Author Topic: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel  (Read 3663 times)

Offline yso191

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Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« on: August 02, 2015, 08:26:01 PM »
I'm about to brew a RIS for the holidays.  I'm considering aging it in one of their 8 gallon barrels.  They say they just use them once.  I'm wondering about an appropriate time in the barrel for a noticeable, but not dominant whiskey barrel flavor.

Is a month or two sufficient?  What are your experiences?
Steve
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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 05:18:51 AM »
After reading your question these things came to mind.  A small bbl has more of the contents
exposed to the wood so less time is required to impart the flavor profile of the wood.   I aged
a beer in a fresh dumped 10 gal wine bbl once and believe that you will get results in as little
as 30 days.  A RIS is strongly flavored in its own right and a bit more time will prolly not hurt.
So your plan seems on target.

The other thing is to consider putting a hole in the flat end and use a SS nail to plug the port.
That way you can take small non invasive samples easily.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 05:22:39 AM »
I'd let it ride a while. ageing on wood goes through phazes. First you will get strong whisky and kind of harse woody oak. You'll be tempted to pull it then but don't! the whisky will meld with your beer somewhat and eventually the oak will soften and become quite nice. I'd start with 30 days and start tasteing. The SS nail sampling port is a good idea. I always meant to do that and never got around to it.

The big problem with the smaller barrels is o2 ingress which will happen a lot quicker with an 8 gallon than with a 60 gallon because the volume drops much faster than the surface area. you can wax the outside of the staves to slow this down though. that said, a big dark beer doesn't mind a bit of micro oxidation so maybe you don't want to.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 05:26:38 AM »
I have two of these. 2 weeks is really abouta ll you need! I left it for 4 weeks and it was still good but a little over oaked. Most people ,let beer sit on the wood far too long in my experience.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 05:38:15 AM »
I have two of these. 2 weeks is really abouta ll you need! I left it for 4 weeks and it was still good but a little over oaked. Most people ,let beer sit on the wood far too long in my experience.

I think you haven't let it sit long enough yet keith. it's only 8 gallons, let one ride for 8 weeks and see what you think. The tannins from the oak and some phenols in the beer will bind into large enough clumps to settle out and get rid of some of the obnoxious woody oak character allowing the lovely vanilla/almond stuff to shine through more.
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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 08:18:25 AM »
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

Offline yso191

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 09:22:05 AM »
Interesting info and conversation!  Thank you.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 09:59:21 AM »
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I concur with Keith on this. I currently have a Woodinville 8 gallon barrel on it's second run with a Wee Heavy.  The first run was an Imperial Porter for four weeks.  I was worried I would get too much barrel character.  While the wood and bourbon are assertive, I'm really happy with the results.

The Wee Heavy I'm going to leave for a minimum of three months to get a better idea of volume losses and character from extended aging on a second run barrel.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 12:18:42 PM »
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I'm not saying it won't taste overoaked after about 4 weeks. I'm saying it comes through that and into something better after a few more weeks. There was a presentation at NHC 2013 about alternative wood ageing and the presenter went into the specifics of it.
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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 04:35:49 PM »
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I'm not saying it won't taste overoaked after about 4 weeks. I'm saying it comes through that and into something better after a few more weeks. There was a presentation at NHC 2013 about alternative wood ageing and the presenter went into the specifics of it.

That doesn't match my experience at all. One of the major problems you are overlooking is also oxidation. beer that has sat in bbls too long turns into an oxidated mess. I have a small barrel program at Yellowhammer and in my experience it is very critical to taste and pull the beer at the right time or you will ruin it.

If anyone get's a copy of "New Brewer" look at the barrel aging article by the guy over their program at Avery brewing. It's a very good article and echoes what I'm saying. Even in 60 gallon barrels I find that often I have enough wood balance after 4-6 weeks.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 05:15:17 PM »
I'm on about the 5th beer aging in these barrels, trust me, it can get over oaked very quickly. The best way to go about it is taste. But 4 weeks will be pushing it. Personally, I find most commercial breweries over age their beers in barrels as well. I pull mind a lot sooner than others. Sometimes, even in a 60 gallon bbl you can pull it after 4-6 weeks.

I'm not saying it won't taste overoaked after about 4 weeks. I'm saying it comes through that and into something better after a few more weeks. There was a presentation at NHC 2013 about alternative wood ageing and the presenter went into the specifics of it.

That doesn't match my experience at all. One of the major problems you are overlooking is also oxidation. beer that has sat in bbls too long turns into an oxidated mess. I have a small barrel program at Yellowhammer and in my experience it is very critical to taste and pull the beer at the right time or you will ruin it.

If anyone get's a copy of "New Brewer" look at the barrel aging article by the guy over their program at Avery brewing. It's a very good article and echoes what I'm saying. Even in 60 gallon barrels I find that often I have enough wood balance after 4-6 weeks.

it certainly depends on how much oxidation the beer can take to it's advantage. I would not leave a smaller or very pale beer in a bbl that long.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 05:46:17 PM »
This discussion has brought up a question.  Assuming Jonathan is correct, does that mean that if I only oak it until it tastes right (not pushing through the over-oaked period until it is good again) will the oak and Whiskey fade in the resulting beer?  Or do both methods get to the same point with one simply taking longer?
Steve
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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 06:30:50 PM »
I don't think you will notice this being a problem. But I guarantee if you wait too long to pull the beer out of the barrel you will wish this was the case!

Offline yso191

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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2015, 06:36:23 PM »
I don't think you will notice this being a problem. But I guarantee if you wait too long to pull the beer out of the barrel you will wish this was the case!

Yeah, this being my first attempt I'm going to just taste periodically and keg it when it gets to the right level. 

Any advice on how to preserve the barrel after the beer comes out?  I've heard it needs to stay full of liquid.  RO water OK?
Steve
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Re: Woodinville Whiskey Co. Barrel
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2015, 07:50:59 PM »
Depending upon how long you you are soaking with water.....uh subjective....
But keeping it full of water will work.  That said, the objective is to keep the wood
saturated to prevent shrinkage and the concurrent leakage caused by shrinkage.

Prior to re-populating with beer, perhaps a good spin with boiling steamy hot water
and a spray with some everclear to kill any bugs. 

Also should you gain any oxygen on top of your water layer, you will produce a great
environ for mold and mildew which will be of detriment. Therefore FULL FULL FULL
should be your mantra.
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