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Old 07-27-2012, 10:48 PM   #21
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I am planning on brewing this Winter when I can chill large quantities of wort without needing hundreds of lbs. of ice. I have filled the barrel with a 200 ppm mixture of Potassium metabisulfit as I have seen in many threads on this forum and elsewhere. I am still not sure about doing a primary in other fermenters as I don't know if I have the capacity. I do have a 15 gallon conical and lots of 7 gallon buckets, but I am not sure how I would ferment all these consistently. I also would not want a ton of trub in the bottom of the barrel either. Maybe I should get a 30 gallon conical to add to my collection. Then with that and the 15 and a few of the 7 gallon buckets I should be set.

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Old 07-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #22
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You're way overthinking the nail thing. Just use the stainless nail. My oldest barrel has been aging lambic for about 30 months now (will be emptied this year yet), held brandy Angels Share at Lost Abbey for a year before that, and has had a nail in it all that time. Not sure if the nail was in there when it held brandy. No leaks and no rust on the nail.

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Old 07-29-2012, 03:53 PM   #23
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I am planning on pulling off about 10 gallons every year or so to either bottle or rack to a secondary with fruit. I am worried about doing that through the bung as well. What are other people doing with a solara type project.

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Old 07-29-2012, 04:25 PM   #24
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@funblock - same as you. Adding and racking. I'm doing a quasi-open fermentation and no issues came up. Racking through the bung will be just fine. Just sanitize all your tools as you normally would. What gets through that opening doesn't hold a candle to what's in the barrel.

Good luck!

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Old 07-29-2012, 04:46 PM   #25
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I'm wanting to do something similar with a 10 gallon barrel because I don't have any friends that homebrew. There are no local clubs either. Are there any issues with using a 10 gallon barrel and pulling 5 gallons once a year?

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Old 07-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #26
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Think about a large plastic carboy instead and add oak. Small barrels allow too much O2 in relative to volume. Those small barrels are better for quick aging. But for sours/wilds, the added O2 will create too much acetic acid.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:18 AM   #27
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I used a 10G oak barrel for a year with Lacto, pedio and bretts. No acetic produced and didn't top off. Just don't open it a bunch for tastings. Keep calm and brew on.

At one point I had 2-60G, 2-30G and the 10G all full of sours at the same time. That is way to much to package for yourself. I was so glad when one 30G went bad and had to be dumped. Now I am down to 1-60G and plan on bottling 30G soon and giving some away. From there my sours will go down to some 5G glass and maybe the 10G barrel. Some day I want to fill a 60G with a brett finished something, but not for some time. All the above mentioned barrels were fermented in with blow a off line and topped when done with finished beer. I used wyeast 3787 in most of the beers with a low ferm temp to keep the esters low.

Next time I would add bretts at 6 months before the lacto to clean beer (IE no trub or dead yeast). The bottle dregs do add some great flavors, but for me to large of a risk for a 60G barrel. Seems like a small brett pitch can not compete with the lacto and pedio and I ended up with more of a sour than balanced between brett and sourness.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:40 AM   #28
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Oh good! I had problems with oxidization making english beers in smaller oak barrels. Then, while making a sour, I didn't flush my carboy with co2 and the bugs got WAY too crazy and basically made something closer to vinegar. O2 in sours is a serious deal, either way you go, mind your O2

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:08 AM   #29
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It was odd the 30G went bad, but the 10G held in there. Goes to show you even good parents can raise a bad beer.

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Old 07-30-2012, 08:50 PM   #30
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I've used a stainless nail over a year and a half and have pulled 20l just 3 months ago. It is the way to go. I purge with CO2 before adding the new beer and make sure to use a silicone bung that has a purge valve to release CO2, other wise I'm sure I would see a bung across the room.

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