SQUARRELS USE 1/3 THE WOOD OF A TRADITIONAL BARREL
which is the exact amount of wood a barrel actually needs
The Squarrel square barrel shape was designed around the ability to use stave wood that would otherwise be destined for the wood chipper. The most common piece of scrapped stave wood is 15 inches long as it is too small for even a barrel head and therefore doesn't have a use in the traditional barrel world.
But, this wood is still really great wood! It is still the same perfect, high quality wood that traditional barrels are made from. This concept allows us to have a positive impact on wood use by minimizing tradition barrel makers' wood waste.
And this is the kicker- only 20-30% of the wood in a traditional barrel actually provides wood flavors. Yes, spirits need that micro-oxygenation to occur (which still occurs in the Squarrel), but the majority of wood in a traditional barrel is used solely for structural support.
Barrels have been made the same way for over 2000 years, but now that we're running low on suitable oak doesn't it make more sense to use our oak tree resource only, and exactly, where it's needed most?
CROSS CUT STAVES age 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.
LOOK AT THOSE PEAKS
have your beer & keg it too
this is for you, brewers!
Did you know that you can hook the Squarrel directly to your tap line with the Sanke-ed cap? Well, you can! Or, you can treat it like a Firkin and serve directly from the sample valve port.
And when you've kicked the the keg, just sanitize the frame and start again. You could even start with a sour and then move on to a stout if that floats your boat.
And if sours are up your alley, you can simply move a well cultured stave from one Squarrel to another to get the next round started. We've got you covered with lots of different accessories, from Sanke-ed caps, to mesh infusion baskets, to CIP spray balls. If you can dream it we can (most likely) build it.