I filled this refurbished 30 gal French Oak Barrel in the first week of January this year with an Old Ale style beer. I just checked the progress of this beer this morning, and it is full of oak flavor, however, it is so sour. I also noticed a white wax looking film coating the top of the liquid, with what looked like bubbles that have been hardened and preserved by this wax film. When I poked my nose in the barrel it smells like oak and Brettanomyces; I remember that horsey, barnyard smell from previous lambic style beers I've made in the past. Yet when I used my sanitized wine thief as I always do to take a sample, it was so sour. I have never tasted that in a beer before not even my lambics (becasuse they are usually balanced with cherry flavor), and because it taste so sour/smooth, border line almost Vinegary but smooth I was wondering could this be a true infection that I can't shake off?
I always take precaution in my cleanliness, and have never gotten an infection (knock on wood). Although, I usually always use a combination of citric acid and potassium metabisulfite to sanitize my other oak barrels, I failed to do so this time. Instead I sanitized this new French oak barrel using circulating boiling water for 10 minutes. I also dumped 2 lbs of Coco nibs in there when I first filled it. I only began to notice this 3 months ago and only because the air lock was constantly bubbling. The air lock has stopped bubbling and has left me wondering if this is Brett or a different airborne intruder that sneaked in there when I opened the stopper to take a sample? I have mucho dinero and time invested in this barrel aging beer, can you guys suggest anything?