I did it. not sure what I was thinking but I let that monkey climb right up on my back and grab a good solid hold I'm afraid.
last weekend I coated my 20 liter balcones rumble barrel in bees wax over all surfaces except the heads. This weekend I transferred a batch of farmhouse style fermented with Almanac Brewers Reserve #1 dregs and topped it off with a gallon or so of A similar recipe brewed with the belle saison.
Took some gravity readings while I was at it and was blown away.
The Belle Saison batch, just yeast, not bugs. 1.000 down from only 1.045 but still.
The Sour batch has gone from 1.048 to 0.98. woof.
Both taste pretty good all by themselves but the sour portion was starting to get really really nice. I would highly recommend this beer as a dregs starter for a sour project.
The Almanac beer has tremendous mouth feel for such a low gravity.
So finally to the questions, if anyone is still reading.
1) I topped the barrel off to the tippy top, till beer started to overflow a bit. Is this right? do I want any air space? as I sample (not often) should I re-top off?
2) I am planning to let this ride for another 4 months so the original almanac brew will be 6 months old, draw off 2-3 gallons and replace with something similar. Does this seem right? after than I will go with a 6 - 12 month cycle until I am totally sick of it or the barrel goes way way south.