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The 10L white oak barrel produced exceptional results for me on the first use with some classic Italian Merlot. Twelve days in the barrel was just right to smooth out the tannins and quickly mature this case of wine. Will run Nebbiolo through it for at least 2 weeks in the very near future. Hope to get at least 5 batches of use from it.
The barrel looks great and works great my order got there quickly and I had no problem with the people selling it no problems at all.
Although the barrel arrived in good time and very well packaged the spigot and bung were missing. The Homebrewing Organization apologized and promptly sent the missing items. Iím very pleased with the service and the product. I gave the barrel to a local Brew Master to seal and fill the keg with Czech Gold Lager Beer. We used the keg as a Czech tradition of tapping the keg to officially start a Czech Brewfest. Once the keg was tapped, mugs were filled for the event organizers. All raised their mugs and declared Na Zdravi; Cheers. When the bung was removed to fake the tapping of the keg foam spewed from the top of the keg. I recommend to fill the keg approximately three-quarters to prevent the overflow. Excellent product!!!
Have just filled this 10L barrel for its first aging job. It is a nice looking barrel and construction quality seems pretty good. Got a bit nervous when it still leaked after about 72 hours of conditioning with water, but it tightened up nicely by the fourth day and hasn't lost a single drop of its precious cargo since filling. The main reason for 4 stars not 5 is that it arrived with the wrong size bung and spigot, which I didn't discover until I was committed to the condition/fill sequence. Ack. This could have caused an even lower rating but AIH support responded very quickly to my SOS. I actually purchased two of these barrels and both had the wrong parts: surprisingly, one set was too big and the other too small. This appears to have been the manufacturer's fault, not AIH, but just let me raise the red flag so that if you buy one you check this immediately on acquisition - don't wait 'til you really need to use it like I did. The only other issue I have with this is that I was surprised to find that the barrel has an external varnish finish of some sort. This seems counter to what I think I know about the function(s) of barrel aging, but maybe I need more edificationÖ Does make it look nicer than the uncoated 2L barrel I have from another maker. Also note that the metal hoops are NOT stainless or other corrosion resistant metal, so time will tell.