Author Topic: Barrel Aged beer tastes like charcoal  (Read 1621 times)

Offline Hooper

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Barrel Aged beer tastes like charcoal
« on: November 17, 2014, 02:13:24 AM »
I recently put a Stone AB clone (fermentation complete) in a recently purchased 10 gal rum barrel. After 7 days the beer tasted like charcoal. I put a gallon of dark rum in the barrel and tried to keep it wet until fill day. In the end, I dumped 5 gallons...couldn't take the charcoal taste any more....

I have not read of anyone experiencing this...

Did I mess up somehow...I'm reluctant to put another 10 gals in the barrel...but I want to...lol
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Offline David Lester

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Re: Barrel Aged beer tastes like charcoal
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 02:54:34 PM »
That's a new one. Not surprised though. You've got the ideal barrel setup, but makes the beer taste like crude? I don't have any skill sets in this arena, but wanted to say: bummer.


Good Luck,

Offline kramerog

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Re: Barrel Aged beer tastes like charcoal
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2014, 03:01:31 PM »
That has happened to me too with a saison in a red wine barrel.  For me it is more of a light charcoal flavor, which I don't care for.  I add a little red wine to the saison and the beer is harmonious again.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Barrel Aged beer tastes like charcoal
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 04:30:19 PM »
Some barrels are toasted (wine, brandy), some are charred (bourbon). You can have light or heavy toast or char.

I have a couple of cognac barrels that were bought new. For Belgian sours I put them through a rinse cycle.with soda wash to strip the toast and oak character out - not really desireable at high levels in the target beers.

You have removed some of the char flavor with the first beer. You could do a wash if you wish, or fill with water, soak,  and taste to see if there is too much.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Barrel Aged beer tastes like charcoal
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 12:16:46 AM »
Yeah, that is a tough loss.  Your subsequent fills with that barrel should have less of that charcoal note than the first.  Your best bet would be to perform a good hot rinse with boiling water to reduce that before the next brew goes in. 

Offline Hooper

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re: Barrel Aged beer tastes like charcoal
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2014, 02:06:01 AM »
Thanks for the input...I will put the barrel through the boiling water wash and see where I think it is...The beer was beautiful by the way...just charred...
“Stay with the beer. Beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.”
—   Charles Bukowski