Finding Used 5 Gallon Whiskey Barrels for Your Homebrew!

Pictured: Used 5 Gallon Whiskey Barrels via Adventures in Homebrewing

Used 5 gallon whiskey barrels are very popular for homebrewers.  Brewers use them to age stouts and porters, age other beer styles, make sour beers and more.

This is one case of a smaller item being more coveted than a larger one.  Most distilleries use larger 10 and 15 and… up – like 53 gallons sort of up.  As you can imagine, most homebrewers don’t want to find a place for a 15 or 53 gallon barrel in their home.  Also, most don’t have the ability to brew 53 gallons to keep one of these behemoths full.  Beyond being sought after for their reasonable size, there is also a supply issue.  As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t a standard size for commercial distilleries.  That means supply is relatively low on the 5 gallon size.

Some sources for used 5 gallon whiskey barrels:

  • Used 5 Gallon Whiskey Barrels – via Adventures in Homebrewing.  One of the better spots to pick up a barrel.  Pricing and availability vary, but AIH can have some of the best pricing on used 5 gallon whiskey barrels.  It’s hard to find barrels in stock, let alone find them in stock and on sale.  Somehow AIH is able to periodically pull both off.
  • Used 5 Gallon Oak Whiskey Barrels – via William’s Brewing
  • Used 5 Gallon Whiskey Barrel – via Amazon

I’m not suggesting any of those are deals at any particular time.  Just places that MAY have used 5 gallon barrels in stock.

Other Options:

  • Used Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Staves via Adventures in Homebrewing.  These are are from Kentucky bourbon barrels and are a great way to get some the barrel experience at a reasonable cost and with no space or storage issues.
  • Oak Infusion Spirals via William’s Brewing.  Multiple toast levels are available
  • Search for recent barrel deals and finds – check each product page for current price and availability.
  • Great Fermentations periodically has 5, 10 and 15 gallon barrels from various distilleries including Dad’s Hat Rye Barrels, Journeyman Silver Cross and Journeyman Brandy Barrels – seeing these in stock is pretty rare in my experience.  If you see something you like and it’s in stock, I wouldn’t wait too long to make the order.
  • Beyond being one of the best sources for used 5 gallon barrels, AIH also, periodically, has other offerings available including Sons of Liberty Barrels, FEW Spirts Barrels, Single Malt Barrels and more.  Those very in sizes including 5, 10, 15 and 30 gallon barrels.  Search Barrel.  Check out the Oak Barrel Page at AIH to see what current stock.
  • MoreBeer doesn’t generally offer used barrels.  They have a good selection of new barrels, but they don’t seem to be big into used barrels.  One really cool offering they do have that is related to used barrels is… MoreBeer has worked closely with Russian River on their Russian River Kits including Pliny and Blind Pig.  These recipes aren’t clones in that they are directly from the brewery.  So much so, that their Consecration kits actually have chunks of real Consecration Barrels included with them.  From MoreBeer: “we actually include chunks of oak from actual Consecration barrels with each kit. Periodically we get a call from Vinnie that they are bottling Consecration and that we can come pick up some of the used barrels.”  Because of this, these kits can have some availability problems.  Really cool!  Extract and All Grain – via MoreBeer

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