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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).



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I was looking at doing the same thing in a wine barrel but was thinking taking a couple of kegs off a year and topping up wine barrel again and have an on going brett happening, do you think that would work? 

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WY3763
Yeast Starter: see notes
Batch Size (Gallons): 11
Original Gravity: 1.053
Final Gravity: 1.005
IBU: 15
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: red
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 110 @75
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 360 @75
Tasting Notes: Oak aged, tastes similar to Rodenbach Grand Cru at around 2 years of age

Flanders Red has been my main brewing side project for the last two years. Obsessed with this style, this is my personal pièce de résistance. I am finally happy enough with my recipe and process to post, so here it is.

Grain Bill:
6# German Pils
6# Vienna
4.25# Flaked Corn
2.1# Aromatic
1# Munich
1# Special B
1# Wheat Malt

Infuse to 145*F for 40 minutes, infuse a second time to 162*F for 30 minutes. Decoct to mashout.

3.5oz Fuggle (boiled 90 min)

You need to do two batches. The first batch, pitch a smack pack of Roeselare directly into each 5 gallon fermenter. I primary in plastic for a full 110 days, which allows enough O2 in to ensure the brettanomyces will fully grow and develop. This batch gets racked off to kegs to age, and then I brew another batch and pitch it directly on the yeast cake in the fermenters, adding a new smack pack to each fermenter as well for the saccharomyces yeast. The second batch is considerably more sour than the first, due to a higher population of bacteria in the cake.

The final beer that gets bottled is a blend of the first and second batches, which has the perfect level of sourness. No matter how long you let the first batch age, on its own it will not get sour enough unless you cheat and add lactic acid. By doing two batches the style is nailed without any cheating required. 

I aged some of this brew in a used whiskey barrel which had mostly lost its flavor. It is the best of the bunch, and is very similar to Rodenbach Grand Cru. I hope to eventually get a 60 gallon wine barrel, and start a solera of this brew in it. I inoculated my barrel with some lambic dregs, which allowed some acetobacter to develop in the barrel. Acetobacter can't grow in a keg, due to lack of O2.

Sounds like a plan, anyone in CHCH keen to have a crack at this?

I could be keen to get involved Hamish, you thinking flanders red?

Yeah Flanders red all the way, I think 4 or so guys do a mass brew up and then every 12 months each take a keg off and top up the barrel and see how it progresses

trying to remember where I read it, but if you add fresh wort to the barrell the danger is that the bugs get tot he sugars first and you get servere acid sourness, tho this could be no bad thing if you where blending it with say 3-6month old other batches....

my train of thought would be to ferment the new stuff out first then fling it in, not sure if I can find enough game folk down here we'll come up with something, on a mission today to find a wine barrel from a wine maker I know, then its game on

I'd be keen. I'll talk to my friend who owns the Kaiapoi brewery and see if he has a barrel to sell. If all else fails I have one in my shop that the till sits on! That was a Pinot barrel and still has the bung etc

Sounds like we have storage sorted under Finneys Till, just as long as you don't move the shop too often

Lol, can you imagine the stink it if spilt?!

I spoke to the guy at nelson cooperage, man what a character, said be careful as its like being in a bar at 2am, some of the barrells may not be as clean as others...   said try local wineries as a barrel will fit in your car they are 98cm high and about 68cm diam in middle.

Sounds like we may have a North South challenge on our hands, every year send one into the NHC and the winner takes the spoils, just trying to line up a free barrel now in return for some beer


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