Last month I bottled my 09 Chardonnay. I had a small (15 gallon) french oak barrel on the side that I aged some of my topping wine in, blended into the final blend. It was used for Brandy once, then reconditioned (shaved) and re-toasted before I used it to age a Chardonnay for 10 months. I just threw an IPA into it, sat it for 10 days w/ dry hops. Booya.
Question: with wine you can use a barrel 3 times (3 years) if you're religious about barrel sanitation and burn sulfur 1x/month while storing. With beer, how many batches can I get out of the thing before all the oak tannin is extracted? This 15 gallon barrel is so perfectly conditioned for IPA that I'd like to keep her in the mix as long as possible.