Originally Posted by adiochiro3
This raises in my mind an interesting question: why aren't infections a given with oak barrels? They've been used for centuries. I know they are often toasted, but wood is too porous for the flames to sanitize the barrel wood all the way through, I would think. Are barrels always toasted? Is it the anaerobic environment that inhibits bacterial growth? Then how do sours do their thing?
This seems mysterious to me.
They are a given.....Ever have a Flanders Red or Oud Bruin?
The barrels are treated prior to racking the beer for aging. Even then, some of those will develop infections. Most of the time they don't.
I can't imagine after going through all the steps to make beer, an additional 15 minutes to sanitize the oak would be too much trouble. It's peace of mind.