Barrel Ageing

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Barrel Ageing

Postby daryl » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:48 pm

Any recommended rules of thumb as to how long to barrel age a beer?

It may be a function of Beer Style....Lager vs Stout. I am looking at getting a Bourbon Barrel for Porters/Stouts/Reds....just looking for some guidance so I can plan ahead.
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby Matt F » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:12 pm

Do it to taste is best recommendation. I like to taste a small sample every month at least. People often leave beer in barrels longer than they need to be (I am guilty) and can get over oxidized. Size of barrel matters. Smaller the barrel, lesser the contact time. A 5 gallon barrel does not need as much time as a 60 gallon barrel. No for sours, the game changes, but just keep tasting.

Easiest way to taste is get a stainless steel nail, drill a hole through the end of the barrel for a tight fit. You can remove the nail to drain a sample without using a thief through the bung hole. Goolge Russian River barrel stainless steel nail for more details.
Matt Franklin
Slappy Brewing North

On Tap:
Saison
Matt Damon in my Mouth
Tree House Julius Clone

Fermenting:
Belgian Dubbel/Sour
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby DrPaulsen » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:34 pm

In my experience you can get good spirit character out of a barrel in 5 months or less (e.g. the RIS I brought to the homebrew fest was only in the maple syrup bourbon barrel for 5 months). If you dig through the NHC presentation archives, a few breweries gave some good presentations on this topic back when it was in GR (e.g. Founders & New Holland).

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... -seminars/
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby andrewmaixner » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:54 pm

There are a few very good episodes of the beersmith podcast about barrel aging.
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby daryl » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:33 am

Looks like you have to buy a whole box.

Were you able to buy them in smaller quantities?

Matt F wrote:Do it to taste is best recommendation. I like to taste a small sample every month at least. People often leave beer in barrels longer than they need to be (I am guilty) and can get over oxidized. Size of barrel matters. Smaller the barrel, lesser the contact time. A 5 gallon barrel does not need as much time as a 60 gallon barrel. No for sours, the game changes, but just keep tasting.

Easiest way to taste is get a stainless steel nail, drill a hole through the end of the barrel for a tight fit. You can remove the nail to drain a sample without using a thief through the bung hole. Goolge Russian River barrel stainless steel nail for more details.
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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daryl
 
Posts: 944
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Location: Springville, IA

Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby Matt F » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:14 am

I have not used a nail yet myself. If I need hardware in small quantities I usually have the best luck at Ace or True Value.
Matt Franklin
Slappy Brewing North

On Tap:
Saison
Matt Damon in my Mouth
Tree House Julius Clone

Fermenting:
Belgian Dubbel/Sour
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby fargo41 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:22 am

I do have a box of stainless steel nails I got for this purpose. I think I can part with a some ;)
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby daryl » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:53 am

4D or 6D - smooth?
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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Location: Springville, IA

Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby fargo41 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:48 pm

4D smooth 1.5"
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby daryl » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:45 pm

Will be drawing some of my Barrel-Aged Porter from the barrel soon. And I've been thinking about what to do with the barrel next.

I have heard, that these barrels are good for about two uses, to extract barrel-aged flavoring for beer...and then you're done. At that point, most would use the barrels for sours or lambics...and I might do that.

But, I am wondering if the barrel couldn't be refreshed by buying some cheap bourbon or scotch or rye and aging it for 6-months to a year or more....and then use it again for flavoring beer.

I don't think it would hurt anything....some scotch is only aged for 36 months.

Thoughts?
In the Fridge/On Tap: Salted Caramel Porter
In the barrel/conditioning:
In the bucket: P-nut Brittle Ale, Blueberry and Blk Rasp. Mead; Tangerine Wheat; Spont. Funk; Swarthy Beagle
In the queue: Pils Urquell Clone, American Wheat
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daryl
 
Posts: 944
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Location: Springville, IA

Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby wyzzyrdd » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:01 pm

daryl wrote:Will be drawing some of my Barrel-Aged Porter from the barrel soon. And I've been thinking about what to do with the barrel next.

I have heard, that these barrels are good for about two uses, to extract barrel-aged flavoring for beer...and then you're done. At that point, most would use the barrels for sours or lambics...and I might do that.

But, I am wondering if the barrel couldn't be refreshed by buying some cheap bourbon or scotch or rye and aging it for 6-months to a year or more....and then use it again for flavoring beer.

I don't think it would hurt anything....some scotch is only aged for 36 months.

Thoughts?


The best way to store a barrel long term is to keep it filled with something. You will get significant evaporation in a small barrel over 6 to 12 months. You will need to top it off regularly.

If you were using a wine barrel to impart oak into a product it would be shot after 6 months. But you are going the other way trying to soak flavor back into the barrel. I can't think of any reason it won't work.
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Re: Barrel Ageing

Postby jjpeanasky » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:27 pm

There was a basic brewing radio podcast episode recently (03-02-17) where one of the guys discuss how he "replenished" his barrel over the years using vodka and rye whiskey. Might be a helpful listen?

- Josh Peanasky
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