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Old 07-10-2012, 05:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigljd View Post
I'm not a barrel expert, but from what I've read those small 5 gal barrels normally have pretty thin staves on them which allow a lot of O2 to permeate through the wood - this could be the cause of your acetic problem after 4 months. 60 gal barrels should have thicker staves and there is less overall exposure to the wood which will reduce the O2 levels in the barrel.

Not saying the OP's old barrel is OK to use, I don't know. But you can't really compare the performance of a 5 gal barrel to a 60 gallon barrel.
I waxed the outside of the 5 gallon barrel to have comparable O2 permeation as a 60 gallon.
http://funkfactorybrewing.blogspot.c...ng-barrel.html

OP's barrel has sat empty for 3 years. That 5 gallon barrel sat empty for 2 years. I cleaned that barrel better than OP did his. I've got to imagine its an acetobacter love-nest inside.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:34 AM   #22
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Instead of starting a new thread, I figured I'd just add to this one - what do you guys think about this barrel - http://www.ebay.com/itm/30-Gallons-U...06%26rk%3D1%26 ?

Also, I've had 3 people take a sniff at my barrels - the one is junk. So gross that mold came pouring out when I dumped it. The other one is looking and smelling good. No one has detected vinegar, even after they sniffed and then I mentioned it. I pressure washed it, sulphered it and now have 59 gallons of citric acid solution sitting in it. I haven't taken a culture yet, but that is my next step just to make sure.

And again, thanks for all the advice. Levi- your idea of waxing your barrel is great. I'll be using it at some point, I'm sure.

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Old 07-17-2012, 02:42 PM   #23
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If you have the ability to fill a 60 gallon barrel, I'd stick to that. Those 30 gallon ones look fine, but they are twice the price for half the volume.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:17 AM   #24
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I took a culture from the "better" barrel using a damp cotton swab and put it in a mason jar with some beer and threw a lid on it. It's been sitting for about 3 days. If the barrel is rampant with acebacetor, how long will it take before I start to notice vinegar? Is there anything else I should do? I know acebacetor like oxygen. Should I open the lid to let more oxygen in, or just let it go? Are there any visible signs? Thanks again everyone!

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:26 AM   #25
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Quick update. My culture never picked up acetobacter.

I fermented 60 gallons of "Landers Fred" in 32 gallon, food-safe garbage cans over the course of a couple of weeks and have since filled the barrel to the top.

I used a sulfur stick in the barrel for a week, then filled it with a solution of water and citric acid for 2 weeks. The barrel decided to start leaking right before I was ready to move it, so I used a blow torch and some wax to seal it up. No leaks since.

It has a very nice pellicle going now. No vinegar at all.

It's only been in the barrel for about 1.5 months, so I'm hoping that I got lucky and it'll turn out well. If not, if anyone needs malt vinegar, let me know!

Thanks to everyone for the advice. It was all taken to heart and considered deeply before I decided to go for it.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:49 PM   #26
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Keep a close eye on it. Hopefully O2 permeation is low and aceto doesn't proliferate. The second you start tasting it though....bottle it up. Fortunately for you, flander's red is a style that can take a little acetic acid.

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Old 09-18-2012, 04:22 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levifunk
Keep a close eye on it. Hopefully O2 permeation is low and aceto doesn't proliferate. The second you start tasting it though....bottle it up. Fortunately for you, flander's red is a style that can take a little acetic acid.
How often should I taste it?
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:07 PM   #28
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I don't know, you've got plenty of it, so no harm in taking a sip every 2-3 weeks.

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:30 PM   #29
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Wanted to give another update on my barrel project. The beer has been in the barrel for a little over 4 months. I pulled off a sample and it's coming along nicely. No vinegar at all. Certainly not anywhere close to as sour as I hope it will be in a year, but it's not bad. It's down to 1.009 from 1.013 when it went in to the barrel 4 months ago.

I brewed another 5 gallon batch and have it in a keg next to the barrel that I'll use to top it off. It's amazing how much the level has dropped in just 4 months.

Thanks again for all the advice everyone!

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:39 PM   #30
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If by now you haven't tasted any vinegar like acetic acid, I *hope* you are in the clear. It sounds like your barrel is doing a good job keeping O2 permeation low. Although, your evaporation rate may be of concern?

Either way, keep a close eye on it.

From my experience with the lambic barrels, it doesn't really get all that sour until ~8 months maybe. For the first 3-4 months, it basically tastes like a berliner weiss.

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