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Old 08-11-2009, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default Wine Barrel Lambic Project

Ok, Claphamsa, Ryan_PA and myself bought a french oak wine barrel and are planning on making some serious lambic. I think the barrel size is 65 gallons and the plan is to fill it up, and then take 1/2 out every year and add in new to replace what we take and then year 2 or 3 we'd empty it all.

What kind of things do we need to know for making such a huge batch? Starter size? How many bugs do we need, etc?

Anyone who's done wine barrel Belgians want to chime in with tips, advice, etc???

Thanks!!!

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Old 08-11-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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__________________________________________________ ________________________________

Edit - 08/24/09
Adding relevant links:
  • My post with good feedback on Babble Belt - Link
  • Discussion on which type of wheat should be used - Link
  • Link to winery we scored the barrel from (they have more) - Link
  • My writeup on artificially aging hops -Link
__________________________________________________ ________________________________

Based on my reading and asking here are some things I consider best practice:
  • For Primary fermentation, leave about 10G of headspace in the barrel
  • Once primary is done, top up with more lambic
  • 60%-40% pils to unmalted wheat is a traditional grist
  • Aged hops are traditional, Oldsock has been supplementing with Hallertau Select with 1.5% AA with good results
I plan to brew a 5G lambic in the coming weeks with the intent of using this as a starter for the barrel. Is this a good approach?





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Old 08-11-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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Well get a basic recipe and pictures up tonight! (by we i mean ryan)

We have a tentative date for October to brew, and we need to figure out how you go about brewing a 50+ gallon lambic!

Also, most recipes have about 3 OZ of aged hops. I have 15 (or so) of aged halletaur, is the 3 OZ per 5 gallons a strict amount? or is it flexible?

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Old 08-11-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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How big is the system you are working with? There was a thread recently on babblebelt where one of the members received two barrels from Vinny and filled one up in a single brewday. He included his schedule so you might be able to mimic it pending your batch capacity.

The Burgundian Babble Belt -- Pushing the Homebrew Envelope

My other suggestion would be to seek out another local setup to borrow.

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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How big is the system you are working with? There was a thread recently on babblebelt where one of the members received two barrels from Vinny and filled one up in a single brewday. He included his schedule so you might be able to mimic it pending your batch capacity.

The Burgundian Babble Belt -- Pushing the Homebrew Envelope

My other suggestion would be to seek out another local setup to borrow.
interesting, hopefully we can get a bigger system from someone, and if not, well have to borrow lots of small ones, since it took him 14 hours..... with no 6 hour mashes, and 3 hour boils
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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In my barrel project there were 9 people pitching 55 gallons into the barrel as that is the size of ours. In doing so we still had about 3" below the Bung hole (hehe) to the level of the beer.

There were 11 packages of Roselare purchased for it as we started fermenting the stuff at our houses before it was all brought together at mine for the barrel.

build a good stand more than 2 hours before you fill the beer. That will save you some stress, i know.

Have a sour beer party and then toss the dregs into the barrel. Hey, it can't hurt!


Have fun!

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #7
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In my barrel project there were 9 people pitching 55 gallons into the barrel as that is the size of ours. In doing so we still had about 3" below the Bung hole (hehe) to the level of the beer.

There were 11 packages of Roselare purchased for it as we started fermenting the stuff at our houses before it was all brought together at mine for the barrel.

build a good stand more than 2 hours before you fill the beer. That will save you some stress, i know.

Have a sour beer party and then toss the dregs into the barrel. Hey, it can't hurt!


Have fun!
What do you mean by a good stand? (it will be in my basement, and I dont want any accidents). Are you worrying about rolling? or filling?
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:17 PM   #8
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I am in (that is if you'll have me).

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:40 PM   #9
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Mike, I think all shares are spoken for. But who knows, someone might be willing to kick 5g your way at some point or another.

Who knows if yr 2 all 3 of us are still wanting to do this. Hopefully Stefin is if the barrel will be in his basement!!!

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:45 PM   #10
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oh damn! I didn't realize that just the 3 of you were splitting 55 gallons!!! That is a lot of lambic. Im sure I will still be stealing some from each of you at some point in time so that is fine with me

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