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About The Barrel Mill® and The Oak Infusion Spiral®

The Barrel Mill is a cooperage in Central Minnesota specializing in manufacturing premium oak barrels for the craft spirit industry. We are also the patent-holder and world producer of the Infusion Spiral® system. We use only the highest grade oak available to the industry, selected for uniform grain tightness and aged outdoors to achieve tannin reduction, proper moisture content and development of complex wood compounds. Our oak is seasoned for a minimum of 24 months.

Our family has been in the lumber business for more than 100 years. In 2004, we purchased the cooperage and applied our expertise and knowledge gained from nearly a century in wood and woodworking. Combined with extensive investments in new machinery with state-of-the-art technology we have built The Barrel Mill into a leading brand name that represents quality products for the beverage industry.

The Infusion Spiral is our patented system used to add flavor and aroma to fine wine, but also can be applied to whiskey, rum, tequila, and beer. It has been used in thousands of wines since 2005 with outstanding results from every major wine region in North America. The unique spiral-cut design creates unrivaled surface area in a small package, allowing fast extraction of the toasted oak's aroma and flavor compounds with refined integration in the wine.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs for quality wood products--for fine wine, beer, and spirits.

Learn more about The Barrel Mill here:

KOVAL Distillery Tours The Barrel Mill facility

Why the Infusion Spiral® system is the smartest oak alternative:

  • Low cost per gallon
  • Easy dosage adjustment
  • Eliminates labor, space, time and cost of new barrels
  • Adds refined new oak in weeks, not months
  • Stays fresh in its original protective plastic packaging in long term storage, if necessary
  • Four toast choices
  • Quickly masks a wine flaw
  • Adds new oak before bottling
  • Maximized cross-grain exposure speeds extraction and submersion into wine, adds layered complexity
  • Available from stock
  • Clean, tight-grained French oak from Vosges and American oak from Minnesota
  • Air-seasoned a minimum of 24 months
  • Choice of single-toast and multi-toast barrel packs
  • Years of proven results from producers at all levels: from fewer than 1000 cases to more than 500,000
  • Tank-size Oak Spiral packs available for Flextanks and stainless tanks

Economical

With the fluctuations in exchange rates and general inefficiencies barrels present to a winery, such as storage and handling of barrels, the Infusion Spiral® system is a much more economical solution to traditional cooperage. You will save real dollars without any compromise of final quality. The Infusion Spiral system is made in the USA.

Environmentally Friendly

The carbon footprint of traditional cooperage is difficult to estimate although it is significant. The storage of barrels requires warehouses which require heat, lighting etc. One French Oak tree produces approximately four barrels worth of hand-split stave wood. In contrast, a single tree produces more than 250 Infusion Spiral systems. Each system is equivalent to one barrel--without compromising quality.

Ease of Use

Whether using the Infusion Spiral system in a neutral barrel or a stainless steel or plastic tank, the process is simple. The system is encased in a food grade mesh and can easily be inserted through the bung of a barrel without having to remove the barrel head. Barrel Packs include six 9-inch lengths. For larger tanks, they are conveniently crafted into five 48-inch lengths encased in the same mesh, which can easily be introduced to the wine through the normal tank access point.

Infusion Spiral® Oak Varieties

French Oak - (Quercus Sessilis)

An ultra premium, fine grain oak void of sapwood, bark and knots and air dried for 24 months. Available in light, medium, medium plus, and heavy toast levels, and multi-toast barrel packs (Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone Blend). Convection toasted for thorough and uniform results.

American Northern White Oak - (Quercus Alba)

Featuring tight grain sourced from Missouri forests. This wood is void of sapwood, bark and knots and air dried for 24 months. This oak is available in light, medium, medium plus, and heavy toast levels with convection toasting used for thorough and uniform results.
The Infusion Spiral hybrid Barrel Pack combines French and American oak in a single package.

Eastern European Oak - (Quercus Sessilis)

In response to demand from winemakers, the Infusion Spiral system is now offering Barrel Packs made from Eastern European Oak.
Eastern European oak, specifically Slovakian oak, has been popular with winemakers because it is derived from the same species as French oak, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, but is priced more competitively. On the palate, its tight grain tends to impart a delicate spice character and softness to wine.

The Infusion Spiral system releases fresh, toasted oak compounds through its patented, spiral-cut, space-saving design. Flavors and aromas are extracted in an extremely short time frame, like with oak chips, but with results as refined and integrated as much longer aged tank staves. The abundance of cross-grain and parallel-grain exposure in the spiral design speeds extraction eight times faster than parallel-grain exposure associated with barrels and significantly faster than barrel staves, inserts, sticks, cubes, segments, blocks, beans, balls, dominoes and chains of oak. The spiral-cut design also enables oak to submerge quickly into wine, minimizing exposure to air and eliminating the need to use a supplementary weight. Tank-size packs of Infusion Spiral systems are also available for use in large wine volume applications.