Originally Posted by interoma
Hi Guys! I was planning on brewing my first lambic and have a couple of questions!
-Does anyone have experience on using oak barrels?
- I know that lambics in belgium are fermented and aged in oak barrels. I actually have a new 5 gallon oak barrel at home and was thinking on using it. Do you think it would be fine or should I use a glass carboy?
do a search here for "barrel"... lots of info.
a 5 gal barrel has a really high surface-to-volume ratio, so you'll get too much oxygen transfer unless you seal it with something like wax or paraffin.
also, your barrel is new, meaning that it has too much oak flavor for extended aging. lambics are made in used barrels - the first batch of wine or liquor extracts all the wood flavor, leaving a relatively neutral barrel for the second-use lambics (and third use, and fourth, and...). so if you want to use your barrel for sours, you should run a few clean beers through it first. the first time you use that barrel, chances are you'll get a ton of wood flavor in week.