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5

Make a hole. There is no need for the mash tun to be air tight.


4

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 ...


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

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 ...


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'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

First I would stick with 5 gallon equipment and brew half sized batches. Barrel half and bottle the other half. Then you have side by side comparators. I don't think worrying about angel's share is a concern. With such a small barrel the surface contact to volume ratio is going to be huge. The first few batches will likely develop huge oak flavors very ...


2

I wouldn't bother getting smaller equipment. Assuming you brew 5 gallon batches, why not just ferment your beer as usual, then move 1.3 gallons into the barrel, and bottle the remaining 3.7 gallons? I have a small 1L barrel filled with rum. Over the last 6th months, I've lost about 1/2 of it (due to seepage, not evaporation). My barrel is physically leaking. ...


2

I got 2 unused oak barrels from a South African. He had them for 25 years & never used them. He said before I use them, to clean them twice with boiling water to remove the wax sealant inside... Looks like parafin wax. I filled them to the top, left them for 5 minutes and emptied them, twice each. A fair bit of wax floated on top of the water. One ...


2

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 ...


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

Yes it is possible. Barrel fermentation of white wine is a traditional Burgundian technique, it is used (commercially) with Chardonnay for instance. Be careful because white wines are easy to oxidize, so be sure to top up the barrel if need be. Fermenting in oak barrel will add a little color and complexity. You can also conduct a ML fermentation in the ...


2

It will not dry out in two week. It had hard alcohol in it which pretty much kills anything. When I empty wine barrels, we literally wash them out with hot water and drip dry for a couple days. We burn sulfur in them to sanitize them but that's wine and not hard alcohol. I have left wine barrels empty with a bung in them up to six months. So, in my expert ...


2

We had a similar tradition in Balkans as well, we just used "Rakija" (grape moonshine) instead of Vodka. We used glass demijohns instead of oak casks when storing the spirit and burying it into the grounds. After 20 years the biggest problem was usually finding where demijohn was burried :D In any case, I do know for a fact that we did not use wooden ...


2

Wood barrels should be full or they will leak. The dry areas may open up allowing contamination from the air. To prevent oxidation when racking to barrels the hydrating / sanitizing fluid is purged from the barrel with c02, so there is no oxygen exposure at all when racking to the barrel. This is good practice with any secondary. Barrel still needs to be ...


2

Yes, you can add more sugar for carbonation, or inject CO2 and start drinking. However, for cider I would recommend leaving it in secondary for 1 year, (conditioning). If you don't have time for that, try this: For sugar priming: I would use this calculator https://www.northernbrewer.com/pages/priming-sugar-calculator Ciders are typically quite high in ...


1

With that OG and mash temp it will have a lot of fermentables, that OG really goes into Wee Heavy and English Barley Wine territory. The wine yeast sounds like it's to finish out the few remaining gravity points and for natural carbonation using a 2 bar air lock on the barrel. Update: The additions of the wine yeast are to insure a good FG and added ...


1

Your thinking is correct. Even with one day that extra surface area will oxidize your beer. A better option for a partially sized batch would be oak cubes or chips in a normal carboy/fermentor. Save the barrel for a full 5 gallon batch. A good practice is to brew more than 5 gallons to be sure you can nearly fill it. Or to brew 5 gallons slightly ...


1

I'm no cider guy, so can't comment on time in secondary etc., but yes, you can do either of those things. Rouse is spot on with his priming suggestion. As for force carbing, you can shake the keg while injecting high pressure CO2, which will get you there fast but is unpredictable. http://brulosophy.com/2016/05/12/sparkle-fizz-methods-for-carbonation/ This ...


1

You absolutely should have an airlock on your barrel. This allows fermentation to continue (fermentation halts under enough pressure). You will want to check the taste every month at minimum to see if it's too oaky. New barrels (barrels not previously used for whiskey or wine or anything) will impart much more oak flavor into your brew, so make sure you ...


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 ...


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