Author Topic: Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)  (Read 1672 times)

Offline PaulB

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Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« on: June 10, 2014, 01:10:07 pm »
Hi Guys,

I just took delivery of a Woodinville Whiskey barrel (6 gallon), the aroma is amazing. The first beer I'll be looking to try in it is a Brown Porter, ca. 5.4%, I think the flavours in the barrel will compliment the beer well.

My question is, does anyone have experience of aging a similar beer in one of these barrels ? My guess is that a couple of weeks will be enough for such a light beer & for a first time use.

I'd love to hear from anyone who could offer some advice.( I should have mentioned the barrel was used for Rye whiskey & then maple syrup)

All the best,
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 01:12:48 pm by PaulB »

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 01:57:05 pm »
I've never had a great 1st-turn, bourbon barrel-aged beer that was under 8% abv (or so). The wood and residual whiskey seem to clobber anything except big, bold flavors.

For the first turn, I would make an imperial version of your porter north of 10% abv. I'll leave it up to the experienced small-barrel users for a timeline, but even with a big beer I doubt it will take long.
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 06:46:59 pm »
I just bought the same barrel and am going to try an imperial stout in it. By the way - how'd you get the bung out? I've had no luck yet.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 06:53:32 pm »
so first it had rye, then it aged maple syrup? the rye should be a note at this point. It think it will be fine. Let taste be your guide, but be aware that there are flavors that will extract quickly and those that take some time (6+ weeks) to extract. I prefer the later flavors and find that the harsh woodiness that extracts first fades after ~4-5 weeks and is replaced with a much more subtle and pleasant character. This is where I get the vanilla and tobacco notes from wood aged beers.
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Offline PaulB

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2014, 07:23:02 pm »
Many thanks Guys, much appreciated.

I too will stronger beers but i had just thought to try something in the short term first.

As for removing the bung, it was well jammed in, i tapped with a hammer on the sides of the bung and then used a twisting movement to remove it, to be honest, knowing now that its not a big deal, I would not remove it again unless I was ready to test it for leaks & had a beer to go in, the aroma was fantastic & i'm thinking it would be better preserved not opened..just a thought though.

Online smkranz

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2014, 07:36:32 pm »
There is a lot of small-barrel info in various threads in the Kegging & Bottling > Wood/Casks child board.  I've used three Woodinville barrels (bourbon and rye), but not one that had syrup in it so I have no clue as to what to expect from that.

One easy way to get the bung out if it just won't give, is to drill a lag screw into it and give the screw a few taps.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2014, 10:22:32 pm »
I've only seen this done, but the traditional method for removing a bung is to take a hammer (usually a wooden one) and give a few knocks on either side of the bung.  This loosens it and you can just lift it theory.
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Offline majorvices

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Woodinville Whiskey Barrel- Aging an Ale (help !)
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 05:11:28 pm »
I agree, go with something bigger. A 10-12% RIS to start. And that mush surface area is going to pick up flavors fast.

To get bungs out you can sometimes screw in a wood screw and then use a pair of pliers or vice grips to get it started but you will probably have to just tear the bung up with a flat head screwdriver and hammer if it is too tight.