General Category > Wood/Casks

Bought my first barrel

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gmac:
I just picked up a used 5 gal Hungarian oak barrel from the local wine shop.  They've been using it since about Oct 2011 for oaking wine so I'm not sure how much oak character is left in it.  I was thinking about using it for sours but I have an Imperial sweet stout that I was going to bottle off.  The wine shop had it full of water so it's swelled and tight and I'm thinking of putting the beer in it right away.

But, what do I need to do in order to sanitize it?  I read some of the other threads but I wasn't really sure exactly what the best option was (because I sure don't have any sulphur sitting around to burn).  I have star-san and I have potassium metabisulphite. 

Any suggestions what to do with it today so that I can put beer in it tomorrow?  I'm thinking that I'd leave the stout in it for a few weeks in order to try to get some character out of the wood.  Then I think a Belgian strong will go in after the stout and before I commit it to sours.  I'm in no rush so if it takes a month to get character out of it, that's fine.

Thanks

1vertical:
Marc,
Do NOT use sulphur strips that is highly undesirable flavoring.  If you are nervous
about the interior, consider a boiling hot water rinse or perhaps some burbon.
(if you rinse it with some mild burbon or vodka, you can re capture that and still have
a good snifter or 2....its not like its goin to be bad)

I would also drain the thing, give it a good assessment with your smeller....
It should be woody and sweet, not musty and foul.
You want to avoid mold mostly. If you are going to sour it, you are going
to infect it with a bug of your choice anyhow. So... If it smells good you are prolly
good to go, hot water rinse and fill with beer....sounds like they took good care of it for you.

rdwhahb enjoy.

gmac:
I'm pretty sure the last batch of wine came out of it within the past week.  I've been after them for a used barrel for a while so I'm pretty sure they called as soon as this one was available.

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