the whisky lounge - a journal tracking a whisky maturation project involving a newly-acquired oak cask and a significant amount of patience

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Much Like a Zombie, I Want Your Brains

Fear not: I'm not interested in your brains for their tastiness. I said I was like a zombie, not that I was a zombie. I'm interested in your brains because they contain many interesting things that mine does not.

Take one reader, Will, who very kindly wrote in with a mathematical equation to calculate the surface-area to volume ratio (though this is for a cylinder, so it's a tad off, he says; I understand math scarcely at all, so I take his word for it):

A/V = 2(r+h)/rh = 2(4.5/2 + 6.5)/(4.5*6.5/2) = 17.5/14.625 = 1.197/inch, or 0.471/cm.

That's for a 1-litre cask. A 200 litre cask has a ratio of 0.233.../in, or 0.0919/cm, which is, as Will says, much smaller.

Or take my friends who are aficionados of making beer and cider at home. In speaking with them about the project, we got to wondering what it would be like to do things like brew a batch of beer (maybe an IPA) and oaking it, with hops tossed straight into the cask, or what cider would be like after maturation in a barrel. I think it would be like an apple jack or maybe a calvados, though I don't really know. Well worth trying, I think. One of my friends got a glint in his eye which only ever appears when he believes he has a cunning plan. I think we'll see a barrel or three at his place in the near future, hopefully filled with sweet, delicious beverages for the sharing...

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