CROSS CUT STAVES FLAVOR SPIRITS 8X FASTER
Spirits can penetrate a traditional flat wood stave as deep as 1/2 the thickness of a human hair every 7 days. That's 1.97 thousandth of an inch. And that's good, that's why we like building barrels from oak, it's sturdy and the wood itself doesn't leak.
But, if you cross cut the stave to expose the end-grain then the alcohol will move into the wood more quickly. By exposing the end-grain we are exposing the wood's capillaries- now the veins that previously moved water and nutrients through the tree can flavor your alcohol more efficiently.
Spirits can penetrate a cross cut stave 15.76 thousandth of an inch every 7 days. That's 8x faster.
These tests were conducted by the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin.
Russ Karasch first patented cross cut wood back in 2002, so though this isn't a new concept it's still pretty helpful.
Beer and wine have a higher water ratio than spirits and will penetrate the wood even faster.