We have four barrels from California that held red wine. American White Oak, medium char. Used 3-4 years or so. They have been empty for some time, so the cleaning and rinsing is going to take some time
We would be brewing on two 10 gallon systems, likely a full day of brewing to get a barrel filled.
Never fermented in a barrel, only secondary for flavor in the past.. obviously we are risking infection pretty big time adding a warm sugary wort to it, so we want the beer to be cheap (we are considering a smash recipe) and we also want it to be something that if there is a tartness or sourness that it would still work (not overly hopped)
Also, we have a big problem with temp control right now - there is nothing we have that will cool a barrel. We could store it indoors at around 70F, or it can go in the garage (much more convenient) but fluctuating temps of mid 50's to high mid 70's or even 80F.
What would you do?
Here's a barrel pic - we got four, but only one will be used for now.