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Old 02-24-2013, 01:44 PM   #21
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I soaked my barrel with 180 degree water last night. This morning the outside was bone dry; no leaks! I dumped it, filled it with Co2, and bunged it. It is ready for beer!

-Mike

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Old 03-02-2013, 10:30 AM   #22
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When is the right time to fill the barrel?

I brewed a stout specifically for my barrel a few weeks ago. OG was 1.082 and it's now sitting at 1.017. Fermentation is, I'd say, real close to completion. I usually let my bigger (1.070+) beers sit in the primary for one month. Is there any benefit to transferring this stout in to the barrel now, or should I just wait a few more weeks?

Thanks,
Mike

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Old 03-03-2013, 01:39 AM   #23
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IMHO, i'd let the beer rest for it's usual schedule on the yeast the length of time you usually let it sit. Then, i'd rack to the barrel. From what i've understood, the length of time in the smaller barrels should be short. One week or so for the first batch of beer, 2-3 weeks for the second, and so on. The reason for this is that a fresher whiskey barrel is going to impart more whiskey flavor up front with the first batch. Just be sure to taste test your beers for whiskey and oak level often.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiptasia View Post
IMHO, i'd let the beer rest for it's usual schedule on the yeast the length of time you usually let it sit. Then, i'd rack to the barrel. From what i've understood, the length of time in the smaller barrels should be short. One week or so for the first batch of beer, 2-3 weeks for the second, and so on. The reason for this is that a fresher whiskey barrel is going to impart more whiskey flavor up front with the first batch. Just be sure to taste test your beers for whiskey and oak level often.
Thanks! That is exactly what I was looking for!
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:47 PM   #25
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How do you get the beer out of the cask if the auto siphon doesn't fit? Just use the inside wand portion and start a gravity feed?

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Old 03-03-2013, 07:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
IMHO, i'd let the beer rest for it's usual schedule on the yeast the length of time you usually let it sit. Then, i'd rack to the barrel. From what i've understood, the length of time in the smaller barrels should be short. One week or so for the first batch of beer, 2-3 weeks for the second, and so on. The reason for this is that a fresher whiskey barrel is going to impart more whiskey flavor up front with the first batch. Just be sure to taste test your beers for whiskey and oak level often.
I aged my Russian Imperial stout in a Balcones barrel for almost two months. It does have a bit more whiskey then I would like in it, but I still really like it and am stoked to see how it ages. IMO 2-3 weeks would too short contact time unless it's a freshly dumped barrel. Obviously, I wanted a bit more whiskey character in the beer. I'll have to post back when my barleywine is done aging. It will be in there for two months as well.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:51 PM   #27
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My barley wine is getting 8 months or so in the barrel. It was a new barrel last year, I had one batch in it for 2 weeks, next for 2 months. I stored a handle of bourbon in the barrel between batches. In batch 2 the bourbon dominated. Will see what happens with batch 3. I'm considering brewing a fresh batch of barley wine and blending before bottling. Maybe do a few versions with different amounts of the barrel and non barrel.

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
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How do you get the beer out of the cask if the auto siphon doesn't fit? Just use the inside wand portion and start a gravity feed?
Yep, just like the old days before the auto siphon!
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:43 PM   #29
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Yes, a freshly dumped barrel. I have a balcones barrel that arrived two weeks ago and i'm still contemplating what the first beer to go in it will be. I'm thinking my wee heavy for the first batch, followed up with a tripel.

Eight months in a 5 gallon barrel is going to be way too long IMHO. The small barrels are a lot less tight. The wood is thinner and more permeable, so the risk of oxidation is much greater in the smaller casks. The advice i've gotten from pro brewers is to go with a short aging time. Only the bigger whiskey barrels appear to be able to handle the longer aging times and not oxidize the beer.

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #30
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I put in a Russian imperial stout into my 5 gallon Balcones barrel and will let it sit at 65 degrees for 2 weeks before giving it a taste to decide on whether or not to extend or transfer to a keg.

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