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Old 10-06-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
jphebbie2
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Default what to do with with a chardonnay barrel?

So I want to do a sour here soon and one of my favorites is supplication by russian river. I found this recipe that seems like its on the right track. I was telling my brother about it (he's a seasoned brewer as well) and he told me that he had a 5 gallon chardonnay barrel his neighbor gave to him after he made wine once. I know supplication uses old pinot barrels and cherries. If I barrel aged the recipe below with cherries and everything, would it work? Would it be better to age in carboy with pinot soaked oak chips?? Should I do a sour saison or a dry hopped pale or something with less color in the chard barrel? I could do 2 sours as well. Im somewhat at a crossroad and need to decide which way to go.

Oh and I have 3 bottles of supplication and 2 bottles of Immitus which is a zin barrel aged sour avery brewing just released in my wine fridge that I will use the dregs from as a bug source instead of the white labs sour mix

Here is the recipe i was planning on until my brother threw me a curve ball.

Quote:
Size: 6.0 gal
Efficiency: 80.0%

Original Gravity: 1.063 (1.040 - 1.074)
Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (1.008 - 1.012)
Color: 21.51 (15.0 - 22.0)
Alcohol: 6.58% (4.0% - 8.0%)
Bitterness: 22.1 (20.0 - 25.0)

Ingredients:
11.0 lb American 2-row
1.0 lb Caramel Malt 40L
1.5 lb Vienna Malt
0.5 lb Carafa Special® TYPE III
mash at 158 or so for a high final gravity

1.0 oz Perle (8.2%) - added during boil, boiled 45.0 min
whirlfloc and yeast nutrient.

Stirplate starter of White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale.
oxygenate with o2 and airstone.

Give it about 3 weeks in primary, keeping it above 70 degrees for the yeasties to do their thing. Rack when it hits 1.020 or so.

Into secondary, dump a package of Brett, and give it another couple of weeks.

Then, dump Into secondary 2.0 lb mashed cherries, as well as a package of Belgian Sour Mix 1. For a full effect, soak 1oz of oak chips in some pinot, and add those to the secondary as well. Let that chill for 2-3 months.

Rack to a keg, stash for 6 months before carbing.

Hugely labour intensive beer, and man, if I tapped that keg after a year or so and it tasted like arse, I wouldn't be a happy bunny!
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #2
ryane
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I would hold off adding the cherries a couple months minimum, I would also suggest building up "starters" of the bottle dregs and adding those at the same time as the yeast. The population of bugs would be small relative to the abbey yeast and the RR wine yeast, BUT it would give them a bit of a chance at easy to eat food and nutrients allowing them to grow

The carafa jumped out to me right away. You want this pretty dark? I think you could get away with half as much and still have a nice dark beer once you add the cherries. I also think that your gonna have to up the amt of cherries 2-3x. Think 4-6# per 5gal for a good flavor. One of the reasons I also suggest waiting on the fruit is so that you can taste the beer and see if the flavor profile will mesh with cherries before you add them.

As far as using the barrel, thats up to you. Being a 5gal barrel whatever you add to it will age very quickly. Lots of O2 exposure in that small of a barrel. If you want to do a sour saison and this Im not sure which one I would do first. My first inclination would be to do the saison followed by the dark, but that really depends on the level of oakiness still left in the barrel. You might try and do a water fill up for a week or longer and see how much flavor comes out of it.

Whatever you do, once you fill the barrel dont expect to sit on it for a ton of time before needing to take the beer out. I would do much of the aging in glass/bb before adding to the barrel for a short relatively quick fermentation that could be a good time to add the cherries.

-hopefully that was coherent and not one long ramble

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Old 10-07-2011, 06:13 AM   #3
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ryane,
Thanks alot for the feedback. the carafa amount was based on percentages that vinnie from RR laid out. Supplication is a dark ale, a brown verging on a porter. I was only planning on letting it sit on the cherries for 2 months or so in the barrel. The cherries dont add a ton of flavor but a nice background note. They are also added about a month after the bugs as a "feeding" to get them going

I wasnt set on a sour saison but i thought a beer like that may work better in a chard barrel and I could just do the supp clone strictly in glass.

As for bug starters, Ive herd that lacto, pedio ect... are too slow to work in a starter. My plan was to cold crash after primary and get a clean rack off the sacc yeast. that way the bugs would have a chance at establishing themselves and not getting overwhelmed by the clean yeast.

Can you confirm or reverse any of these?
Thanks,
JP

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Old 10-07-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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Never had any of the RR stuff, they dont distribute in AZ or any of the places I travel for work

1 month after finishing a sacch fermenatation there will be a TON of active sacch left, even if you rack there is lot of yeast in suspension, so personally I would wait to add the cherries, but thats only a call you can make

My only real concern with the barrel is its level of oakiness, while you get some wine character dont expect a ton

As far as bug starters, this is the only way I suggest people try. Its kind of lunacy to willy-nilly toss in dregs from bottles. Death rates are vastly different for each microbe, and it could be that you only have nasty ones left in your bottle. A small starter will wake things up and can give you an idea of what to expect in a relatively short amt of time (2-4wks). Ive had dregs taste off when they ferment fresh wort, and I wouldn't want that in my beer. all the bugs should wake up fine in a starter, just don't aerate it!!! give it a couple weeks if its older, but very fresh stuff should take off in a couple days max.

As far as being overwhelmed by yeast, nah that wont happen. If it did the lambic or roeselare blends wouldnt work very well.

I would start a couple small un-aerated starters with your dregs going, my preference is usually to add them from the get go, but I have usually liked very very sour beers. It will still turn out great your route, and if you barrel age it for a couple weeks I bet it will turn out amazing as well.

Good luck and just go for it! your best teacher with these beers is your own experience - just be prepared to dump or blend

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Old 10-07-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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Thanks again!
I'm sure if you looked you could find something by them! Its all over Colorado, Washington ect. Usually only sold in single 12oz bottles. Supplication is a very sour beer with tons of lacto and pedio character so do you think I'll have better results if I add the bugs in primary?
Thanks,
Jp

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Old 10-07-2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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that stuff is hard to find, its not in Texas thats for sure. A friend got a shipment not too long ago and he was nice enough to share, had the Beatification, mmmm spontaneous...

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Old 10-07-2011, 06:06 PM   #7
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pretty easy to get supplication and consecration around here (obviously). Pliny still shows up once a month and is gone within a day or two, but the sour stuff sticks around cuz it's about $10 a bottle and not everyone is into sours I guess.

As to your question, I'm a sour noob but I'll second what the original responder said - 5G is too small of a barrel for long term aging - you're going to get alot of acetic character due to the oxygen permeability of the smaller barrel size.

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Old 10-07-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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k so how long should i have it in the barrel? a month or so? and should i put it in about half way through? so a month in primary, 5 months in glass, a month in the barrel and then another 4 or 5 months in glass?? I want it to be really sour with some oaky swwetness to balance that out, but not overdone

Thanks

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Old 10-07-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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I would do most of the fermentation in glass, and then transfer to the barrel for a short term ferment. I wouldnt transfer back into glass afterwards. You can expect the beer to develop very quickly in the barrel, so a month may do it. I would taste every week and see how its coming along to make the final decision

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