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Old 07-23-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default Purchasing Oak Barrels/Casks

Hi.

So I have come to the realization that I MUST own a Barrel/Cask after listening to the Jamil show on Flanders Brown/Old Bruin with them talking about having a Barrel and putting a variety of brews in it over time to blend. For the life of me I can't remember what they called it (starts with an 'S' i think) nor could I spell it

My point, I'm going to get one. I have looked at Oak Barrels | Oak Barrels, Ltd. | Small Oak Barrels | Wine Barrels | Vinegar Barrels | Whiskey Barrels | Winemaking | Wine Aging ...for mellowing spirits, aging wines or creating vinegars and they seem to have a really good deal compared to other places I've seen. Does anyone have recommended places on where to buy one? Is a 20liter fairly standard...or am I going to find myself with too much barrel to fill? They even sell 1 and 2 liter sizes, but I couldn't figure why someone would want to age ale in something so small.

Anyway, any input would be appreciated

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:07 AM   #2
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Well 20 liters is about 5 gallons. That is way too much contact area for that small of a volume.

"Solera" is the word you were looking for.

The best bet is to go partners with a few local brewers and buy a used wine barrel (60 gallons). Do you have any homebrew clubs local to you?

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:37 AM   #3
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Default Ahh...Solera!

Solera. What a beautiful sounding name...makes me thirsty just saying it....mmmm.

I do know of a local club but haven't got into it yet...I work 7 on, 7 off so I figured it would be too hard to juggle a club AND my wife on the off week Thanks for the advise/reply though, hopefully there will be club participation in my future.

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:15 AM   #4
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Get it!! I have been thinking about getting either a couple of 5 and/or 10 liters to age wine and some other substances.

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Old 07-24-2009, 02:00 AM   #5
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What I'm saying is that you can't really do any long term aging with that small of a barrel because the oak contribution is going to be too intense especially when new.

Join the brew club and contribute $20 to a barrel project or 5.

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Old 07-24-2009, 03:05 AM   #6
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Hey bobby M, I have been thinking about oaking from a wine barrel (A friend of the family owns a small vineyard). How much does the residual wine in the barrel flavor the beer? Or is there a washing method to remove it?

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
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Our Flanders went directly into a decommissioned Cabernet barrel and the final product has a slight wine note to it. It adds complexity so I wouldn't want to flush it completely. We did rinse the barrel with 10 gallons of boiling water prior to using it.

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Old 10-17-2011, 05:33 AM   #8
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Hey, how did this turn out? Can you post an update? Do you still use the barrel?

I'm thinking of buying a 5g barrel too, and using it initially for strong beers like stouts, barleywine, then souring it for lambics and Flemish ales.

To Bobby_M who said these small barrels will contribute too much oak, well yes, initially you can only age the beer for a short time in it but eventually it will lose a lot of its oaking power and you can age things longer. So I'm hoping the original poster can tell us how long he aged initially, and how many batches it took before it could be used for longer term aging.
I know some brew clubs that have done 60 gallon barrel projects, but the problem with those is it requires multiple batches to be combined (at which point it's not your beer anymore, it's a collaboration - that could be fun but it's not going to happen 3-4 times per year and help me learn how to oak age well).

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