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Rob B
11/16/09 02:32 PM  
Barrel Aging?
So myself and another BBB'er and probably a select few from our homebrew club would like to age some sour beers in a used bourbon barrel. The barrel had a porter aged in it previously and I am storing water in it to remove some more of the bourbon character. My question is this, how important will temperature control be? We are in New Mexico and my barrel resides in my non-climate controlled workshop. It can get below freezing in the winter and around 95F or so in the summer. Just wondering if we should pitch into the barrel in late winter as temps start to rise again.
BPotts
11/16/09 03:26 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
You certainly don't want to risk the freezing of your beer.

With that said, I just bottled two 55 gal pinot noir barrels worth of barleywine, which have been sitting since 1/23. The temp in the brewery easily can get down into the 40's overnight during the middle of winter (which last through January here) and up to 100 degrees when we're brewing in the summer. I was conerned about the wide ranging temps, but, the beer tastes great. I wouldn't be terribly concerned about anything except getting below freezing.

ErikH
11/16/09 06:11 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
Hm. Similar to wine barrels, maybe you are risking infection by leaving it full of water? What about using a product like Barrolkleen to reduce the character, or at least filling with a mild sanitizer like potassium metabisulfate?
Rob B
11/16/09 06:56 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
I have that in there
Rob B
11/17/09 04:54 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
Follow up question...

I was reading Jim Liddil article on lambics and it recommends stripping all the character from the barrel using sodium carbonate, repeat several times then neutralize the pH with citric acid. Where can I get sodium carbonate?

Mike T
11/17/09 05:30 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
The internet or a hardware store would be good places to check for washing soda.

Personally I would just do a beer that could stand up to a more agressive barrel, and save the lambic for a wine barrel.

brewinhard
11/17/09 06:49 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
Isn't sodium carbonate the same thing as baking soda? Or is that sodium bicarbonate?
BPotts
11/17/09 08:51 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
Agreed with Mike. Might as well put some beer in there that can benefit from the barrels effects, and at the same time minimize the flavor of the barrel in the future. The aforementioned barrels I talked of were filled with barleywine, now I plan to fill with RIS, and maybe next time it will be ready for something funky...
BPotts
11/17/09 08:55 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
Agreed with Mike. Might as well put some beer in there that can benefit from the barrels effects, and at the same time minimize the flavor of the barrel. The aforementioned barrels I talked of were filled with barleywine, now I plan to fill with RIS, and maybe next time it will be ready for something funky...
tripel beem
11/19/09 12:47 AM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
Rob don't use citric for neutralizing, use tartaric (citric will be metabolized easily and can create problems). Rob I've got my barrel and It's still empty because I was worried about temp control too...and I live in CA. Ha. Maybe, it's time to brew.
Rob B
11/19/09 02:36 PM  
Re: Barrel Aging?
I think we have decided to fill it with a wee heavy after primary fermentation and add brett bugs. The bit of bourbon and oak should work well with it and then maybe we will try a flanders red.
 
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