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Old 09-03-2010, 08:09 PM   #1
B-Dub
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Default Barrel Project Bug Questions

A friend came by last night and tried the two barrels. Both are 5 years old and were used for white wine. I used BF2 on one and BF3 on the other. Both are quite tart and tasting very nice, at least to me. They are about 8 to 9 months old.

My friend is the lab manager for a large micro brewery. He thought I should get the beer out of the barrel now because the souring bugs, not brett, would continue to sour the beer due to the digestion of the wood itself. I have read that brett will continue to work on the cellulose in the wood but have not heard that lacto and pedio acted the same way. He also mentioned trying to “fix” the beer where it was to insure it did not move into a round of reduction that would then render it undrinkable for another 6 to 12 months.

I brought up my understanding of Cantillon’s production method and aging times. The counter was his understanding as told by sour producers here in the USA.

After all that we talked about the necessity to clean the barrel between batches. I was just going to package 30 gallons and rack fermented beer back in on top of the old beer, or maybe rack the last 30 gallons and rinse the barrel with fresh water and fill back up.

I am just looking for some insight to anyone’s experience as this is my first barrel project.

Thanks for the help.

BW

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Old 09-03-2010, 08:26 PM   #2
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I have no input, since I've not had the chance to do a barrel sour yet. It sounds like a kick though, and I'm sure I'll get around to it. Hope your question gets answered, but I'm betting your BBB thread gets a better response than this one does.

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Old 09-03-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
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Well, I am assuming your friend knows much more than me about microbiology, but I would have to disagree. I do believe the lacto and pedio will chomp on the sugars in teh wood, buch like brett, but I highly doubt there is enough sugar for them to sour the beer to a point where it would be over the top. I would have no reservations leaving the sour beer in the barrel for up to (and perhaps beyond) 3 years. At 8-9 months old, your beer is barely half the age it should be. Let it ride my friend.

As for cleaning it, you can. I wouldn't. Do yourself a favor and read up on the solera process. Mike T has a good write up on his blog.

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Old 09-03-2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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Yeah,

I have read all there is on print, blog and Petroglyph. He just threw me for a loop. After all he does know how RR, Lost Abbey and New Belgium all brew and sour there beers.

Not to worried, but looking for info.

Big fan of Mike's blog BTW.

BW

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