Oak barely steep?

I got my Oak Barell I’ve waited for about a month for!
Now what?
How long do I steep anything in it for?I hear “over oaking”
Is that a real thing? :flushed:
Can I leave it for a full 28 days? I’m mixing a vanilla something up soon for it . Idk if it’ll be a custard tho I hear vanilla vapes are good.


Go through this thread it might answer your question …


Is this this the same concept of DMHE ages his liquids?


My “barrel mix” vanilla tobacco, was in for just 2 weeks. In fairness it could of seen a full month, but tasted perfect as it was.

I must admit I have never heard of “over oaking”. Booze makers, age stuff in barrels for years supposedly before it’s bottled.

I have however heard of stuff tasting like p*ss and vinegar for not being in there long enough :sweat_smile:

I would imagine that providing the barrel is “watertight” it really wouldn’t hurt it, wood is a wonderful material and despite being sawn, cut, and carved and charred and hooped into a shape, it will still expand and contract over time for a multitude of reasons.

In short, maybe the charr would affect the flavour more in an additional 2 weeks time, but I wouldn’t worry too much, also, rinse your barrel first with sterile hot water and let it dry before you put your mix in.

Hope that helps/stops you worrying…and mostly made sense


Did you leave the plastic inside or not? I wont even touch mine until i get aReal answer


Plastic inside!? Yours has plastic inside?


Yes what do i do?


Yes it does thanks. I got a 3hr trip this morning then im gonna come home n use it.


@ladycrooks My barrel came with explicit instructions. If your’s didn’t, contact the company you purchased it from and ask your questions. They should be able to provide you with everything you need to know. Mine was wrapped in heavy plastic for protection but didn’t have any inside it. My own common sense tells me that I don’t want to age liquor, vanilla extracts or eliquid in plastic.

As vapelordwolnir said, your barrel will expand and contract and “breathe”. During this process you will lose some content and they call this the “Angels Share”. I wouldn’t be too concerned when aging eliquid but people aging liquor top off what went to the angels.

If you have a favorite flavor profile you like to add to your vanilla creams, custards, etc. like rum, bourbon, whisky, wine, for instance, you can first age the liquor in your barrel for 2 weeks before introducing your eliquid recipe. Also, the barrel will transform a relatively cheap bottle of liquor into a top shelf one. These barrels are primarily used for that reason and for people who like to make their own vanilla extract.

Here’s some instructions.

Your New Barrel

Keep your barrel shrink-wrapped, out of direct sunlight in a cool (55 - 60 degree) and optimally humid (65%-75%) area until ready to use.

Barrel Prep

Begin by rinsing out the barrel to remove any charred bits and pieces of wood that might have shaken loose in shipping. Using a rubber mallet, carefully tap in the spigot (just until snug) and refill the barrel with tap water. Fill the barrel with Water. It is normal for the barrel to drip until the wood has swelled. Once the dripping stops, keep the water in the barrel for an additional 24 hours to fully hydrate the staves. Empty and rinse again. Fill to the top with your favorite spirit. Using a twist, push and turn action place the bung/cork in tightly.


The length of time your spirits age and mellow in the barrel depends on personal taste. Small barrels will begin imparting oak flavor quickly - check every two to three weeks for taste and top off what has been lost to the angels’ share. When pleased with your results, pour into your favorite decanter or bottle and enjoy.

The Rule of Thumb for Aging in Smaller Barrels

Using a smaller sized barrel changes the amount of surface area or the amount of wood barrel in contents.T This larger ratio of wood to liquor has a direct impact on the flavor and length of the aging process and is the very reason that aging in a smaller barrel is much faster. For example, liquor can be aged out in four to six months when aging in a 20 L barrel versus years using the standard large 53-59 gallon barrel.

The rule of thumb for aging in smaller barrels:

 20 L Oak Barrel - four to six months

 10 L Oak Barrel - two to four months

 5 L Oak Barrel - four to six weeks

 2 L Oak Barrel - two to four weeks

 1 L Oak Barrel - one to two weeks

Check your barrels and their contents every couple of weeks - top off when necessary.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature also impacts the aging process due to the amount of oxidation that occurs at different temperatures. Higher temperatures accelerate this process while lower temperatures result in slower oxidation. Ideally there would be great variations between night and day temperatures. These fluctuations in temperature, along with changes in barometric pressure, have been shown to actually force the whiskey, wine or ale in and out of the wood, resulting in maximum flavor and character.

Oxygen enters a barrel when water or alcohol is lost due to evaporation - often called the “angels share”. In an environment with 100% relative humidity, very little water evaporates and so most of the loss is alcohol - a useful trick of one has a liquor or wine with very high proof. Most beverages are topped up from other barrels or bottles to prevent significant oxidation. With small barrels, it’s recommended to top off the barrel every one or two weeks.

In a nutshell …

  • Low Humidity - primarily water lost resulting in higher alcohol content. Dry air and higher temperatures will result in more water being lost (alcohol content goes up).

  • High Humidity - primarily alcohol lost resulting in losing the alcoholic strength of the product. When stored at 60% relative humidity or higher, primarily alcohol loss. Humid atmospheres with moderate temperatures will lead to more alcohol than water evaporating.

Additional Information

  • As the barrels are a wood product, they are subject to the wood drying and shrinking. Oak Barrels, Ltd. offers no guarantee against shrinkage.

  • In order for the spigot to flow freely, please remember to remove the bung/cork before you open the spigot … pour from the spigot … then close the spigot and finally … replace the bung/cork.

  • To keep your barrels performing and looking their best, please keep them stored in a protected area away from the elements and optimally in a cool and relatively humid area.

  • Barrels with painted black steel hoops are particularly susceptible to moisture. A little care goes a long way. Prevent excessive staining and rust by keeping the exterior of the barrel dry.

  • Avoid water stains by using a funnel to carefully fill your new barrel.

  • Sandpaper will generally remove any stains or marks on the barrel.

  • As the barrels are handcrafted, liquid volume is approximate.

  • You should be able to reuse your barrel from 3-5 times … remember that each aging will take longer than the previous one.

  • Please do not nail or put screws into the hoops or staves as doing so will compromise the oak and might cause damage that is not covered by our return policy.

  • If you want to age a different type of spirit then was initially aged in it, we recommend you use a new barrel.

  • For your safety, if using chemicals to clean/sanitize your barrels, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.


@ladycrooks the only thing I would change in those instructions is to use distilled water because everyone’s tap water is different and might not be so “clean”.


Yes yes yes yes yes yeeeeeeeeees!. Yes


If there’s no way to get it out, i don’t really know what to recommend… are you US based? In UK i got one from love brewing. Muth just with absolute goldmine of information


Is she saying that the plastic is a permanent installation? Maybe she mistakenly bought a decorative piece…rather than a functional oak barrel! Lol, @ladycrooks could you post the link to where you got your barrel?


@vapelordwolnir I am a little suspicious of the charred look on the outside of the barrel. Charring should be on the inside and Idk if it’s the lighting but it also has a sheen to it like a satin finish. I certainly hope that’s not some sort of varnish or polyurethane.


This is bookmarked!
So very interesting thanks alot @muth :melting_face:l
My mind is blown rn!


I was as well, but I didn’t want to assume or be the bearer of bad news… I’m often the messenger that gets shot at home :sweat_smile: after waiting a month and paying however much for it, one of the last things you’d want to hear is “wrong kind of barrel, can’t use it, buy a different one” …who knows maybe one day, I’ll make barrels for mixers looking to experiment


Wow, that would be great and that you have those skills. Very cool :+1:


You’re very welcome. I hope it works out well for you.


Self taught woodworker and carver with never “enough” tools and even less knowledge :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I wonder if I’m on some “spectrum” …i get very “fixated” until I learn what I want to learn or can do what I want to do. Previous life decided last minute not to go to some fancy music school.

I like the idea of making some kind of physical ELR resource cache for those in need or experimentation, seeing some of the super clever stuff others have done and made on here gives me hope for that.


No i already figured this one lol from china in a factory.probably wasn’t a.good one. I haven’t even tried to use it
It’s ok nothing surprises me when it comes to these mistakes I’ve been making lately…