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Barrel as maturation NOT aging

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  • Barrel as maturation NOT aging

    I only brew a Saison and open ferment. I rack out of my fermenters with a good amount of residual sugar left to get that sexy carbonation I so love.
    They are racked into a 'maturation' tank for 2 weeks before being primed with new yeast and sugar and bottled conditioned for 8 weeks.

    I need to increase capacity but can only afford a new fermenter. In order to save cost, can anyone see any reason why I couldn't just rack out of fermenter into oak for two weeks. Steam cleaned and sparkly barrels (as much as a barrel can be) then out to bottles. I add yeast anyway so any bugs picked up will be outcompeted during conditioning; any oxygen pick up will also help the bottle re-fermentation and finally any bugs could possibly develop complexity if cellared (time will tell)

    I'm not specifically looking for wood character just cheap! I live in the south of France so have LOADS of barrel options.

    Destroy my idea in 3, 2, 1 and go.

    ZDM

  • #2
    so you want to use oak to allow the beer to mature a couple weeks, then add priming sugar and fresh yeast (i assume in another vessel) for bottle conditioning?
    Sounds like it'd be great, you'd probably pick up a lot of complexity. One thing to consider is that your co2 vol will drop during maturation in the barrel so you'd need to adjust your priming process accordingly.

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    • #3
      Hi hi

      Originally posted by wlw33 View Post
      so you want to use oak to allow the beer to mature a couple weeks, then add priming sugar and fresh yeast (i assume in another vessel) for bottle conditioning?
      Sounds like it'd be great, you'd probably pick up a lot of complexity. One thing to consider is that your co2 vol will drop during maturation in the barrel so you'd need to adjust your priming process accordingly.
      Thanks friend.

      I think I agree. My only concern was consistency with my current product.

      Not particularly intending the barrel as an inoculation vessel, I suppose I should continue the current Saison at capacity and perhaps advertise this as a separate 'barrel matured/conditioned product"?! is that even a thing?!

      It's a weird grey area as I'm not doing it with the express intention to pick up any bugs or wood but any one who buys it and doesn't drink it young will surely perceive sourness and brett etc down the line (dependent on what's in any barrels).

      I'm debt adverse so lack of money makes you do weird and wonderful things!

      CO2 volume certainly something to think about. I have quite a specific formula for obtaining that high carbonation necessary in my Saison so will have to think about changing that with regard to any brett that may continue to ferment over cellaring. i.e. No bottle bombs!
      Last edited by ZeDrunkenMaster; 01-16-2019, 07:53 AM.

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      • #4
        Idea

        I might even just ferment in the barrels too!

        Been doing research and loving these people:

        https://embracethefunk.com/2012/03/0...any-qa-recipe/

        https://www.traquair.co.uk/brewery/

        Wood is cheap compared to stainless and well, why not?

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        • #5
          yum, sounds great.
          i'll stop by if i ever get to france

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wlw33 View Post
            yum, sounds great.
            i'll stop by if i ever get to france
            You'd be most welcome

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            • #7
              brandon is a super nice guy who i'm sure would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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              • #8
                J. Inst. Brew. 2015; 121: 6269

                Have a read of Wyler et alia "The effect of oak wood on the quality of beer" in the Journal of the institute of brewing, 2015, volume 121, pp. 62-69.

                From the conclusion: "The effects of maturing beer in contact with oak wood were smaller than expected. These results can be attributed to the low alcoholic level of the beer, low temperature of storage and short maturation period."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by UpsidedownA View Post
                  Have a read of Wyler et alia "The effect of oak wood on the quality of beer" in the Journal of the institute of brewing, 2015, volume 121, pp. 62-69.

                  From the conclusion: "The effects of maturing beer in contact with oak wood were smaller than expected. These results can be attributed to the low alcoholic level of the beer, low temperature of storage and short maturation period."
                  Will do! Thanks for the link.

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