Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > 53 gallon Bourbon Barrel aging techniques

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-25-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
pbaron
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: loveland, colorado
Posts: 5
Default 53 gallon Bourbon Barrel aging techniques

~~~Preface: I have been home-brewing for about a year now, so I'm still relatively new at it; that being said if this is a stupid question I apologize.~~~

I recently found a Bourbon Barrel for $50 that a local brewery used for a beer recently. I impulsively asked my wife to go buy it (which she did because she's a pretty damn amazing woman) for me since I've been wanting to get an oak barrel to age some beer in. What I didn't necessarily realize is that it's all of 53 gallons; I currently am only set up to brew in 5 gallon batches, 10 max (two carboys, one 7 gal, and one 5.5 gal).

So here's my dilemma: can I brew a normal sized batch and rack it safely to the oak barrel without risk of oxidization? If so how? If not, anyone wanna help me brew 53 gallons of beer to age

__________________
pbaron is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2011, 08:57 PM   #2
tasq
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 582
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

You need to do a group brew and fill the sucker up all at once.

__________________
The Keg Ran Out Club
Broomfield, Colorado
http://www.kroc.org/
tasq is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
hopsalot
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Corpus, Texas
Posts: 1,574
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 55

Default

oak breathes, and as it does it absorbs some beer, with that small of a batch I dont think you would end up with much. Although I am not sure if the amount of absorbtion is static or porportional to the volume.

I think given the large surface area and the small volume, oxidation would be an issue.

If I lived in colorado I would love offer a 10 gal batch to blend with with a few other people. mmmmmm brettanomyces

__________________
hopsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
Tinga
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: MN
Posts: 1,160
Liked 36 Times on 28 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasq View Post
You need to do a group brew and fill the sucker up all at once.
+1. I would think that it wouldn't be hard to find some brewers that would be interested in helping you out with this project. If you don't know that many off the top of your head I would put an ad out on craigslist. Knowing that most homebrewers hang out there quite often.
__________________
Tinga is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
tasq
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 582
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

I'd offer up, but hauling 10gal to and from loveland would be a royal PITA.

__________________
The Keg Ran Out Club
Broomfield, Colorado
http://www.kroc.org/
tasq is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2011, 09:17 PM   #6
Zguy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Yuba City, CA, California
Posts: 26
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbaron
I recently found a Bourbon Barrel for $50 that a local brewery used for a beer recently.
I'm still pretty new myself but I just listened to the latest Sunday Session on the brewing network. They had the founder of Hair of the Dog on there and they talked about barrel aging. In particular they talked about the limited number of uses a barrel has before it is not good for aging beer anymore.

So my question is, do you know how many times the barrel was used to age beer before you bought it? They mentioned that after about 2 or 3 beers it will just make your beer taste like plywood.

Not really an answer to your question but just food for thought!
__________________
Zguy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2011, 01:46 PM   #7
pbaron
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: loveland, colorado
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zguy View Post
I'm still pretty new myself but I just listened to the latest Sunday Session on the brewing network. They had the founder of Hair of the Dog on there and they talked about barrel aging. In particular they talked about the limited number of uses a barrel has before it is not good for aging beer anymore.

So my question is, do you know how many times the barrel was used to age beer before you bought it? They mentioned that after about 2 or 3 beers it will just make your beer taste like plywood.

Not really an answer to your question but just food for thought!
It's only been used once, I talked to Aaron at Grimm last night about my dilema, he said you can use it however many times you want but brettanomyces really starts to grow after 3-4 brews in it. So basically I can use it to age and add oaky flavor for about 3 more batches, then I'll start using it for sour beers

Aaron also told me to get a bunch of guys from the homebrew club here to do a group brew, so I'm going to put the word out that I have a project brew I want to do and see who wants to help.

Another question-- if I do use it for sours after the first few batches, can I safely introduce some lactobacillus to it without too much risk of contaminating my other equipment? I'm assuming I'll have to get stuff specifically for use with the sour beers (auto-syphon, hoses, etc). Thoughts on this?
__________________
pbaron is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
dcp27
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Medford, MA
Posts: 4,071
Liked 117 Times on 113 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

definitely get a group brew together to fill it. empty space in a barrel is just asking for trouble. make sure to keep it filled in the meantime to keep it swelled.

I'd recommend brewing 60gallons for this so you have some extra to make up for the angel's share and still ahve some left to compare with the barrel aged batch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbaron View Post
Another question-- if I do use it for sours after the first few batches, can I safely introduce some lactobacillus to it without too much risk of contaminating my other equipment? I'm assuming I'll have to get stuff specifically for use with the sour beers (auto-syphon, hoses, etc). Thoughts on this?
should be fine. a friend of mine has been doing this for over a year without any issues.
__________________
dcp27 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2011, 07:51 PM   #9
pbaron
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: loveland, colorado
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
definitely get a group brew together to fill it. empty space in a barrel is just asking for trouble. make sure to keep it filled in the meantime to keep it swelled.

I'd recommend brewing 60gallons for this so you have some extra to make up for the angel's share and still ahve some left to compare with the barrel aged batch.



should be fine. a friend of mine has been doing this for over a year without any issues.
Thanks man! Got enough interest for 40 gallons, just need two more guys and we're good!
__________________
pbaron is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #10
tasq
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 582
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

I wish you lived closer. ;p

__________________
The Keg Ran Out Club
Broomfield, Colorado
http://www.kroc.org/
tasq is offline
pbaron Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bourbon Barrel Aging Thorpe429 General Techniques 6 01-13-2011 12:14 AM
Bourbon Barrel Aging question abledsoe General Techniques 6 03-09-2010 03:39 PM
How do I use a Bourbon Barrel Guy03 General Techniques 6 09-07-2009 11:46 AM
bourbon barrel scotch ale buraglio General Techniques 0 03-01-2008 02:33 PM
Bourbon Barrel Beer ebrooker General Techniques 7 08-07-2007 04:17 PM