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Bourbon barrel

Looking for advice. Last night as usual was dreaming about making beer. So in the middle of the night I grabbed my phone and ordered a used bourbon barrel. I woke up this morning and sure enough I checked my email and I wasn’t dreaming. Shouldn’t leave a card on file. Anywho any advice? Do I need to clean it or just put beer in it?

You’ll need to ask the web… sooo many thoughts and advice right there… I’m curious, was your thought of the old world romance of the cask conditioned ales? I did entertain this idea some time ago… but I bailed out… It was easier to condition in a SS keg… You may be embarking on a style you’ll be forever happy with! Keep this post going as you progress down this path! Sneezles61

I do plan on doing some traditional English stuff , porters, ESB,old ales. I’m thinking start slow maybe secondary in the barrel for a couple then pull some off and put it in one of my dedicated Bret sankes for more aging. I’m envisioning a barrel rack may go nice in the pub


Im by NO means a barrel expert but I think they use sulfur sticks to kill anything. I also think you want to fill it with warm PBW to wash it out and to keep the wood swelled. In last months BYO magazine there was a write up about barrel maintenance but did not include any advice on using it.

I’ve been doing some research and what I’ve read is of the barrel comes with some residual bourbon it should be good to go and should be filled right away. If your going to store it empty get a handle of bourbon and pour it in and just keep turning the barrel to keep it wet.

The first thing when your barrel arrives is smell it make sure it is not dank moldy smelling if it does we got more work to do. It should smell like bourbon. Please do not put Pbw cleaner in it. It will draw the bourbon out of the barrel. The next step is to buy some bourbon and put back in the barrel and splash it around shake the thing few times a day till you hear less and less bourbon . A five gallon barrel can hold about a gallon of bourbon in the wood it will soak in

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See I’ve been misinformed!

I did a quick search for used bourbon barrels. They seem to come in different sizes and a wide variety of cost. Is there an advantage to buying one rather than just the staves from barrels, adding oak to the fermenter or just adding some bourbon?

The big ones look to be unruly to move and store. Also would it be OK to have one partially filled with your precious beer?

I really have no plans right now to get one, just curious. I have made one Bourbon barrel porter just adding Jim Beam and it came out pretty tasty.

I got a five gallon from AIH for $109 + shipping. The reviews were good. Just hoping to add another layer to the hobby

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It would be interesting to try a large batch with some in the barrel and some with staves or other methods to compare.

I think you could get similar results. My plan is to maybe go the blending route. Maybe start with a barley wine then after it ages pull some off to bottle or blend then replace what was pulled with a “new” beer and see where we go from there. I have a dedicated Bret sankes that I’m doing something similar now

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That may be a very good clue as to how to keep iy in the circulation… Pull half of it out for serving, or pull pints and drink… When half empty, fill with some green brews and then the turning process until the “aged” brew is ready!You’ll have to lead the way! I bought one so long ago I forgot about it… I may have to disassemble and scape it to clean it and try give it a purpose again… Sneezles61

A local club did a communal brew- everyone brewed a certain beer and they filled a big barrel with it. After aging portioned it out. Not sure why I dropped that in this thread. :face_with_hand_over_mouth: but I am intrigued by your move @brew_cat. Can’t wait to hear more about this adventure too.

Anyone have a good barley wine recipe?

On the subject of Barleywine BYO January/February new issue has 5 clones in it. I myself like like Wheatwine better than Barleywines.

I’ve only had one wheat wine so not sure which I prefer. Actually I don’t drink much BW. I stay away from them when I’m out and driving. Actually I don’t think I would drink 5 gallons of it in a couple years so I would be blending it into weaker beers. Not sure how I would replace what I pulled without originating the barrel

Here is a recipe I came up with ingredients I have. Haven't made a B wine before so feel free to make comments. Actually please do. I could run out tomorrow for more products if I need to.

Most barley wines have caramel/crystal malt of some sort in it. The beer should be malt forward and little hoppy to to balace the sweetness. English Barleywines tend to be a little thicker with a chew malt texture alittle nutty and hoped with English hops. American Barleywines are not as thick malty sweet and show case the hops. Where English do not The Maris is a great base will give you that malty and nutty taste the oats Wil give you that kinda thickness and chewy that a English has although not common using oats in the style. But who care about guidelines all the time I would change out the wheat for Munich to add more malty taste and add some caramel 60 and drop the raisins and keep the molasses

I have heard that Denny’s old stoner barley wines recipe is good you could Google it or just maybe he might share it and give alittle advise for brewing the style.

I thought carmelizimg the wort and raisons would add what the lack of Chrystal malt. I have some caramunich 60L also some roasted barley. I do have some Munich and Vienna I was saving for a lager but I may be able to steel some , I’ll weigh out what I have. If I need to go to the store I could get some EKG. What about the yeast it’s the only UK I have

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