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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Lambic in an old wine barrel?
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:28 PM   #11
Koffie
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Sanitizing wouldn't be your biggest problem .. how about being sure that the barrel is waterproof (before finding out when transfering your wort into it)?
If it's within hours of emptying it should be fine, but I don't know if it stays waterproof for a days/weeks.

Also, a Lambic is normally fermented/lagered in brand new unused barrels. When putting wort in used (wine)barrels you should be thinking of a flamish red. I have a 14 gallon barrel filled up with a flamish red beer.
First I fermented the beer (2 batches) with a clean dry yeast. After that I tranfered the beer to the barrel with a smackpack Wyeast Roeselare.
My barrel was completely dry so I soaked it in water for 3 days.


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Old 09-18-2012, 09:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Koffie View Post
Also, a Lambic is normally fermented/lagered in brand new unused barrels. When putting wort in used (wine)barrels you should be thinking of a flamish red.
You got that backwards. Flemish red's can use new barrels as they want more oak tannins. Lambic however does not. Lambics use used barrels as the previous use of the barrel (wine) has extracted almost all of the oak tannins from the barrel. Thats actually why wineries sell the barrel, because they can no longer extract tannins from it and therefor have no use for it.

For lambic you are looking for as neutral of a barrel as you can find. Drie Fonteinen prefers used Pilsner Urquell barrels.


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Old 09-19-2012, 07:07 AM   #13
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Lambic is put in used barrels, but not used for wine
Ever seen a (non kriek) lambic with a red color?
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:01 PM   #14
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I know Cantillon and Tilquin use wine barrels, and I assume most every other lambic brewer uses wine barrels. Its only Drie Fonteinen that I've heard uses the Pilsner Urquell barrels. Upon getting the barrel from the winery, the barrel is rinsed out until it no longer flows with color. For Cantillon's Lou Pepe series, those are all first uses of wine barrels. In the first use of a wine barrel you may pick up a very slight wine flavor, but subsequent uses you will not. If you rinse out the barrel, you would never pick up any color from it.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:55 PM   #15
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OK, it seems you are better informed than me. Perhaps I was wrong.
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #16
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One year ago, we brewed a Belgian lambic (almost 55 gal worth) and dumped it into that French oak wine barrel (that had Cabernet Sauvignon) mentioned in the OP. Today, we brew more! We'll remove some from the barrel to age separately on raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. What we brew today will go back into the barrel for another year! And about 5 months from now, we should have some tasty raspberry lambic, blackberry lambic, and blueberry lambic! I've been sampling from the barrel a few times in the past year, and the beer has aged and soured nicely!
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jgourd View Post
One year ago, we brewed a Belgian lambic (almost 55 gal worth) and dumped it into that French oak wine barrel (that had Cabernet Sauvignon) mentioned in the OP. Today, we brew more! We'll remove some from the barrel to age separately on raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. What we brew today will go back into the barrel for another year! And about 5 months from now, we should have some tasty raspberry lambic, blackberry lambic, and blueberry lambic! I've been sampling from the barrel a few times in the past year, and the beer has aged and soured nicely!
Awesome to see! I got myself a used french oak barrel I filled with a flanders red style beer in February. It's been getting better and better! can't wait to see how it is in another few months!
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levifunk View Post
I know Cantillon and Tilquin use wine barrels, and I assume most every other lambic brewer uses wine barrels. Its only Drie Fonteinen that I've heard uses the Pilsner Urquell barrels. Upon getting the barrel from the winery, the barrel is rinsed out until it no longer flows with color. For Cantillon's Lou Pepe series, those are all first uses of wine barrels. In the first use of a wine barrel you may pick up a very slight wine flavor, but subsequent uses you will not. If you rinse out the barrel, you would never pick up any color from it.
Armand uses wine barrels also, all the barrels at the brewery (small amount) are wine barrels. Now the barrels in his other barrel stores are bigger and the pils barrels. I remember reading either Oud Beersel or De Cam (or both) use pils barrels also.

The big benifit to pils barrels are they are huge. I think they are around 240 gallons. Pils sold off most of their barrels in 1992(?) (probably dirt cheap) to go stainless. Pils pitched their barrels but after seeing the existing ones at the brewery i bet there is little to none wood flavor left in them.

BSing with Armand and his Brewers they don't care what type of barrel they use. When they get new wine barrels they rinse them till the water comes out clear, steam the inside then fill with wort.

After seeing a few lambic breweries I highly doubt they have a huge influx of new barrels. Armand told me he uses his barrels untill they produce vinegar or don't hold wort anymore, I bet that's the case at all lambic breweries. The couple of new barrels they get a year is such a minority you won't pick up the wine when they are all blended together.

My home brew club procured a Red wine Barrel last year and did a Flanders red in it. We just harvested the beer rinsed the barrel out and now are aging a lambic in it. I'll let you all know how much wine flavor we pull off the second go in 12 months.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:32 AM   #19
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Yeah, De Cam uses Urquell barrels as well (exclusively I believe). They are 1000L but they had them re-coopered down to that size. The book Lambicland says that the Urquell barrels are pitch lined, which would make sense for long term storage of a clean beer in oak with decades of reuse.

But back to the wine barrels, as others have said they are the standard for lambic producers.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgourd View Post
One year ago, we brewed a Belgian lambic (almost 55 gal worth) and dumped it into that French oak wine barrel (that had Cabernet Sauvignon) mentioned in the OP. Today, we brew more! We'll remove some from the barrel to age separately on raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. What we brew today will go back into the barrel for another year! And about 5 months from now, we should have some tasty raspberry lambic, blackberry lambic, and blueberry lambic! I've been sampling from the barrel a few times in the past year, and the beer has aged and soured nicely!
So I collected on top of fruit. To test, I put a small amount of lambic in a glass with a small amount of raspberry puree. I let it sit for a few hours. The mix was perfect. It is everything I want a raspberry lambic to be. I can only imagine what the 10 gal I collected on raspberry puree will taste like in a few months!


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