Author Topic: 55gallon barrels and Home brew clubs  (Read 1066 times)

Offline rabid_dingo

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55gallon barrels and Home brew clubs
« on: May 08, 2010, 08:05:06 PM »
Any home brew clubs out there have a whiskey/bourbon barrel they rotate beer through?

My club just got one and we're in the process of filling it. There are about 4-6 of us filling it and
want to know how to get a rotation going and if there are any good ideas on the process.

Or do you just fill and completely empty each time?

Any thoughts and pointers are welcome...
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 55gallon barrels and Home brew clubs
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2010, 04:52:03 AM »
The AABG has a bourbon barrel sollera project.  Members filled it, then you can withdraw 5 gallons of beer and replace with 5 gallons of "new" beer.  It is never emptied, and the flavors are always changing.
 http://aabg.org/2007/10/10/bourbon-barrel-barleywine/#more-42

There is also a wine barrel that was recently procured.  This has been filled with saison as the first fill, to strip out the wine color and flavor contributions.  This will be emptied and then filled with a Flanders Red, and pitched with the Roeselare Yeast.  That will then be a dedicated sour barrel.  The wine barrel is the second entry on the main page.
http://aabg.org/
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: 55gallon barrels and Home brew clubs
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2010, 02:48:22 PM »
Awesome info, Thanks.
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline tom

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Re: 55gallon barrels and Home brew clubs
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2010, 07:47:34 PM »
Ditto. Be prepared to refill it as soon as it is empty. They will dry out and leak sooner than you think.

Our club did a barrel with barleywine, then refilled it with mead. Both the BW and the mead were outstanding. Each successive fill will be less oaky/bourbony.

A couple thoughts. The barrels will dry out if not kept filled. And the barrels will get populated with bacteria if not kept filled. Plan your next fill ahead of time so everyone can brew in time.

Have you have tried Scott's RIS from the Stranahans' barrels? It is dangerous good.   :o

Brew on!

Brew on

Offline dontblake

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Re: 55gallon barrels and Home brew clubs
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2010, 11:33:20 AM »
Our Club (Indian Peaks Alers) just brewed a Belgian Dark Strong and will fill up a used Merlot barrel in the next month.

One thing that we did that turned out nice is to buy all of our ingredients together.  We worked with a local shop and got several bags of base malt, and got a nice discount.

A fun club project for sure!
Don Blake, Erie CO
Founder, Indian Peaks Alers
Master BJCP Judge