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Old 03-11-2009, 02:47 PM   #1
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Default Oak Barrels, will they hold pressure?

I have been wanting to get an oak barrel for aging purposes and I have also had this little dream of walking over to the fridge and undoing the spout and pouring a nice beer out of an oak cask after a hard days work. But I have never seen anyone talk about these casks holding pressure, so I don't know how much if any carbonation they could withstand. From a standpoint of their construction I know the sidewalls could handle an immense amount of pressure, but the end caps I am not so sure how they are secured.

Has anyone ever used one of these for serving carbonated beer?

http://cgi.ebay.com/10L-Oak-Wood-Woo...3A1%7C294%3A50

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
But I have never seen anyone talk about these casks holding pressure, so I don't know how much if any carbonation they could withstand. From a standpoint of their construction I know the sidewalls could handle an immense amount of pressure, but the end caps I am not so sure how they are secured.
I don't think the barrel in your link can hold much pressure.
Look at my barrel, made for dispensing carbonated German beers.
The walls and caps use 1-1/4" wood.
Compare the walls to my Wine/ Whiskey barrel, 1/2" wood.
My bier barrel has a coating inside to prevent wood flavors.

German Beer Barrel


Wine or Whiskey barrel


Old traditional way of coating a barrel


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Old 03-11-2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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So yours will hold pressure. Ok, cool. Thanks for the info. Off on the search I go for thick staved barrels.

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
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Wood casks are only used for low-carbonation ales (which is to say CO2 @ only 1 atm). Nothing wrong with that, the whole cult of real ales is based on flat beer.

If you are just looking for "cool", get a Party Pig and build a cask around it.

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Old 03-12-2009, 12:07 AM   #5
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What are they coating those barrels with?
Doesn't look like anything I would want to drink from.

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Old 03-12-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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They char the inside. Not sure what they are using in that picture. I have heard that they actually build a small fire in the larger barrels as they build them to fully char the inside.

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Old 03-12-2009, 02:17 AM   #7
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What are they coating those barrels with
Natural tree resin
The new method uses a machine sprayer and rolling machine to coat the inside.

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Doesn't look like anything I would want to drink from.
It's safe and all barrels are sanitized.

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They char the inside. Not sure what they are using in that picture. I have heard that they actually build a small fire in the larger barrels as they build them to fully char the inside.
Barrel toasting applies to wine & whiskey barrels not German beer barrels.

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Old 03-12-2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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In days of yore, beer barrels were internally coated with resin or pitch to prevent imparting oak flavor or tannin for things like transportation by boat from Burton-on-Trent to India.

Wine and Whiskey barrels are toasted to caramelize the sugars in the oak and encourage oak contribution. Toasting barrels has become quite the science in the past 5 years, but its nothing you'd want in a beer.

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Old 03-12-2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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I have seen barrels being hand built and charred a while back on TV. I think it was Discovery channel or something. Very cool to watch.

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Old 03-12-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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They don't much hold pressure, the bungs will pop and if enough is applied then the barrel will explode. I work at a winery and we have a steam machine to clean. We were warned to make sure not to turn the pressure up too high otherwise we will explode a barrel and send shrapnel everywhere. Granted I am talking a whole lot of pressure. If you are going to do it then you are going to want to pressurize low as said above and make sure to drive a wooden bung into the bunghole (a bitch to get out though).

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