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Old 02-07-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
milldoggy
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All,
I got a unused barrel from cl, 10 gallon. I will be using it for wild beer. Right now it is soaking to swell. I was wondering, should I mixed up 2 lbs of barrelklean and clean it before the first use or just drain the swelling water and fill with beer? I have changed the water i am using it to swell every 5 days. I know i should do it more often, but i have not been home. At the moment it is only seeping a tad. I am going to try the hot water method tonight. As for cleaning, I am worried the barrelklean will pull to much oak out.

Thoughts? The morebeer guide does not mention initial cleaning, but other info does.

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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Well tonight I heated water to try to swell the barrel and wax came out. Looks like it is a paraffin waxed barrel. What if I filled it with boiling water, will this remove most of the wax so I get some oak flavor? Or should I just roll with it for the first batch and see what happens?

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Old 02-08-2012, 01:43 AM   #3
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Check out this thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/i-le...happen-301243/

You might want to PM noodle23, he works at a winery and may have some good information.

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:34 AM   #4
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If its a paraffin waxed barrel, there is almost certainly no use for it in brewing a wild beer. The bugs will not be able to enter and take up residence in the wood. No air will exchange through the wood. And, no flavor would be imparted. I believe your only option would be to dismantle the barrel completely, scrape the wax from inside of the barrel, sand down a layer (at least 1/8 inch?), and then reassemble the barrel.

This would render the barrel closer to a new oak barrel, which would result in way more oak tannins entering your beer than desired. You would likely have to age some dummy beer in the barrel for a time, and then dump it and go through a series of washes with boiling water (and steam if you can).

If I were you, I'd call it a lesson learned and get a new barrel. This time look for a used barrel (preferably wine). If you get a liquor barrel, and don't want too much of the liquor flavor to be imparted, I would fill the barrel with water and let it soak for a few weeks occasionally changing the water.

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