© 2018 by Squarrel Barrel

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email: sales@squarrelbarrels.com - call: 218-755-7170

THE SQUARREL SQUARE BARREL

Minnesota barrel cooper Russ Karasch invented the Squarrel Square Barrel as a solution to an Oak tree shortage. 

Russ had already been toying with production of a square Oak barrel, but when he was unable to source Oak for his traditional barrels he realized there was a way to create a barrel that doesn’t rely on wood for its structural shape: a barrel that uses wood only where it is actually needed and truly valuable. 

Russ- already the inventor of the wood spiral, the honeycomb insert, and the grooved barrel- had this epiphany: 

What if a smaller piece of wood could be used?

What if the structure of the barrel was reusable?

What if we could use less wood to build a barrel?

Do people realize only 30% of a traditional barrel’s wood creates flavors?

Perhaps one of the first disruptive barrel technologies since the Celts invented the wooden barrel some 2000 years ago, Squarrels are designed to bring the barrel into the 21st century. 
WHY CHOOSE A SQUARREL?
SQUARRELS ARE DESIGNED TO BE CUSTOMIZED

Because every stave is chosen separately, every Squarrel can be tailored to your precise flavor desires. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

CROSS CUT STAVES WORK 8 TIMES + FASTER

Exposing the wood’s end-grain moves your product into the wood more rapidly. This was patented by Russ in 2011 and has been used world-wide since.

SQUARREL STAVES ARE FUNDAMENTALLY MORE CONSISTENT

The Squarrel’s stave shape makes our process inherently more controllable, our treatments more reliable, and your selection more dependable.

SQUARREL STAVES ARE MORE ECO FRIENDLY

All Squarrel wood is sustainably sourced to minimize the industry’s wood waste in order to maximize the use of a natural resource.

 
SHIPMENT COSTS
ARE REDUCED

Replacement staves are shipped in flat boxes right to your door, minimizing costs and our carbon emissions impact.

SQUARRELS CAN 
HOLD PRESSURE

Tap the Squarrel just like a conventional keg with the sankey spear attachment or use this feature to apply pressure and minimize the need to top off.

SANITIZATION 
IS A BREEZE

Easily mitigate the potential for contamination by baking the staves in an oven to get a thoroughly sterile environment.

SQUARE FRAMES
STACK TOGEHTER

The frames nest together and can even be bolted into place for extra security. The 10-gallons nest together while the 30 and 60-gallons nest interchangeably.

Customization

CREATE YOUR IDEAL BARREL
Mix and match woods, toasts, chars and treatments to create your own unique flavor profile.
 
World Wide Wood Chart Link

 

From alternative wood species to unique treatments, you can be creative every time or you can be creative consistently- that’s the beauty of the independent stave.

 

With each Squarrel you can make the following customizations: 

  • Wood  

  • Stave Style

  • Toast Level

  • Char Level *optional

 

Squarrel Vs. Traditional

COMPARING SQUARREL BARRELS AND TRADITIONAL BARRELS
 
Squarrels are designed to provide an equivalent environment to a traditional barrel. They offer equivalent micro-oxygenation and they still provide that cherished exchange between the wood, and the liquid it houses. 

 

Chemical Compounds

The spirit of the barreling process remains unchanged, as illustrated by the Gas Chromatograph here. 

 

This GC shows the chemical compounds created from distillation and barrel time- both barrels release similar compounds. 

Red line: 41-day old rye whiskey in a Squarrel barrel

Blue line: 300-day rye whiskey in a traditional barrel

 
SQUARREL BARREL
  1. Steel structure is reusable, sanitary & sustainable

  2. All of the wood affects the chemistry and flavor

  3. Built from the same high quality wood

  4. Staves maximize the use of natural resources

  5. Staves can be sanitized by baking in an oven

  6. Squarrels stack, fits 2x as many Squarrels 

  7. Pressurize, tap like a keg, minimize top offs

  8. Cross cut staves work 8x faster

  9. Replace staves as needed

  10. Replacement staves are shipped in small boxes

TRADITIONAL BARREL
  1. Most of the wood is needed for structure

  2. Only 20-30% of the barrel affects the flavor

  3. Built from 80+ year old oak trees

  4. Less than half of the oak tree can be used

  5. Hard to clean, high potential for contamination

  6. Requires racking 

  7. Needs regular maintenance

  8. Longer aging times

  9. Higher replacement costs

  10. Requires significant logistics effort & cost

Squarrel Specs & Anatomy

10 GALLON

45 Lbs.

13" x 13" x 27"

30 GALLON

80 Lbs.

22" x 22" x 25"

60 GALLON

130 Lbs.

22" x 25" x 50"

ANATOMY OF A SQUARREL
6” Tri Clamp Cap
For easy infusions, easy clean-ups, and easy accessory customization
and put the Squarrel under pressure/tap like a keg
Square Shape
For stacking and maximizing space
Stainless 304
Stainless steel frame 304 for pressurizing and sanitization
Stainless Steel Screws
Star headed stainless steel wood screws for easily applying/removing staves
Tri Clamp Drain
1.5” tri clamp sample drain port or 6” tri camp bottom on 60-gallon Squarrels
Steel Bands
For added strength. The Squarrel can hold 1.5 bars or 21 psi
Stave Gaskets
EPDM, NSF International certified
Multiple Staves
Add multiple stave types in one barrel
Squarrel Family
A family of squarrels to choose from
Show More
PATENTS # 9,212,343 & #9,885,010
 

Squarrels

10-gallon full wood- 12 staves

10-gallon half wood- 6 staves

30-gallon full wood- 20 staves

30-gallon half wood- 10 staves

60-gallon full wood- 40 staves

60-gallon half wood- 20 staves

Accessories

 
 
6" Tri-Clamp Cap with 1.5" Tri-Clamp
6" Tri-Clamp Cap with 1.5" Tri-Clamp Reducer
Sankey, PRV & Tri
6” tri clamp cap with sankey spear and safety PRV via .25” NPT and 1.5” tri clamp reducer
Sankey & PRV
6” tri clamp cap with sankey spear and safety PRV via .25” NPT
CIP
1.5” tri clamp cap with CIP spray ball via .75” NPT reducer
Sample Valve
1.5” tri clamp sample valve
Show More

Using the Barrel

THE PROOF IS IN THE PRODUCT

A barrel’s wood- and its relation to its external environment- is what makes a barrel perform the way it does. When we contain a liquid product (e.g., booze) in a slightly porous vessel (e.g., wood) we allow microscopic amounts of oxygen to travel inside through the wood (micro oxygenation) while simultaneously allowing small amounts of liquid to evaporate. This is the process of the barrel, and it’s also the process of the Squarrel.

End-Grain

End grain exposure is at the heart of this concept as it provides the increased extraction rates. Every Squarrel stave has a small amount of end grain exposure- because the top and the bottom of all staves are exposed to the product inside- but it is the cross cutting action that intensifies this concept.

 

Rapid Aging:

Cross cut staves are proven to work 8x+ faster than flat staves. Cross cutting means several rows of shallow grooves are cut against the wood’s grain. This exposes the ‘end grain’ and it opens access to the wood’s capillaries in order to allow the product to move into the wood in a different, and effective, style.This increased speed of extraction allows maturation to begin earlier, speeding the overall aging process.

 

The Math Behind the Cross Cut Stave:

{120 proof spirit}

 

FLAT WOOD

1.97 thousands of an inch every 7 days

That’s about ½ the thickness of a human hair each week 

 

CROSS CUT WOOD

15.67 thousandths of an inch every 7 days 

That’s about 4 human hairs

These tests were conducted by the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin.

Beer and wine have a higher ratio of water than spirits and they will move into the wood even more quickly. Our tests have shown that a product with 10% alcohol will move about 12-16x faster into a cross cut stave. Stay tuned for more details, we’re currently conducting additional research.

 

Cross cut wood can be a great tool for aging spirits and the additional surface area is useful when souring beers- but otherwise we recommend using mostly flat staves when aging wines and (most) beers.

 

The size of the barrel also plays a role. A 10-gallon Squarrel will provide quicker rates than a 30-gallon Squarrel- while the 30 and the 60-gallon Squarrels have the same geometry and will age at the same rates. 

 

Based on your initial product and your desired goals- temperature, surface area, oxygenation, yeast will increase flavor extraction rates while pH and ABV (generally) decrease extraction rates.

 
 
 

Sustainability

Squarrels use 1/3 the wood of a traditional barrel. Which is the exact amount of wood a barrel needs to provide equivalent micro-oxygenation to a traditional barrel of the same volume.

The Squarrel's square barrel shape was designed around the ability to use stave wood that would otherwise be destined for the wood chipper. In a cooperage, the most common piece of scrapped stave wood is ~15 inches. While perfect for a Squarrel, it is too small for a traditional barrel's head and therefore doesn't have much use in the conventional barrel world. ​

 

The Squarrel stave wood is sourced from the same high-quality wood used in traditional barrels- it's just smaller.

 

Using this wood minimizes industry waste and creates a positive impact on our natural resources.

 

DID YOU KNOW...

  • 1 Oak tree has enough wood for 1-3 traditional Oak barrels

  • 20-30% of the barrel wood creates flavor

  • Most of the barrel wood is simply structural

  • Less than 1/2 of an American Oak tree can even be used

CALL US: 218-775-7170