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Zach
04/16/09 06:13 PM  
virgin barrel use
I'm a long time Babble belt lurker. I kind of feel like I already know many of you but you don't know me. So hello. I recently got a hold of some freshly emptied wine barrels (both french oak, one standard 60 gallon and one Burgundy 50-? gallon). My plan is to use them for aging a Flanders Red and either a Lambic style or a Pale Flanders (similar Petrus Aged Pale). Would it be a mistake to use them for primary fermentation without racking? I understand this is traditional in lambic production but that Flanders beers are usually primaried in SS then transferred for aging. I'm also curious about pitching rate for bugs. I made 15 gallons of flanders red last year with the roeselare blend that is still aging but seems to have a good flavor and aroma profile. But 12 smack packs per barrel is a tough financial pill to swallow. I could build up form fewer packs but am worried about messing up the ratio of organisms by propagating too much. Any advice? Oh yeah if it matters I like my sour beer really sour.

Sorry for the long first post, lots of questions...

Al B
04/16/09 06:32 PM  
Re: virgin barrel use
wow. ok.

You could build up a fruity yeast like Belgian wheat for initial fermentation. Add a pouch of lambicus, lacto & pedio. That's 35$ or so. That's basically a Roeselare blend.

Al Burgundy

Al B
04/16/09 09:31 PM  
Re: virgin barrel use
Now that I think about it ....<<Oh yeah if it matters I like my sour beer really sour.>>..... why not just propagate 1 Rosey pouch by stepping up a few batches (which will get more sour over generations). Do a 5 gal, then blah blah blah, you get the picture.

Since you want a real sour beer, no need to worry about "balanced populations".

Are both burgundy barrels? Man, if one was a chardonnay I'd do a lambic for that. I kinda hoping the Bruery did that for my Batch 50 brew......

Zach
04/16/09 11:26 PM  
Re: virgin barrel use
Only one is a Burgundy barrel but both of them held red wines previously. I like the idea about just stepping up by brewing consecutive batches since I'll need to brew 3-4 times to fill each barrel.
BPotts
04/16/09 11:54 PM  
Re: virgin barrel use
I filled a couple of cab sauvignon barrels not too long ago. Did a pretty traditional based red recipe, mostly vienna malt, some munich, cara munich, cara vienne, wheat, malted wheat, maize... primaried in SS and racked right into barrels after rigorous fermentation. So, I left a majority of the yeast in the fermenter, but there was still lots in suspension. Added a starter of bugs from cantillons and stuff in the barrels when racking. still a little to young to predict results but I tasted a couple months in and it was already showing signs of good funkification.

as far as primary fermenting in barrels, that's what lambic producers do... but I don't think flemish red has been made that way for a pretty long time.

BPotts
04/16/09 11:58 PM  
Re: virgin barrel use
Virgin is a bit of a misnomer... how long did the barrels hold the wine??
zach
04/17/09 06:17 PM  
Re: virgin barrel use
They,ve been used twice for wine. I guess I was referring to myself as the virgin;{
 
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