THE HISTORY OF
& COOPERING IN BUNDABERG
1970, Dave Schmeider gained a four-year apprenticeship with the
Bundaberg Rum Distillery. His trade involved the repairing the old kegs used for the
transportation of the rum and from time to time, he also helped with the
construction and maintenance work on the large maturation vats.
Dave was the last cooper to learn the
trade at the Rum Distillery, and In the early
1980's, the Rum Distillery installed their bottling plant so the trade then
died as all the rum was bottled before shipment. As Dave loved his
trade, he decided to see if he could keep it alive by starting his own business. With his
wife Pam, Schmeider's Cooperage began on the 7th November, 1982.
Starting with a small workshop at the rear of their home, the trade was once again alive.
Over the past 25 years, Schmeider's Cooperage has gained
in both size and recognition. Dave has trained a number of
apprentices, and it is now this former employee that keeps the trade alive
as he now run the business, which has changed its name to BUNDY KEGS. Dave
is now kept busy with 4 full time labourers installing new American Oak
maturation vats at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, and with the upkeep of
At Bundy Kegs, this unique trade can be watched
daily as the coopers make their barrels in the workshop and the full
process can also be seen on video. A large selection of finished kegs,
keg furniture and accessories are aavailable in our bar room and our friendly staff are only to pleased to answer
any questions about our product or the trade.
Bundy Kegs, you can sample some of Queensland's finest wines.
Free tastings and cellar door sales are available
daily and you can select from the ranges of the following wineries -
RIVERSANDS VINEYARD - ST. GEORGE
WONBAH WINERY - MT. PERRY
BRIERLEY WINES - CHILDERS
ROMAVILLA WINERY - ROMA
TROPICAL FRUIT WINES -
3 x 3 1ltr cask on Stand Walnut
Left: Jarrah Stain
Right: Walnut Stain
Left: Jarrah Stain
Middle: Walnut Stain Right: Teak Stain
GREAT RECIPE IDEAS FOR YOUR KEG
Over the years, we have heard many strange and wonderful
recipes that people have used & discovered in their casks. Our
American White Oak casks are suitable for any fortified wine, i.e.- Port,
Muscat, Sherry or Spirit.
Whatever you put into your cask, the flavour will
improve. The oak will mature and smooth out the contents. Most cheaper
priced ports have been stored in fibreglass or stainless still containers,
so you will quickly notice a marked improvement after storing in your Oak
cask. The nicer the Port (and usually the more expensive) means that the
winery has stored it longer in Oak. You can of course achieve this
yourself by starting with the cheaper Port, storing it in your cask, and by
adding other fortified wines or spirit. Maturation works very fast in
the smaller kegs and in a 4 litre cask, a cheap port will be starting mature
within 4 to 6 weeks. Similarly, an 8 litre will see vast improvements
within 6 to 8 weeks, and a 20 litre keg will take about 3 to 4 months.
The most popular blend is Port and
Rum. Famous from the seafaring days of old, it is a traditional winter
warmer, and of course, helps give you a good night sleeps. It is best
to start with small quantities when adding. You can then add more to
your own taste if required. We recommend starting with 1/2 cup to 4
litres, but some people do prefer half and half.
Other popular additives are
brandy, Muscat liqueur, rum liqueur and green ginger wine.
Spirits, such as Rum, Scotch and
Bourbon will also improve in an oak cask. The spirit well become
mellower with age. Please make sure you can't leave your spirit in the
cask for too long without touching it. If it is left for too long (six
to twelve months), it can go to the other extreme and have too much wood
flavouring. We recommended once you have your contents to a matured
flavour you like, start drinking and top up your cask regularly. The
other alternative is to decant the contents into a bottle, and you can then
start maturing another blend in you keg while you drink from the bottle,
(but please use a glass!!!). Once you decant into a bottle, the contents
will stay at that maturation point.
We hope you enjoy your cask and
experiment and try different recipes. The main rule in what you can
try is that if it doesn't goes off in a bottle, then it won't do the same in
the casks. We still feel our best recipe was half a cask of port
topped up with leftover from a party, which included fortified wines and
spirits. Please let us know if you come up with any interesting blends and
ideas, but most of all, have some serious fun!!!!
From top: Natural, Teak, Walnut,