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7

Likely late in the game now, but you can also put oak chips on a sanitized cooking sheet at 200F or so and leave in the oven for 15 minutes or so. This will sanitize the chips, and subtly brings out some of the flavour, but not too much tannic or other astringent flavours. Essentially you are pasteurizing the oak chips by heating them to 138F (min), before ...


5

Kegged beer should last almost as long as bottled beer if sanitation and gas pressures are properly maintained. I don't think you need to do anything different because you are kegging it. The high ABV should allow you to store it in a keg for many months if not years.


3

The question of how much to add and how long is like asking how much salt to put into your food. It depends on the food and your taste. That's why the recommendations you've come across vary so widely. Remember that it's all about balance: the more massively bodied and flavored your beer is, the more oaking you can get away with. In an impy stout you can ...


3

Bear in mind this is for oak cubes, but I've heard a good starting point is between one to two ounces for at least two to three weeks. The lower the amount, the less oak flavor you'll get in a longer amount of time. The more oak you add, the more oak flavor you'll get in a less amount of time. Cubes have more surface area (therefor less contact with the ...


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

I would add the oak (still wet) and the bourbon it was soaking in to the carboy. The bourbon has probably picked up a lot of oak flavour that you want in your beer.


2

The type, roast and cut (i.e. surface area) of the wood has a huge impact on the amount of wood flavor you get, and the length of time changes not only amount of flavor, but the types. Start with a specific type of wood species, toasting level and cut that you easily get in for the foreseeable future. if you can split a batch into smaller fermenters and do ...


1

Well, first of all, the grain bill is not one of red flanders. There's no place for chocolate malt, nor for flaked corn. 8 kg base malt is gonna give you too high OG for the style (assuming you're doing 5gal/20l batch). Too much hops, too (again, assuming 20l batch, but too much even for 40l). The share of special malt of caramel-ish type should be much ...


1

If you are using the Bourbon to sanitize the chips and not looking for much Bourbon flavor, toss only the chips. I don't know if it make much difference if they are wet of dry other than the alcohol will evaporate if you let them dry. If you are trying to replicate beer aged in Bourbon barrels it only makes sense to toss the Bourbon and oak chips into the ...


1

I have a similar Porter which is due to be transferred soon. I've researched online for an answer to this question, and opinions vary greatly. Some say that the whiskey will have dissolved a lot of the tannins, so you shouldn't put it in. Also a lot of those people think it is merely a way of bumping the alcohol by spiking the beer with whiskey (I think ...


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 ...


1

The only way is to plan on tasting the beer regularly as the oaking occurs. For me it would be a matter of free time on my hands. If you think you can get in there and taste it every couple days using more oak would make things go faster. If you want to taste it once a week then less oak. In general I agree <2 oz of oak is a good place to start for 5 ...


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