Barrel aging question - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Barrel aging question

Thread Tools
Old 01-23-2013, 06:28 AM   #1
Jan 2013
Rocky River, Ohio
Posts: 11

I am planning on aging a portion of a porter that I recently brewed in a 2.5 gallon american oak barrel that I purchased from Thousand Oaks Barrels. I was planning on adding about 8 oz of bourbon, swishing it around in the barrel for a few days, then adding the beer. (I already filled the barrel with warm water so the wood staves would swell closed). I was planning on leaving the beer in the barrel for about a month for it to barrel age. My questions are, do I need to add anything to the barrel besides the beer and bourbon? I am assuming that the Co2 will escape (along with some of the alcohol in the beer, do I need to top the barrel off from time to time for evaporation? what should I use to top if off? I am assuming that I can't serve the beer from the barrel since there is no way to carbonate the beer in the barrel? (Co2 would escape?, or if not then could I add malt extract/sugar to carbonate it?). The barrel does have an air lock. I was assuming you would only add yeast to the barrel if you were making a sour beer?

Thanks, Jeff

Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 AM   #2
Oct 2010
I've Been Everywhere Man, Tough Question
Posts: 188
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Even if the beer's completely fermented out, it wouldn't be a bad idea to cap the barrel with an airlock or a 3-stage bung to allow excess pressure to vent out (apparently that's what they're doing at Russian River).

As for cleaning/prepping the barrel initially, check out MoreBeer's Barrel Prep Guide,

All in all, a month in a 2.5gal barrel should be more than enough oak, could end up harsh, though it may provide a little less depth than a larger sized barrel.

You could definitely serve straight from the barrel, as long as you've previously ensured that you're not going to be worrying about trub by either cold-racking or filtering the beer into the cask. For more on tapping cask ales, see CAMRA's guides on Cellarmanship.
Gypsy Head Brewing Company
"I promise never to drink any more... but just as much." - Buster Keaton

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Barrel aging: i have a barrel, but no stand!! BrewinBigD General Beer Discussion 3 10-05-2012 07:45 PM
Barrel aging less than full barrel capacity tvmatt Equipment/Sanitation 4 03-29-2012 01:06 AM
Barrel aging question Jersh General Beer Discussion 0 02-04-2012 03:14 PM
Considering Barrel Aging mscrowley Equipment/Sanitation 10 04-14-2011 03:10 PM
Bourbon Barrel Aging question abledsoe General Techniques 6 03-09-2010 04:39 PM

Forum Jump