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Old 07-01-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
boonebeausoleil
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Jul 2012
Boise, ID
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I have a question about fermenting in barrels. I've got a friend who owns a winery and will sell me $25 barrels. I figure with that price I'm a fool not to try doing a beer in them. However, I'm not sure about the fermenting process. Would you normally just use the barrel for a secondary or do you do the whole process in the barrel? I know you do everything for the win in the barrel so it seems reasonable to do the same with the beer. However, with carboys you always sterilize it super well so how do you go about doing that with oak barrels? Thanks,

 
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:05 AM   #2
JediJoel
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May 2009
Whittier, Ca
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I've heard most breweries sanitize barrels with steam but even then, some bugs will remain in the barrel.

As far as when to ferment, that's up to you. Firestone Walker has a big barrel program and they do both primary and secondary fermentation in barels for different beers. Their IPA is SS primary with barrel aging but their DBA is primary fermented in barrels and secondaried in SS. Here's a link about Firestone's process.

Barrels at $25, that's a good friend!

EDIT: Forgot to say if you primary in a barrel to use a blow-off tube.

 
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:44 AM   #3
weremichael
 
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I think it depends on what type of beer you're making.

 
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:46 AM   #4
weremichael
 
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I think it depends on what type of beer you're making. Sorry for the double post. Damn Droid phone.

 
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
boonebeausoleil
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Jul 2012
Boise, ID
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I plan on making either a RIS or a porter

 
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:19 AM   #6
andysim
 
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Mar 2009
Clayton, NC
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I fermented a RIS in a 10 gallon rum barrel.

I put about 8 gallons of RIS to ferment and topped it off with 2 gallons of an uncarbonated milk stout after fermentation stopped.

I let it age in the barrel for about 6 months and transferred it to two cornies.

The beer taste great.
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