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Thejiro 03-10-2011 04:53 AM

barrel aging resources
 
I have been very interested inbarrel aging procedures and theories for beers. I have been trying to find some good sources online, but have fallen very short of the mark. If anyone knows of any resources out there that are very in formative i would greatly appreciate it.

TIA
Ken

Suthrncomfrt1884 03-10-2011 01:11 PM

Are you looking for information on actually brewing with the barrel, or barrel maintenance. Both of them are time consuming and labor intensive IMO.

Thejiro 03-10-2011 08:54 PM

Yes I am looking for information on anything related to this topic. I know it is not a practical endeavor for the homebrewer but I am very intrigued by this facet of brewing and would like to educate myself on it.

CaptKiRkLeS 03-11-2011 03:28 AM

I just started looking into this myself. If I come across anything I'll let you know

Suthrncomfrt1884 03-11-2011 04:20 AM

Here's some good information on barrel preparation, cleaning, and storage. http://www.boomchugalug.com/barrel_instructions.htm

As for using the barrel, it's all about experimentation. Different toast levels will give you different flavors. Are you looking for used bourbon or wine barrels? Or are you starting with a new barrel? New barrels can be soaked in whiskey for a few weeks, but it's expensive to buy enough whiskey to do it (around 6 handles of whiskey).

I bought a 5 gallon barrel a few years ago and after doing 3 batches in it, I decided to stash it away. I'm currently storing it dry, but I'm hoping that re-hydrating it will bring it back to it's former state without issues. I just didn't enjoy all the work that came along with the barrel, but it's nice every once in awhile to do something special.

With a new barrel, a week is all that's really needed to give you an overpowering oak flavor. My first batch took 6 months of conditioning before the oak had faded enough to be drinkable. My second batch sat in it for three weeks, and it was still pretty oaky, but not quite as bad.

The third batch is when I started to notice the great flavors that you'd expect from a barrel aged beer. I aged it in the oak for 8 weeks, and it turned out fantastic. Just enough oak that you knew it was there. I think that the more I used the barrel, the less flavor it gave off. I also feel like the oak hits a peak after a few weeks. I tasted the third batch about 4 weeks in, and didn't notice much of a change between 4 and 8 weeks.

Hopefully this is the kind of info you're looking for.


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