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Subject: barrel aging
Author: jbillingsle01
Sep 19th, 2017
4:15 pm
hello all -

i just got a 5 gallon barrel that i'm going to age a russian imperial stout in. i've never barrel aged before so i was hoping for some pointers. my buddy gave me the barrel, which he used to make 2 batches of very tasty whiskey in. it had been used once previously by a local distillery for whiskey.

- how many times do you think i can use the barrel? i'm thinking of doing two beers. first the russian imperial stout, followed by a barley wine
- think i should do anything fancy to sanitize it? he just bottled his whiskey a couple of weeks ago and there is still a bit of it sloshing around in the barrel. i was thinking about just pouring some more whiskey in the barrel and shaking it around, then emptying before racking into it
- being a 5 gallon barrel, the surface area ratio is quite high. does that mean i should age this shorter? i've done some other reading and homebrewers are suggesting 6 - 12 months of aging, but that seems long for me
- i will ultimately bottle the beer and it will be bottle conditioned. do you think i'll need to add more yeast while bottling? seems like the yeast may not fare too well being in the whiskey barrel of a couple of months


thanks all!
Subject: Re: barrel aging
Author: jbillingsle01
Sep 22nd, 2017
4:32 pm
wow. must not be much barrel aging going on around here
Subject: Re: barrel aging
Author: DConn
Sep 23rd, 2017
3:46 pm
Usually sanitizing is done by draining and thoroughly rinsing the barrel, then burning a sulfur stick in it. But you have to be absolutely sure to get all the alcohol out forst. Gordon Strong blew himself up when the guy who gave him the barrel didn't rinse it thoroughly enough. The whiskey will not be enough to sanitize it.
Subject: Re: barrel aging
Author: jbillingsle01
Sep 26th, 2017
12:08 pm
yeah, i read that bit in Gordon Strong's book. seems a bit excessive to me, and i don't really want to blow myself up.

i've also read that you can put hot water in to sanitize the barrel. i'll try that method out and report back.
Subject: Re: barrel aging
Author: DConn
Sep 26th, 2017
3:24 pm
I can't see how hot water is going to sanitize it. Let us know.
Subject: Re: barrel aging
Author: thomasbuckleyelizamolly
Sep 28th, 2017
7:31 am
good tips
Subject: Re: barrel aging
Author: paulb
Sep 28th, 2017
9:13 am
I want to try this with an old ale, any advice about the yeast and the aging time time would be helpful, Denny.
Subject: Re: barrel aging
Author: DConn
Sep 28th, 2017
3:57 pm
paulb, not sure I understand your question about the yeast. we're talking aging, not fermenting. As to time, thjat's gonna depend on barrel age, char and previous uses. Probably the best thing to do is taste occasionally and decide based on that.

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