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Hi guys

I am contemplating getting a couple of oak barrels. There are some new 20L ones floating around, but I'd much rather get a 15 gallon one. Thats to reduce the surface area of oak in contact with the beer, reduced oxygen take-up etc etc.

Anyone know where I might be able to track one/some down? Used would be preferable.

The only peoples who seem to have some are Nelson Cooperage... but... I am not willing to part with a kidney in order to obtain one (ie horrendously expensive).

Cheers

 

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I saw these guys http://www.bb.net.nz/barrels_oak_wine.htm

$160 for a big the barrel - 220 litres! Thats not that much beer really... honest!

Yeah.... I'd be brewing every day for 2 weeks to fill those buggers :)

They do 20L barrels which...are a bit small. Too much surface area and oxygen absorption... but might have to go that way. Might have to cover part of the outside in wax to reduce it etc.

15 gallon, or even 10 would be ideal. I just dont think there are many in NZ

Yep 10 batches in a short span would be pretty intense!

Biggest issue I see is getting used ones is I can't see any commercial winery/distillery in NZ using anthing less than 200 litres. I have seen a few group brewdays go into a 200 litre barrel - if you can get 5 mates to brew 2 batches each of the same recipe then combine to barrel age. A bit of risk as if one guys not up to sratch on his sanitation can cause the whole thing to fall over!

Yeah.. rather have one to myself and not have to bother with that level of cooperation... and sharing :)

Looks like I can get some in from Bouchard Cooperages for $360 for a 55 Litre barrel. Thats for a new one, which isnt ideal. Might be my only option though.

Sounds like they are only ordering stuff in from october, and then its coming from france.

We shall see

Are you going to age something in it first?  The first thing out of that is going to be oaky as holy heck.

Yeah thus i wanted a used one. 

If I do end up with a new one I will be running hot water through it a number of times. Then putting some beers through there that can handle oak. might take a year or more before i can use it for its intended purpose. 

That being to age sours in. 

when they fill the 228L barrels add brett etc etc, do they leave quite a bit of oxygen / air in the headspace for the brett or do they fill em pretty much to the top?

We filled ours right up and are keeping it topped up. Some top up, some don't, in theory not topping up will raise the acetic character (I think).

yeah it looks like there is enough 02 movement through the wood for brett to get o2...   and some say purge the barrell with co2 to stop oxidisation... while filling the barrell, makes sense.

thinking of getting a few off the nelson cooperage guys, my partner colleen said I wasn't allowed to turn the basement into a brewery,  I can pretend they have wine in them.....

We just racked to the barrel before the end of primary, so no probs with it purging itself. It blew off in the barrel, which was cool. Lost something like 4 litres over 7 months I think, we just topped it up with some starter wort.

For what it's worth I would hesitate to do long term lambic aging in a small barrel. the surface area to volume ratio thing means more oak, and more o2. I haven't attempted it, so take that with a grain of salt.

Our wine barrel had two fills of chards and then one fill of cider. Even after that, during the washing process between the cider fill and the lambic fill, we got amazing oak juice out of the barrel, especially in the hot washes. So I'd treat small unused barrels very carefully for a sour beer. Either make lots of other beers first or maybe run some spirits through it, then beer.

Going to get ex wine and will be a 228L for this reason,  going to go Bretty for first attempts... and try to keep the barrel ageing on the shorter side.

Cool, if you need any bugs, let me know, we've got all sorts lying around.

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