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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Wood/Casks => Topic started by: yso191 on August 03, 2015, 03:26:01 AM

Title: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: yso191 on August 03, 2015, 03:26:01 AM
I'm about to brew a RIS for the holidays.  I'm considering aging it in one of their 8 gallon barrels.  They say they just use them once.  I'm wondering about an appropriate time in the barrel for a noticeable, but not dominant whiskey barrel flavor.

Is a month or two sufficient?  What are your experiences?
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: 1vertical on August 03, 2015, 12:18:51 PM
After reading your question these things came to mind.  A small bbl has more of the contents
exposed to the wood so less time is required to impart the flavor profile of the wood.   I aged
a beer in a fresh dumped 10 gal wine bbl once and believe that you will get results in as little
as 30 days.  A RIS is strongly flavored in its own right and a bit more time will prolly not hurt.
So your plan seems on target.

The other thing is to consider putting a hole in the flat end and use a SS nail to plug the port.
That way you can take small non invasive samples easily.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=393161 (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=393161)
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: morticaixavier on August 03, 2015, 12:22:39 PM
I'd let it ride a while. ageing on wood goes through phazes. First you will get strong whisky and kind of harse woody oak. You'll be tempted to pull it then but don't! the whisky will meld with your beer somewhat and eventually the oak will soften and become quite nice. I'd start with 30 days and start tasteing. The SS nail sampling port is a good idea. I always meant to do that and never got around to it.

The big problem with the smaller barrels is o2 ingress which will happen a lot quicker with an 8 gallon than with a 60 gallon because the volume drops much faster than the surface area. you can wax the outside of the staves to slow this down though. that said, a big dark beer doesn't mind a bit of micro oxidation so maybe you don't want to.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: majorvices on August 03, 2015, 12:26:38 PM
I have two of these. 2 weeks is really abouta ll you need! I left it for 4 weeks and it was still good but a little over oaked. Most people ,let beer sit on the wood far too long in my experience.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: morticaixavier on August 03, 2015, 12:38:15 PM
I have two of these. 2 weeks is really abouta ll you need! I left it for 4 weeks and it was still good but a little over oaked. Most people ,let beer sit on the wood far too long in my experience.

I think you haven't let it sit long enough yet keith. it's only 8 gallons, let one ride for 8 weeks and see what you think. The tannins from the oak and some phenols in the beer will bind into large enough clumps to settle out and get rid of some of the obnoxious woody oak character allowing the lovely vanilla/almond stuff to shine through more.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: majorvices on August 03, 2015, 03:18:25 PM
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: yso191 on August 03, 2015, 04:22:05 PM
Interesting info and conversation!  Thank you.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: Pinski on August 03, 2015, 04:59:21 PM
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I concur with Keith on this. I currently have a Woodinville 8 gallon barrel on it's second run with a Wee Heavy.  The first run was an Imperial Porter for four weeks.  I was worried I would get too much barrel character.  While the wood and bourbon are assertive, I'm really happy with the results.

The Wee Heavy I'm going to leave for a minimum of three months to get a better idea of volume losses and character from extended aging on a second run barrel.

Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: morticaixavier on August 03, 2015, 07:18:42 PM
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I'm not saying it won't taste overoaked after about 4 weeks. I'm saying it comes through that and into something better after a few more weeks. There was a presentation at NHC 2013 about alternative wood ageing and the presenter went into the specifics of it.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: majorvices on August 03, 2015, 11:35:49 PM
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I'm not saying it won't taste overoaked after about 4 weeks. I'm saying it comes through that and into something better after a few more weeks. There was a presentation at NHC 2013 about alternative wood ageing and the presenter went into the specifics of it.

That doesn't match my experience at all. One of the major problems you are overlooking is also oxidation. beer that has sat in bbls too long turns into an oxidated mess. I have a small barrel program at Yellowhammer and in my experience it is very critical to taste and pull the beer at the right time or you will ruin it.

If anyone get's a copy of "New Brewer" look at the barrel aging article by the guy over their program at Avery brewing. It's a very good article and echoes what I'm saying. Even in 60 gallon barrels I find that often I have enough wood balance after 4-6 weeks.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: morticaixavier on August 04, 2015, 12:15:17 AM
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I'm not saying it won't taste overoaked after about 4 weeks. I'm saying it comes through that and into something better after a few more weeks. There was a presentation at NHC 2013 about alternative wood ageing and the presenter went into the specifics of it.

That doesn't match my experience at all. One of the major problems you are overlooking is also oxidation. beer that has sat in bbls too long turns into an oxidated mess. I have a small barrel program at Yellowhammer and in my experience it is very critical to taste and pull the beer at the right time or you will ruin it.

If anyone get's a copy of "New Brewer" look at the barrel aging article by the guy over their program at Avery brewing. It's a very good article and echoes what I'm saying. Even in 60 gallon barrels I find that often I have enough wood balance after 4-6 weeks.

it certainly depends on how much oxidation the beer can take to it's advantage. I would not leave a smaller or very pale beer in a bbl that long.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: yso191 on August 04, 2015, 12:46:17 AM
This discussion has brought up a question.  Assuming Jonathan is correct, does that mean that if I only oak it until it tastes right (not pushing through the over-oaked period until it is good again) will the oak and Whiskey fade in the resulting beer?  Or do both methods get to the same point with one simply taking longer?
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: majorvices on August 04, 2015, 01:30:50 AM
I don't think you will notice this being a problem. But I guarantee if you wait too long to pull the beer out of the barrel you will wish this was the case!
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: yso191 on August 04, 2015, 01:36:23 AM
I don't think you will notice this being a problem. But I guarantee if you wait too long to pull the beer out of the barrel you will wish this was the case!

Yeah, this being my first attempt I'm going to just taste periodically and keg it when it gets to the right level. 

Any advice on how to preserve the barrel after the beer comes out?  I've heard it needs to stay full of liquid.  RO water OK?
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: 1vertical on August 04, 2015, 02:50:59 AM
Depending upon how long you you are soaking with water.....uh subjective....
But keeping it full of water will work.  That said, the objective is to keep the wood
saturated to prevent shrinkage and the concurrent leakage caused by shrinkage.

Prior to re-populating with beer, perhaps a good spin with boiling steamy hot water
and a spray with some everclear to kill any bugs. 

Also should you gain any oxygen on top of your water layer, you will produce a great
environ for mold and mildew which will be of detriment. Therefore FULL FULL FULL
should be your mantra.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: klickitat jim on August 04, 2015, 10:24:29 AM
The sour guys (Rare Barrel, Crooked Stave, etc) are storing their barrels with a solution of 2 gm potasium metabisulfate 1 gm citric acid per liter water until ready to use, 4-6 months. Replace with fresh if storing longer. Rinse thoroughly before filling.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: majorvices on August 04, 2015, 10:41:12 AM
The sour guys (Rare Barrel, Crooked Stave, etc) are storing their barrels with a solution of 2 gm potasium metabisulfate 1 gm citric acid per liter water until ready to use, 4-6 months. Replace with fresh if storing longer. Rinse thoroughly before filling.

This is what I do if storing long term, but you can also just go right in the barrel with another beer if you have one in waiting. That's what I try to do.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: TexasHumuluslupulushead on October 04, 2015, 11:59:34 AM
I have two of these. 2 weeks is really abouta ll you need! I left it for 4 weeks and it was still good but a little over oaked. Most people ,let beer sit on the wood far too long in my experience.

+1 you cant un-oak your beer... 
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: beer_crafter on October 09, 2015, 11:48:33 AM
Sure you can... by blending.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: ca_mouse on October 17, 2015, 05:41:36 PM
Those of you that have gotten barrels from them, how long does it normally take? They don't say on the website and the only thing I've heard from them so far was the emailed invoice saying that I've paid for it...
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: yso191 on October 17, 2015, 06:03:35 PM
Those of you that have gotten barrels from them, how long does it normally take? They don't say on the website and the only thing I've heard from them so far was the emailed invoice saying that I've paid for it...

It depends.  If they happen to have some in stock it should just be shipping time.  I had to wait a little over a month until they dumped the whiskey out of a batch of barrels.  I'd say all contact them and ask.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: ca_mouse on October 17, 2015, 09:28:41 PM
Thanks Steve!
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: jweiss206 on December 28, 2015, 06:23:32 PM
Just got one of these for Christmas from my siblings. It caught me totally off guard, so I don't have a beer ready to go in at the moment, but will brew a batch asap. How long can the barrel rest as is? I'd be putting in a beer post fermentation, so the earliest I could throw a batch in would likely be the 3rd week of January. Is the barrel fine without any type of treatment till then? The whiskey is strong with this one, just emptied on 12/10.

thanks
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: Footballandhops on December 28, 2015, 06:29:35 PM

Just got one of these for Christmas from my siblings. It caught me totally off guard, so I don't have a beer ready to go in at the moment, but will brew a batch asap. How long can the barrel rest as is? I'd be putting in a beer post fermentation, so the earliest I could throw a batch in would likely be the 3rd week of January. Is the barrel fine without any type of treatment till then? The whiskey is strong with this one, just emptied on 12/10.

thanks

Dump a handle or two of bourbon in it to keep it hydrated and sanitized until you are ready to fill it.....rotate it from time to time to hit all surfaces with the bourbon
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: morticaixavier on December 28, 2015, 06:53:41 PM
you could wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap to help hold the liquid in there too. it won't go moldy if the liquid is booze.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: jeffy on December 28, 2015, 08:39:18 PM
I'd wrap it in plastic except for one end and keep that end hydrated with a pool of water (barrel standing on end).  Keep it in a cool dark place until ready to fill.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: jweiss206 on December 28, 2015, 09:44:16 PM
I'd wrap it in plastic except for one end and keep that end hydrated with a pool of water (barrel standing on end).  Keep it in a cool dark place until ready to fill.
]

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Looking forward to filling this bad boy up.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: tfrommer on November 30, 2017, 09:51:13 PM
The sour guys (Rare Barrel, Crooked Stave, etc) are storing their barrels with a solution of 2 gm potasium metabisulfate 1 gm citric acid per liter water until ready to use, 4-6 months. Replace with fresh if storing longer. Rinse thoroughly before filling.

This is what I do if storing long term, but you can also just go right in the barrel with another beer if you have one in waiting. That's what I try to do.

I just acquired one of the prevalent Balcones barrels and have been researching cleaning, sanitation, and care. Knowing my brewing frequency and preference for variety on tap at home, I foresee brewing for the barrel 2-4x year and want to keep it for "clean" beer. Since this long term storage suggestion came from the sour patch kids, would you still recommend this for a non-sour guy like myself?
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: reverseapachemaster on December 01, 2017, 02:51:31 PM
Yes. The purpose of the holding solution is to keep the barrel wet and keep it from growing mold or other unwelcome guests. For a clean beer you want the inside of the barrel to be an even more VIP location than a sour beer where a little LAB or brett wouldn't be a big deal.
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: Killebrew on June 14, 2018, 08:33:28 PM
Once mold takes hold in one of these, do you have to throw them out?  Or is there any way to clean them out and use them after they've gotten a little grungy?
Title: Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
Post by: HopDen on June 15, 2018, 10:52:30 AM
Here's my experience with one of their barrels. RIS @ 10.5% abv that was ready to go into the barrel when it arrived. I brewed a 10 gallon recipe so I had 2 gallons left over that I kept in one gallon jugs with air stopper. After 2 months I checked the beer and lost around 1 gallon or more to evaporation. Topped up with the extra beer and I let that go 2 more months and checked it again, topping up. One more month and I felt it was ready to keg. After begging the RIS I had a Imperial Irish Red ready to go into barrel. One out the other in. I did not or would not rinse between batches. I can honestly say that those were 2 of the best beers that I ever made and I'm confident that the barrel aging made them the best. I believe I could have put a third beer in that barrel but I was afraid of possible contamination after 2 beers aging for 10 months total. I recently just purchased a 20 gallon electric system and it took me about 3 months to get my basement brewery completely set. I CAN'T wait to brew another monster RIS to put into an even larger barrel and let that baby age 1 year.