It's the Jamil Z recipe based on the concept of a near full fermentation on WLP001, then a healthy dosing of Brett in the barrel for about 10 months. I think we're going to take our shares out next December. Incidentally, the winery we bought the barrel from also gave us a bottle of the Cabernet that just came out of the barrel. We're going to sample both on the same day.
Ought of curiousity, how much did that barrel run you? Our homebrew club (still somewhat fledging) is being run by a couple of guys who have the capacity to make a HUGE batch, so I might suggest a project like this to them. Maybe not doing a Flanders, but it could be cool to brew up something like an old ale and oak it for a long time.
The original price was going to be $80 but we brought a couple sixers of homebrew over and the guy felt like it was a good trade. It was the first time someone wasn't buying a barrel for making a planter or for rainwater collection. Not only did he drop the price to $50, but threw in 3 bottles of $20 port and the bottle of cabernet that came out of the barrel. We basically got the barrel for free.
Just a quick update on this; I stole off about a quart to bring to the brewclub meeting for progress sampling. It's been 3 months and there's a substantial pellicle. The grav went from 1.010 to 1.005 and it's got a pleasant sourness but it's obviously not quite there yet. We plan to take our shares out by late November so it should be awesome by then. The great thing about Jamil's method is that you can ferment out new batches and feed the barrel to make up for evaporation without introducing too much new sugar that might turn a planned Rodenbach red style funk into a full on Grand Cru.
You can get small barrels but they are hardly ever sold used at a discount because the commercial side has no use for them. There's also a LOT of oak exposure on small barrels too so you really can't age too long in them. Applejack's are 54 gallon I think. Getting in on projects is the biggest sell for joining a homebrew club.
So how much angel share did you lose over the months that it spent in the barrel? I recently made 15 gal of flanders red and put it in a barrel for 12-28 months of aging. I am wondering if I will lose enough to require topping off or if I should just forget about it.
We just finished up a impy porter but I think they used an applejack barrel just to keep the costs low. It spent two months in the barrel and now the batches will future age in bottles and kegs. I think the club has an average of 4 barrels going at once between sours, porter/stouts, meads and ciders.