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Old 03-12-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
Stovetop535
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Default Thinking about buying a barrel for sours

I am thinking about buying a barrel to use strictly for sour beers. I have read about the smaller barrels being problematic due to surface area and oxidation issues. How much of a problem is this? How much of a problem is this with a 15 gal, vs 20 or 50 gal barrel? I like the idea of something in the 15 gal range.

My other question is, if I ended up with a larger barrel--say 30 gal, would I be able to use it to age my sours and only pull 5-10 gall every 6-9 months for bottling, and then top off with a "fresh" batch out of the primary? Basically just drawing off enough to bottle and then allowing the bulk to continue aging.

Thanks
Alex

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Old 03-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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I've been thinking about this too... I'd love to do a 3-year, 15 gallon (5 gallons per year) lambic project.

Maybe a demijohn or ($$)conical is the way to go??

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Old 03-12-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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I thought about a demijohn, but if I were to buy one of those I would fill it with mead. Just something about a sour beer screams barrel to me.

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Old 03-12-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Ya me too and I posted recently about using "Plastic"...

I think the consensus is I can leave them in plastic for six (6) months and then I should transfer them...

I do 11 gallon batches and I am not sure if I would want to go any larger because if a twenty or 30 gallon batch went bad there would be much crying in the beer…

Happy Brewing.

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Old 03-13-2013, 01:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stovetop535 View Post
My other question is, if I ended up with a larger barrel--say 30 gal, would I be able to use it to age my sours and only pull 5-10 gall every 6-9 months for bottling, and then top off with a "fresh" batch out of the primary? Basically just drawing off enough to bottle and then allowing the bulk to continue aging.

Thanks
Alex
Search 'Solera' here and on madfermentationist. Oldsock (madfermentationist) also talks about it on Basic Brewing Radio.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:31 AM   #6
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I have read a few of his blogs on his webpage. I will look at that term.

I guess I am really wondering is is it worth my time to use a smaller barell, or do the cons outweigh the pros?

Thanks
Alex

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Old 03-13-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Search 'Solera' here and on madfermentationist. Oldsock (madfermentationist) also talks about it on Basic Brewing Radio.
Shoot... now I *really* want to do this, but SWMBO might not like me buying a demijohn right now. . . supposed to be saving for furlough possibilities.

Here's the madfermentationist's blog on the solara.


...one thought on this -- I assume the trub really ramps up in a solera after a few years. How do you "fix" that? Siphon it off?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:10 PM   #8
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I would empty the solera to a new barrel after around 5 years. Properly purged of course. If I get to move to a larger house with a full basement I will get at least one large barrel going on my own.

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