Currently doing 1x 5 gallon AG batch per month. My plan is to buy a 10gal barrel from here:
Initially I'll probably do a ~1.080 sour porter... something like this one: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/03/sour-bourbon-barrel-porter.html
To fill a 10 gallon batch I'll need to do 2 separate brews on the same day. I planned on pitching some sort of neutral yeast, waiting 2-4 weeks & then dumping both batches in the barrel with a pack of Roeselare blend & whatever dregs I can get locally in Northern Delaware/South East PA. I know that the Roeselare blend has saccharomyces in it & could be used from the start, but I don't have a bunch of extra primary's laying around that I would be willing to risk infecting.
After it's been in the barrel for ~6 months, split it out into 2 carboys (probably adding fruit to 1 & leaving 1 plain) & age for another 6-12 months before bottling.
2-4 weeks before I plan on transferring from barrel to carboys, I would start the next 10 gallons of brew, again with neutral yeast so I can just siphon it straight into the barrel & repeat the barrel aging/carboy aging process.
1. Does this seem like a reasonable way to establish a sour pipeline?
2. Do I need to add anything else to the barrel for the 2nd pitch onward or can I just add the next ten gallons on top of whatever bugs are hanging out in the barrel after racking?
3. Should I expect a pellicle/additional work from the brett/bugs in the carboys after the beer leaves the barrel?
4. Do I need to add anything to the carboys when I siphon the beer from the barrel?
5. I planned on buying this additional equipment to use exclusively with the sours: autosiphon/tubing, bottling bucket/bottling wand, 5 gallon better bottles (initially just 2, then more as needed depending on how long the beers sit in secondary before bottling).
6. Is 1 Roeselare pack enough or should I start with 2 in the barrel?
7. Should I start with ~11gallons of beer & set aside 1 gallon to top off the barrel with?
8. Any obvious flaws or anything I'm overlooking with this?