1/3. Red wine barrels are great for big stouts, barley wines, almost any really big beer. My favorite brewery does a RIS in used Pinot Noir barrels for a winter seasonal.
2. Boiling water
4. Age only.
What several clubs in the area have done is have 10-12 people brew the same beer, then pour it in the keg for aging. You need about 10% extra for topping off as the beer ages because of evaporation through the wood. We called it "The Barrel Project".
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Last edited by david_42; 04-30-2009 at 10:01 PM.