Author Topic: Bourbon Barrel Aging  (Read 1655 times)

Offline jjflash

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2014, 06:48:03 AM »
FYI - I have used sulfur sticks in a few barrels and there has been no detectable flavor issues.  You need to use only a very small amount, not a whole stick in a 5 gallon barrel - which is probably the key.

My preferred method currently is to get freshly dumped whiskey / bourbon barrels and immediately fill them using no rinse between.  After beer has been in the barrel and later transferred out I rinse well with hot water, 160 degrees plus, to get out the dregs.  Perhaps may kill off some of the bugs.  Then I will pour whiskey into the barrel to impart that bourbon barrel taste back into the barrel.  I save this bourbon and reuse it many times.  After a couple uses the barrel gets impregnated with the sour bugs no matter how well I care for them.  They get relegated to the lambic barrel collection at that point.  I also drill a hole in the head all my barrels and add spigots to make transfers easy.  Barrel stands that allow you to stack barrels one on top of another are great too.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2014, 08:10:27 AM »
+1

I also think the best method is to use a freshly dumped bourbon barrel. I'm using a barrel that had one batch of beer in it for a couple of weeks so there's still plenty of oak tannins to extract from the barrel. After dumping the sanitizer I'm planning to add some bourbon to the barrel to lend some additional bourbon flavor to the RIS. I'll be racking the RIS into the bourbon barrel next week. Stay tuned!
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Offline micsager

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2014, 02:33:37 PM »
+1

I also think the best method is to use a freshly dumped bourbon barrel. I'm using a barrel that had one batch of beer in it for a couple of weeks so there's still plenty of oak tannins to extract from the barrel. After dumping the sanitizer I'm planning to add some bourbon to the barrel to lend some additional bourbon flavor to the RIS. I'll be racking the RIS into the bourbon barrel next week. Stay tuned!

Were about to do very similar things.  Do you go through primary fermentation before transferring to the barrels, or straight from the boil kettle? 

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2014, 02:46:17 PM »
Also, we will be getting 2, 32 gallon barrels.  We can fill one with our 1bbl system, but want.  How long can I store the other one before it starts to dry out?  (or can I fell with water?)
 

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2014, 02:56:20 PM »
I would ferment outside the barrel and fill with finished beer for ageing purposes. it would get messy to ferment in the barrel. If you can keep some of the same beer aside it will be useful for topping off as beer evaporates (angels share) and/or is sampled for doneness. I haven't done this yet 30% out of inability to find the equipement and 70% laziness, but I would also 'install' a sampling port aka a vinnie nail. You can find instructions on line but basically you drill a small hole in one head of the barrel and plug is will a stainless nail. then you can pull the nail to let a little beer for tasting without exposing the whole barrel to quite as much as pulling the cork.

I kept my little 20 liter healthy for a few weeks by keeping it sealed and wetting the outside down once or twice a day. But you are better off filling as soon as possible. I would not rinse or sanitize if it's a fresh dump liquor barrel. It's as close to sterile as it's every going to get right now.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2014, 09:39:23 AM »
I would ferment outside the barrel and fill with finished beer for ageing purposes. it would get messy to ferment in the barrel. If you can keep some of the same beer aside it will be useful for topping off as beer evaporates (angels share) and/or is sampled for doneness. I haven't done this yet 30% out of inability to find the equipement and 70% laziness, but I would also 'install' a sampling port aka a vinnie nail. You can find instructions on line but basically you drill a small hole in one head of the barrel and plug is will a stainless nail. then you can pull the nail to let a little beer for tasting without exposing the whole barrel to quite as much as pulling the cork.

I kept my little 20 liter healthy for a few weeks by keeping it sealed and wetting the outside down once or twice a day. But you are better off filling as soon as possible. I would not rinse or sanitize if it's a fresh dump liquor barrel. It's as close to sterile as it's every going to get right now.

+1

Ferment in primary vessel prior to filling barrel. Use the barrel as a secondary. If the bourbon barrel is freshly dumped it's probably safe to use right away. I weigh on the side of caution and sanitize prior to use as I'm not sure of the timing of the distillers use. The bourbon/whiskey will definitely keep the barrel "bug" free for some undetermined amount of time.
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Offline micsager

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2014, 10:32:11 AM »
OK, our imp stout is about to reach FG.  We started at 1.084, two days ago it was down to 1.014.  If it's at 1.014 today, we're gonna fill up the barrel.  This is the Big Brew Recipe.  As you can see we didn't come close to the 1.100, but all three times we've brewed it, it's been within .004 of each other.  And we got it down well below the 1.025 on the recipe sheet.

This should prove interesting.  We plan to taste through a vinnie port each month until we like it.  And brewed enough to make up for the angels share/brewers share.


Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2014, 07:56:26 PM »

OK, our imp stout is about to reach FG.  We started at 1.084, two days ago it was down to 1.014.  If it's at 1.014 today, we're gonna fill up the barrel.  This is the Big Brew Recipe.  As you can see we didn't come close to the 1.100, but all three times we've brewed it, it's been within .004 of each other.  And we got it down well below the 1.025 on the recipe sheet.

This should prove interesting.  We plan to taste through a vinnie port each month until we like it.  And brewed enough to make up for the angels share/brewers share.
Looks like nice beer.


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Offline micsager

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2014, 02:08:19 PM »
Well, we've had the Imp Stout in  the barrel for just under a month.  Did a side by side tasting with the same beer, in a corny for a month.  The barrel beer is quite tasty.  Nice whiskey notes, and very smooth.  We've decided to go at least another month. 

Offline micsager

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2014, 10:34:12 AM »
OK, so we kegged this beer last night.  It is tasty real good.  It's being force carbed now. 

We plan to age in the kegs until just after Thanksgiving, and then try to sell it.  Have to figure out pricing though.  this can't be sold at the same price as our regular production stuff. 

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2014, 10:52:02 AM »
very nice! wish I was near you!

I wouldn't be surprised to spend 8-10 bucks for a 10 ounce pour of aged RIS at the bar. what kind of margin do you give your tap account(s)?
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Offline micsager

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2014, 11:22:24 AM »
very nice! wish I was near you!

I wouldn't be surprised to spend 8-10 bucks for a 10 ounce pour of aged RIS at the bar. what kind of margin do you give your tap account(s)?

Not sure what you mean by giving them a margin.  In my state, all accounts must get same price wholesale.  Once they buy it, it is theirs to establish a retail price. 

I hope it continues to be this tasty.  We're gonna back fill the barrel with our stand stout tonight.  Gotta keep that thing full. 


Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2014, 11:36:20 AM »
very nice! wish I was near you!

I wouldn't be surprised to spend 8-10 bucks for a 10 ounce pour of aged RIS at the bar. what kind of margin do you give your tap account(s)?

Not sure what you mean by giving them a margin.  In my state, all accounts must get same price wholesale.  Once they buy it, it is theirs to establish a retail price. 

I hope it continues to be this tasty.  We're gonna back fill the barrel with our stand stout tonight.  Gotta keep that thing full.

That's odd about the wholesale. but what I meant is if you are selling your house amber at ~$2/pint and they sell it at ~$5 they have a 150% margin. if you think they can sell the RIS for ~$8 at 10 ounce you set your price at 8/1.5 = ~5$ 10ounce serving
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Offline micsager

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2014, 11:40:08 AM »
That makes sense.  Thanks.  As I referred to, all accounts get a keg of the same beer for the same price.  And they all charge a slightly different per pint cost.  Plus, some do happy hours, some don't.  Some have a $10 growler fill on Wednesdays, some don't. 

But, thanks for the information, we may be able to back into something there. 

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bourbon Barrel Aging
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2014, 12:09:28 PM »
to be more correct. they have a 150% markup. their margin is (5-2)/5 = 60%

it works either way though. just make sure you are realistic about the costs to you. If the price you back into doesn't adequately reimburse you for your time, materials, space used for ageing, prorated value of the barrel, etc. you have to look at bumping the price more.

but the only time the cost to you should come into the equation is to make sure you aren't losing money on the deal. the price to the customer (draught account) is what the market will bear and should not be based on the cost to you.
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