Author Topic: Saving a stinky barrel?  (Read 2664 times)

Offline kramerog

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Saving a stinky barrel?
« on: April 25, 2015, 10:43:56 PM »
After emptying a barrel of a RIS, I filled it with water to strip some charcoal flavor from the barrel with the intention of putting a sour in there shortly afterwards.  Life got in the way ....  There is mold at the mouth of barrel and the water stinks of sulfur and other septic smells.  Is the barrel saveable and how?  I'm ready to fill the 26-gal barrel with a flemish red some soured some not.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 03:02:24 AM »
Try emailing the guys over at Rare Barrel.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2015, 04:36:43 PM »
I would cut it in half and plant something in it.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2015, 07:05:32 PM »
You put in water without any additions to lower ph or otherwise inhibit microorganisms? If so then I'd follow Jim's advice.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 01:45:17 AM »
Morewine indicates that a soak in a percabonate solution will likely save the barrel. 

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 03:39:29 PM »
That might help with the mold but not necessarily with any unwelcome and unwanted bacteria and yeast that have had an opportunity to grow in the diluted solution of water plus whatever was already in the barrel. You would have to separately deal with the yeast and bacteria to the extent you can get them fully out of the wood, which you probably cannot.

It also won't help with any compounds produced by the molds and whatever else is in there that have soaked into the wood and will not easily be removed. Remember that, just like the wine/spirit/beer that remains in the wood after it was initially drained, those compounds producing the foul odors now are also soaked into the wood.

You could try it but you might find yourself dumping the batch of beer and the barrel.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 11:38:18 PM »
The oxyclean soak appears to have had some benefit.  I'm going to put water at about 180 F into the barrel and then taste the following day.  If necessary drain and use a storage solution to extract out more unwanted funk.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2015, 05:56:24 PM »
I filled the barrel with water at 180 F last evening.  This morning the water was at 155 F and the barrel was quite warm to the touch.  This evening I'll taste the water.  The smell of the barrel was pretty good yesterday ... smelled of oxyclean and a barrel.

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2015, 02:57:44 AM »
When I worked at a winery we got rid of any barrel that smelled like anything but wine, oak or nothing.

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Offline kramerog

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2015, 06:56:36 PM »
 I tasted the water in the barrel after soaking and it tasted and smelled fine.  I've put in a storage solution and will let it soak until about the time I need the barrel.  I'll taste the storage solution to see if there is any funk.

I appreciate the comments but my tastings indicate that the flavor of the flanders red won't be negatively impacted.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2015, 08:23:14 PM »
I tasted the water in the barrel after soaking and it tasted and smelled fine.  I've put in a storage solution and will let it soak until about the time I need the barrel.  I'll taste the storage solution to see if there is any funk.

I appreciate the comments but my tastings indicate that the flavor of the flanders red won't be negatively impacted.
It probably will be. Are you going to ferment in it, or condition? If fermenting just make sure you have a rip roaring pitch so anything dormant will get overwhelmed.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2015, 08:42:09 PM »
There will be secondary fermentation with the Brett, lacto, and pedio in the barrel.  Some of the flanders red has already been partially soured.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2015, 09:05:29 PM »
Sounds awesome. Is it a full size barrel? I'm contemplating getting a barrel from Maryhill Winery and doing a marathon brew weekend this summer to fill it. I think the first one would be a primary fermentation on a huge mixed repitch. The biggest problem is where to put it. In the spare bedroom makes sense but I dont want to come home to 60 gallons on the floor. In the shop would require a huge heat pad with insulation and a single stage controller.  Then the idea of cork n caging 26 cases seems a little daunting too. Not to mention shelling out $800 for glass and corks
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 09:07:20 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline kramerog

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2015, 04:14:09 AM »
It's a half barrel.  I 've been splitting the beers with one or two other brewers.  I've just been aging in the barrel.  It is easier just to age because the brewing can be spread over several weekends.  Primary fermentation in a barrel means no temp control.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Saving a stinky barrel?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2015, 01:30:18 PM »
I wouldn't be worried so much about controlling it but protecting it from freezing solid in the winter.