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Barrel question


read 1209 times • 19 replies • posted 2/24/2012 11:13:13 AM

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thebaldwizard 1205:
I have a 5 gallon barrel that was originally filled with Balconeís Rubmle--a spirit made with honey, and figs. Iím getting ready to bottle my mead out of the barrel and want to know how to handle the barrel once itís been emptied.

Do I need to get another beer or mead in the barrel immediately? Do I need to clean it? Can I fill it with water until Iím ready to fill again?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as this is my first foray into using a barrel.

Cheers!
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CheesedMan 555:12
All I know is that I need to try some of this stuff.
2/24/2012 11:15:12 AM

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kaips1 72:12
if i can find the link ill post it but you do need to "clean" it sort of depending on what you want to use in it next. also you will need to keep somethnig in it h2o or beer or spirits so the barrel doesnt lose it shape and dry out beyond repair.
2/24/2012 11:40:23 AM

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NobleSquirrel 3437:209
I would use an acidic solution to rinse the barrel then dump in a pint to a quart of cheap booze and just slosh it around every once in a while. My thinking is that just keeping water in it will end up with whatever bugs or yeast are in there will be able to grow due to some residual sugar in the solution.
2/24/2012 11:40:41 AM

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levifunk 12:
If you want the next beer/mead to pick up any of the flavor of the original spirit and the current mead, then I would NOT fill it with water. Adding water will remove flavor from the barrel.

It really would be best to have your next mead/beer ready to pour in right as you dump the current one.

If thatís not an option;
I donít like the idea of adding chemicals to the barrel. Oak is porous, so I feel that is something you can never undo. I built a steamer to sanitize my barrel:
http://funkfactorybrewing.blogspot.com/2012/01/steam-cleaning-barrel-part-3.html

Another option would be to pour in liquor. If you can get a bottle of Balconeís Rumble, I would pour that into the barrel and rotate the barrel every week or so.

...or you can burn sulfur sticks, which IMO is better than adding chemicals, but not ideal.
2/24/2012 12:03:15 PM

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NobleSquirrel 3437:209
Originally posted by levifunk
If you want the next beer/mead to pick up any of the flavor of the original spirit and the current mead, then I would NOT fill it with water. Adding water will remove flavor from the barrel.

It really would be best to have your next mead/beer ready to pour in right as you dump the current one.

If thatís not an option;
I donít like the idea of adding chemicals to the barrel. Oak is porous, so I feel that is something you can never undo. I built a steamer to sanitize my barrel:
http://funkfactorybrewing.blogspot.com/2012/01/steam-cleaning-barrel-part-3.html

Another option would be to pour in liquor. If you can get a bottle of Balconeís Rumble, I would pour that into the barrel and rotate the barrel every week or so.

...or you can burn sulfur sticks, which IMO is better than adding chemicals, but not ideal.


a weak acid solution wouldnít harm the barrel in the least. Steaming is probably the best way to go about it. Personally, I think he wantís the character of the Rumble, heíd be better served to dose the final product and avoid the oak. More control that way and wonít really be wasting the booze.
2/24/2012 12:27:41 PM

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levifunk 12:
Originally posted by NobleSquirrel
a weak acid solution wouldnít harm the barrel in the least. Steaming is probably the best way to go about it. Personally, I think he wantís the character of the Rumble, heíd be better served to dose the final product and avoid the oak. More control that way and wonít really be wasting the booze.


Agreed.
2/24/2012 12:30:52 PM

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thetomG 246:1
Originally posted by levifunk
If you want the next beer/mead to pick up any of the flavor of the original spirit and the current mead, then I would NOT fill it with water. Adding water will remove flavor from the barrel.

It really would be best to have your next mead/beer ready to pour in right as you dump the current one.

If thatís not an option;
I donít like the idea of adding chemicals to the barrel. Oak is porous, so I feel that is something you can never undo. I built a steamer to sanitize my barrel:
http://funkfactorybrewing.blogspot.com/2012/01/steam-cleaning-barrel-part-3.html

Another option would be to pour in liquor. If you can get a bottle of Balconeís Rumble, I would pour that into the barrel and rotate the barrel every week or so.

...or you can burn sulfur sticks, which IMO is better than adding chemicals, but not ideal.


love seeing such informative feedback here... Iíve been reading Jeff Sparrowís "Wild Brews" and have become obsessed with the idea of getting a few lambics going. Already got a few barrels that I need to do stuff with ASAP, so Iíve subscribed to your blog and may be messaging you in the future with questions!

cheers!
2/24/2012 1:18:41 PM

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GT2 8427:598
Originally posted by levifunk
If you want the next beer/mead to pick up any of the flavor of the original spirit and the current mead, then I would NOT fill it with water. Adding water will remove flavor from the barrel.

It really would be best to have your next mead/beer ready to pour in right as you dump the current one.

If thatís not an option;
I donít like the idea of adding chemicals to the barrel. Oak is porous, so I feel that is something you can never undo. I built a steamer to sanitize my barrel:
http://funkfactorybrewing.blogspot.com/2012/01/steam-cleaning-barrel-part-3.html

Another option would be to pour in liquor. If you can get a bottle of Balconeís Rumble, I would pour that into the barrel and rotate the barrel every week or so.

...or you can burn sulfur sticks, which IMO is better than adding chemicals, but not ideal.


Sweet blog
2/24/2012 1:27:38 PM

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thebaldwizard 1205:
Thanks for all the advice. I guess Iím going to go ahead and brew another beer to age in the barrel. Not going to do a mead though. Stout or barleywine? Iím thinking an english style barleywine would work well in this type of barrel.
2/24/2012 7:05:45 PM

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Cletus 6354:233
Originally posted by TheCheeseMan
All I know is that I need to try some of this stuff.


^^^^^^^
This!
2/24/2012 7:08:11 PM

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