Author Topic: Barrel aging  (Read 1908 times)

Offline hariii2

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Barrel aging
« on: May 01, 2011, 12:04:19 AM »
Hey, I need some advice here.  A group of us filled up a used whiskey barrel and just bottled it up a few days ago.  There was some white layer on top of the beer, and now I see it in my bottles already too.  I think it is Acetobacter.  Now I think it got in there and grew like crazy because we did not have the barrel completely full.  (First time using a barrel)  So, now we won't to make another batch and fill it all the way up and keep it topped up and all that.  I know that you can't kill bugs completely from a barrel, so should we not use this barrel again?  What is the best way to kill some of the bugs in there?

Thanks,
hari

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3399
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2011, 12:35:46 AM »
Does your beer taste like vinegar?
The most effective way to get rid of acetobacter is probably steam.  This won't get rid of it but it will keep it in check.  Perhaps you can get your local brewery to put it on their keg washer for a while.  I did this with a small barrel and it worked pretty well.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline The Professor

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 863
  • "In the next life, you're on your own"
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2011, 01:42:03 AM »
This makes a great case for the concept of using oak chips, cubes, or strips rather than a barrel. Same concept as barrel aging but with a less risky and more controllable result.

If you are bent on trying  the barrel again, maybe you need to use some sulpher, and then steam the hell out of it as suggested by the others.
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
[499.6, 101.2] Apparent Rennerian
Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline pyrite

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 443
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2011, 02:12:20 AM »
Sulfur it only if you are planning on long term storage. The sulfur is nasty, and you don't want to put beer on it..  In your use case fill your barrel to the top with hot water and mix in 50/50 v/v citric acid and potassium metabisulfite.  You can pick those up at the local home brew shop.  
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 06:01:04 PM by pyrite »
If you don't get in over your head, how are you ever going to know how tall you are.

Offline The Professor

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 863
  • "In the next life, you're on your own"
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2011, 11:10:15 PM »
Sulfur it only if you are planning on long term storage. The sulfur is nasty, and you don't want to put beer on it..  In your use case fill your barrel to the top with hot water and mix in 50/50 v/v citric acid and potassium metabisulfite.  You can pick those up at the local home brew shop.  

Agreed...that would probably be more palatable.
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
[499.6, 101.2] Apparent Rennerian
Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline hariii2

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2011, 11:29:32 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  I haven't tasted it yet from a bottle.  We drank lots of samples on bottling day, and it tasted great.  I noticed today that the white film is also in my bottles.  I didn't think that Acetobacter could grow in a bottle?  Maybe it is something different......

I will post my tasting results soon.

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 02:47:16 PM »
A white film sounds different than acetobacter. I think the vinegar mother is more of a jelly fish kind of thing. It would start out as a haze throughout the beer. a film ( or pelicle) I think is a sign of brett or pediococus (Spelling?)
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline anthony

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 263
  • Hoppy to help!
    • View Profile
    • Triptych
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 03:34:27 PM »
Don't sulfur whiskey barrels (refer to the Introduction in Brewing Better Beer to learn more).. you can sulfite it as suggested though.

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1694
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 05:43:31 PM »
This makes a great case for the concept of using oak chips, cubes, or strips rather than a barrel. Same concept as barrel aging but with a less risky and more controllable result.

If you are bent on trying  the barrel again, maybe you need to use some sulpher, and then steam the hell out of it as suggested by the others.

Barrel aging does a lot more than giving the beer a little oak flavor.  The barrel breathes and this concentrates flavors and gives some micro-oxidation.  You do have to keep it topped up if you don't want to encourage Brett and/or Pediococcus/Lactobacillus.

Its basically impossible to sterilize the barrel now that its been contaminated.  If the film is from Brett, you could always make a Flanders red or lambic style beer in it.  Those thrive in a barrel.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline colinhayes

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2011, 07:32:18 PM »
This makes a great case for the concept of using oak chips, cubes, or strips rather than a barrel. Same concept as barrel aging but with a less risky and more controllable result.

and in far less time!

Offline pyrite

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 443
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 10:51:53 PM »
This makes a great case for the concept of using oak chips, cubes, or strips rather than a barrel. Same concept as barrel aging but with a less risky and more controllable result.

and in far less time!

But with far less complexity that comes with oak barrel aging. 
If you don't get in over your head, how are you ever going to know how tall you are.

Offline hariii2

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2011, 12:13:28 AM »
Well I just popped the top of one, with caution, and it has a tiny fizz to it.  It has only been in the bottle a week.  It smells great!  But the bottles all have the same white film in them and this comes out into the glass.  I am a little affraid to try it.  Is that normal for a beer from a barrel to have the same film that was in the barrel in the bottle?  Can I drink this stuff?

Offline hariii2

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2011, 12:17:49 AM »
Here is a picture....


Offline hariii2

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2011, 12:27:48 AM »
OK, also, any tips on how to post a picture would be greatly appreciated.....

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3399
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Barrel aging
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 12:38:09 AM »
You have to post it on a public site, like photobucket or the like, and then follow the instructions for putting the link to it in the "insert image" thing.  It's not simple at first, but you can get used to it.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995