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7

More beer has a great guide on taking care of oak barrels which covers cleaning, sanitizing, etc. The overview is: keep it filled so that it doesn't dry out and use a sulfur-dioxide mixture to sanitize. The oak will soak up some of the beer over time, so brew a little extra and keep it on hand to refill as the level goes down. You should also remember that ...


5

Found this over at http://winebarrels.com/carenew.html I'm pretty sure I have read similar things on homebrew forums in the past. STORING AN EMPTY BARREL The very best way to maintain a wine barrel is to ensure it is never empty of wine! However this is not always possible so something must be done to keep the barrel sweet. An untreated empty barrel will ...


4

Oxygen in and of itself is a staling agent, plain and simple. Some styles benefit from being a bit stale. For instance, here in the states, what we know as "British" beer is typically a bit stale simply because by the time it gets here long after being brewed and having crossed the sea in a hot ship, it's not exactly fresh. So if you want to clone your ...


4

As Denny mentioned, head formation is primarily related to protein though dissolved carbonation level will also have something to do with it. If you're adding a fixed amount of priming sugar to a single pressure vessel, as you dispense beer, the increased amount of headspace will allow some of the CO₂ to leave the beer, making it flatter. You do not want to ...


3

Foam formation is related to the protein content of the beer and fermentation specifics. You can increase the protein content by steeping some non diastatic malt, like crystal, as part of your brewing liquor. Once you have the protein in your beer, increased hopping increases foam as the polyphenols in the hops bind the proteins in the beer. For the ...


3

I have done this many times with a counter-pressure filler. I have also used the Blichmann Beer Gun with success, although I think it does lose a bit more carbonation than the CP-filler. OTOH, the Beer Gun is much easier to use. The key to success is to make sure everything is very cold: Put the bottles in a freezer and take them out 6 at a time as you are ...


3

I'm assuming you are meaning that you've primed AND carbonated in the barrel. Correct me if wrong. You can bottle already carbonated beer from a keg using counter pressure to reduce foaming. Our very own @joefish made a great video about the process he uses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXhYmTlHH50. From a barrel may be more difficult being as you have ...


3

You definitely just need to wait longer. I always wait at least two weeks, more for higher gravity beers. Waiting will not only improve the quality of the head and carbonation level, but almost everything else about the beer will get better if you give it more time. A side note on your step 6, it's best to keep splashing to a minimum when racking after ...


3

Carbonating the beer from priming sugar takes at least a week, often closer to 2 to be ready. The problem here is that you were sampling a too early: After another couple of days I was tapping off nice pints of dark ale under reasonable pressure (at least I thought it was reasonable pressure - it might not have been) but with no head. I'd only tap a ...


2

Standard ways of cleaning barrels use really hot or boiling water to rinse and clean and/or using sulfur sticks. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to completely sterilize a barrel. 10 years without being properly cared for is too long. The wooden staves shrink and I'm guessing it won't be able to hold liquid. Some breweries just rinse well with sterile ...


2

A bit of oxidation is usually part of an Old Ale.


1

Is it possible the barrel was previously lined with pitch? If so you might consider not using it. Pitch seals the wood and blocks the wood character from effectively aging the beer, as well as reducing porosity that contributes subtle oxidation and the development of microorganisms (all are primary reasons for barrel aging). Plus who want chunks of unknown ...


1

This is of course a judgement call depending on just how grim it looks and how large it is. But I would start with filling it with warm water and PBW, let it sit for an hour and then give it a serious scrubbing. When done rinse out the PBW and sterilize the barrel. Sterilization (or at least disinfection) can be done in several ways. In this case my method ...


1

I think more important than whether a beer will benefit from oxidation is whether the flavor of the beer will benefit from being aged in an oak barrel. I think that the flavor of the oak is going to outweigh the flavor change of oxidation. In that case I would look at commercial examples that are oaked or aged in oak or bourbon barrels such as Founders KBS ...


1

Jordan's exactly right. I make some wine at a commercial winery, and that's exactly how we treat our used barrels at the winery. If you use any cleaning solutions like sodium percarbonate, you need to make sure to follow it up with a citric acid soaking. The citric will neutralize any remaining sanitizer and keep it out of your beer or wine. You can ...



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