swish Barrel Cleaning Kit after 2 or 3 uses.
Barrels should be cleaned after every 2 or 3 aging batches or when changing from spirit types.
To clean the barrel, use a Swish Barrel Cleaning Kit and follow the directions below...
Barrel Cleaning Instructions:
1) Dissolve the Barrel-Kleen into 1 U.S. gallon of warm water. Fill the barrel with this cleaning solution and soak for 24 hours. Empty and rinse 3 times with hot water.
2) Dissolve the Neutralizing Acid into 1 gallon of warm water. Fill the barrel with this neutralizing solution and soak for 15 minutes. Empty and rinse the barrel 3 times with hot water.
3) To re-char the barrel interior, drain the barrel for 3 hours. Place a butane torch in the bung and spigot hole and re-char the inside.
4) When storing the barrel or prior to re-use, dissolve the 2 sterilizing tablets in 1 gallon of cool water. Fill the barrel with the solution. Swish around for a few minutes and rinse 3 times with hot water.
To prevent the barrel from drying out and minimize the possibility of contamination, barrels should always be stored full with spirits or sterilizing solution.
What are the barrels made from?
Our barrels are made from premium quality American White Oak. The staves are air dried for two years and all barrels have a medium char. How do I cure the barrel? Barrels should be cured prior to use. Start by filling the barrel with boiling or hot water and leave it to soak for 3 to 5 days. This allows the barrel to swell tightly against the hoops and ensure that the barrel doesn't leak.
Are glues or nails used to make the barrel?
No, our barrels are all hand crafted with no use of glues or nails.
How should the barrel be stored?
Barrels are best stored in a cool damp environment such as a wine cellar. This will keep the exterior from drying out and minimize evaporation (Angels Share).
How many times can I use my barrel?
With proper care, you can use your barrel for 8 to 10 years. Following the cleaning and re-charing instructions will insure a long life for your product and be sure to not let your barrel dry out. I left my barrel dry for an extented time.
Now it leaks... what do I do?
In many cases just re-cure the barrel. If it continues leaking, submerge the barrel in water for a couple of days. After it's been submerged, dry the exterior with a towel and fill it with water to see if it continues to leak. If so, find the leak and apply barrel wax to the hole... If you can't stop the leaking... cut in half and use as a planter!