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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I saw this video while visiting the Guinness Brewery in Dublin last week and was astounded at the skills of the coopers who used to produce their barrels. After all of our discussions on angles, tolerances, and precision cutting, it is interesting to see what was accomplished with rough tools and no measuring. Perhaps more amazing is that the cooperage produced over 1,000 barrels a week. Take a look.

How did Barrels in Ireland in old times - YouTube

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 06:58 PM
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Neat

I should have been a cooper then Guinness could have had square barrels.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 08:30 AM
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Oliver, Thanks for posting that - it is a really cool fast-paced video. I imagine some of those skills took years to develop - truly amazing! All phases of the construction are interesting, but I was especially intrigued with the steam process!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 08:51 AM
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Otis is right about taking years to develop such skills. I have a few English friends who worked in the machinist field. They had years of apprenticeship under the watchful eye of the "masters" before becoming a journeyman in their trade. I called a guy in Atlanta about a course he taught "hand tools only" but couldn't afford his $1500 for the week.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 03:20 PM
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Great video, but the guy that was narrating it was totally wrong. He kept saying 'water tight', when he should have been saying 'beer tight'.

If they put out 1,000 barrels a month, what happened to the used ones, just dump them, or send them back for refills. They always leave out stuff like that.

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.....Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 02:17 PM
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Don't know for sure but my guess is that because the beer/whiskey permeates the wood it might become rancid before being used for a new batch. There is one company advertising that they have developed a method for getting their product out of the wood. I believe they call it "Devils Cut".
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 03:04 PM
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I heard that charcoal was invented / developed by Henry Ford. He is the man that put the Ford in KingsFORD. As it was told on television HF did it as a way to prevent waste from accumulating. Maybe whiskey barrels can be made into charcoal that needs no lighter fluid <haha>.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 04:38 PM
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Remember that woodworking was done entirely with hand tools. I enjoy going into antique shops and looking at some of the work done over 100 years ago. I've seen some furniture and cabinetry that it is extremely difficult to see the miter joints and butt joints.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyk View Post
Don't know for sure but my guess is that because the beer/whiskey permeates the wood it might become rancid before being used for a new batch. There is one company advertising that they have developed a method for getting their product out of the wood. I believe they call it "Devils Cut".
Don't know about wooden beer barrels, but wooden whiskey barrels, no. I saw something awhile back about one of the Scottish whiskey companies. They buy once used American whiskey barrels (some law they can't use them more than once, sounds like more stupid politician stuff), take them apart, ship them to Scotland, reassemble them, and put their whiskey in them to age. Don't know if they're used again after that or not.

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Gather the villagers, pitchforks, torches; we march at dusk!
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
Don't know about wooden beer barrels, but wooden whiskey barrels, no. I saw something awhile back about one of the Scottish whiskey companies. They buy once used American whiskey barrels (some law they can't use them more than once, sounds like more stupid politician stuff), take them apart, ship them to Scotland, reassemble them, and put their whiskey in them to age. Don't know if they're used again after that or not.
Yes, they are used more than once. I just came back from a tour of the Irish Whiskey distilleries and the host at Bushmills said they use them up to three times. Considering the whiskey has to stay in a barrel a minimum of three years, they clearly get some use out of them. As to the water/alcohol tightness, the barrels lose about 2% of volume per year ... The 'angels share' as it is called. This photo from the Jameson Distillery shows the amount left in the barrels at roughly new, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. One of the reasons the older stuff gets so pricey.

Dragons slain. Damsels rescued. No reasonable request refused ... unless the dragon's really big.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~Oscar Wilde

http://profhenrys.blogspot.com
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