There are many types of wooden barrels that can be used for different purposes. Some examples include:
- Whiskey barrels: These are typically made from American white oak and are used for aging whiskey.
- Wine barrels: These are also made from oak and are used for aging wine. The oak imparts flavor and tannins to the wine, and the barrel can also help to oxygenate the wine.
- Beer barrels: These barrels are used by breweries to age and flavor beer. They are made from a variety of woods, including oak, chestnut, and cherry.
- Rain barrels: These are used to collect rainwater for irrigation and other outdoor activities. They are usually made from plastic, but can also be made from wood.
- Shipping barrels: These are used to ship goods, such as food products, chemicals and other industrial goods. They are often made from plastic, but can also be made from wood.
- Storage barrels: These barrels are used for storing a variety of materials such as food, chemicals and other industrial goods. They are often made from plastic, but can also be made from wood.
What is the difference between oak barrels and containers?
There are a few key differences between oak barrels and containers that are used for storing and aging wine, whiskey, and other beverages.
- Material: Oak barrels are made from oak wood, while containers are typically made from stainless steel, plastic, or other materials.
- Size: Oak barrels are typically smaller than containers, with a capacity of around 59 gallons (225 liters) for a standard wine barrel. Containers, on the other hand, can range in size from small tanks to large shipping containers, with capacities of several thousand gallons.
- Impact on flavor: Oak barrels can impart unique flavors and aromas to the liquid stored inside them, due to the tannins, lignins and other compounds that are extracted from the wood over time. Containers, on the other hand, do not have this effect, though they can keep the content from external elements or oxigen.
- Aging: Oak barrels are typically used for aging wines, whiskies, and other beverages for a period of several months to several years. Containers can be used for aging, but the aging process is usually faster because of the different level of oxygen permeability and wood’s specific enzymes.
- Cost: Oak barrels are more expensive than containers because they are crafted by hand and require more maintenance, but it can pay off in terms of flavor and quality.
- Transportation: Oak barrels are heavy and fragile, they need a proper handling and protection when transporting, containers on the other hand are more durable and less expensive.
It’s worth noting that, while oak barrels are traditionally used for aging and flavoring certain beverages, many wineries and distilleries also use stainless steel tanks and other containers for storing and aging their products. The choice between an oak barrel and a container may depend on the desired flavor profile of the final product, the budget and logistic considerations.