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Bourbon barrel

1098 or us04 either of them would do a great job. I would extend the boil to get that caramelized taste

I have WY1968 I like it better than 04

I looked up the old stoner and not sure I want to go in that direction. I’m sure it’s good but I’m more into British styles so I think I’ll use less hops. Plus this is going to be aged so not sure what would happen to the hops flavor. I’ll take out the wheat and add some Munich and caramunich. Still thinking about the carmalized raisons

Here’s the changes

Wow ya the ibu’s in dennys old stoner barley wine is kinda high. I think your recipe looks much better

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I’ve been using a 10 gallon barrel for an old-school IPA solera for a couple of years. Every 6 months or so I pull off 3 gallons and replace it with 5. Basic Victorian-era 100% pale malt and a ridiculous amount of EKG hops. There’s still a touch of oak in the barrel, which really isn’t correct for the type of beer, but it doesn’t detract. It’ll take a good 2 or 3 batches to pull out most of the oak and bourbon, and you probably don’t want to leave the first batch in there more than a couple of weeks. I think I did 2 weeks for the first beer through the barrel, 6 weeks for the second, and then went to a 6-month schedule with only pulling half the volume.

Thanks @porkchop I was torn about what to start with. I already have my Porter for the season so I went with the B wine figuring to leave it. But you say pull it and age it in a standard keg ? I was planning to blend it . Thinking about how to do transfers without introducing O2. I’ll have to use a double hole stopper.

I’d pull it after a couple of weeks, otherwise it might become an oak bomb. It’s certainly a process to keep a barrel going, or at least getting it started. My third beer was still pretty oaky, but that one was in for 6 months. If you look around on-line, you can find some DIY bulldog barrel filler/transfer canes that use CO2 to transfer out of barrels. I just use a siphon and haven’t had oxidation issues, but there’s going to be some normal oxidation just going through the staves and the head. Part of the charm of a barrel.

Are you planning on waxing your barrel? I did not find it necessary with mine, but all barrels are slightly different.

Would wax then make the exterior… non permeable? Short of the staves moving and cracking the joints… I would think that the bung would be able to have a hole drilled into it and a fitting adapted to allow a half pound of CO2 applied as it was being racked… Sneezles61

Kind of what I was thinking. Drill two holes stuff a long tube in one and a short in the other then a pound or so of gas to push out the beer

Wasn’t planning on waxing I’m going natural

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That’s the idea… the smaller the barrel, the more oxygen transfer per unit volume. Waxing the head and some of the staves is supposed to bring it closer to the O2 transfer rate for a full size barrel. I didn’t find it necessary, but I’m keeping the barrel in my basement and it’s pretty humid down there. Not much chance of the top staves drying out.

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If your only pulling 1/2 and leaving some beer in doesn’t it get oxidized?

Oh, my bad… I run my barrel as a solera, so I only pull if I have a fermented batch on hand to replace it. With evaporation, I usually pull 3 gallons and replace it with 5. So it really doesn’t sit empty. I’ve added several brett cultures to the barrel, which leaves plenty of fermentables to re-start fermentation, which purges all the O2.

With a 5 gallon barrel, you could probably pull 2.5 gallons and replace it with 3 gallons or so, and keep it going that way.

No brazillian for this guy/barrel.

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What about trub. Do you just siphon it out

Good question. Not much of an issue for me, since I’m doing mixed fermentation. And with adding fermented beer to the barrel, it builds up pretty slowly. I’ll probably rack everything out this spring and give it a rinse with boiling water, and then re-fill. But the only issue with the brett in there is how much volume the trub layer takes. This should be three years of trub, but it doesn’t seem to be too bad yet.

If you’re going to keep your barrel clean, then I’d probably want to dump the trub once a year or so. Rack all the beer out, add some boiling water, and shake/dump once or twice. For a 5 gallon barrel, it should work about as well as steam cleaning.

Probably keep it going with English styles till it stops adding oak. I’ll do a few beers before starting the solara. I won’t add Brett for a while. I have a Brett solara going in a sanke. If it goes sour I’ll start putting some kettle sour porters through it.

Good plan! If you keep the hopping a bit aggressive, it shouldn’t go sour on you. I kinda wish I hadn’t added the brett yet, but on the other hand, the ipa that comes out of this barrel is glorious.

Well the barrel came yesterday. I popped the bung and it smelled of bourbon and vanilla. I have a bottle of bourbon ready to pour in. It also came with a nice wooden stand. The hole is to small for my auto siphon so I’m either going to enlarge it or drill another. What do you think?

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