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Old 08-03-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default Leaky Barrel. Plus Mold.

I am not sure there is anything I can do at this point but I'm sharing anyway. If you have ideas, I'll hear them. If you have "sorry's' ... you can stuff those sorry's in a sack!

I've had this 10L oak barrel for a few years. First I used it to make an oaked imperial stout (very good results). Then, a few gravity cask ales (OK results).
I had been storing it for a long time with some cheap whiskey in it to keep it as sterile as possible. A few months ago I drained the whiskey, rinsed it, and added a half bottle of red wine. It had been stored that way for a few months.

Brewed 5 galllons of flanders red and put half of it in this barrel after 2 months. The thing showed no sign of leaking with the other fluids in it, but of course, they didn't fill the barrel. So, it started leaking. And now, it's growing mold!



I have not yet tasted the beer inside but most likely I'll just keg it and drink it in one shot during football season.

This barrel is a goner though, isn't it?

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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I had a similar (albeit less extensive) issue with a small leak around the perimeter of the head of my barrel. i just cleaned it up with a paper towel and some vodka and waxed the perimeter of the head. fixed the leak and all is well. i would be more concerned with over-oxygenation from aging a sour in such a small barrel....

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Old 08-04-2012, 12:30 AM   #3
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Next time fill the barrel with water to swell for 24 hours before you put beer in it.

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Old 08-04-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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A few of my barrels had some mold around the outside and was still great beer inside. Seems like the lambic cellars have lots of mold growing around the barrel heads.

BW

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Dub View Post
Seems like the lambic cellars have lots of mold growing around the barrel heads.

BW
That is an understatement

If you walk through Cantillon, you'll wonder what the hell is going on. The smell is nice though.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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Interesting. I've been to Cantillon and don't remember seeing a lot of mold. Cobwebs, yes! The place does smell great. Just like the gueuze!

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
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Is it still leaking? Its common to have a slight leak when you first fill the barrel, although you had much more than a slight leak. If its sealed up, then just clean the outside of the barrel.

If it is still leaking, take a hammer and hit the staves around the head of the barrel where the leak is.

Install a little sample port by drilling a hole and plugging it with a SS nail. Take a small sample every month to see if there is any acetic acid developing. If you taste any hint of vinegar, keg/bottle it. The barrel wasn't stored the best, and so may have developed a bit of acetobacter. That, in combination with loose staves, may wreck the beer.

On the other hand you might get lucky and have no problems. good luck!

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