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Finishing Primary Fermentation in barrel

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  • Finishing Primary Fermentation in barrel

    My GM brought up something he would do back in his wine making days, and that is, with about a 1/4 left in primary fermentation, transferring into barrels to finish fermenting. He said you would need to leave a little head space in the barrel and re-pitch yeast that has already flocculated in FV tanks. He talked about how yeast being active with the wood brought out different flavors. This is different from all my barrel aging experience. Keep in mind, this isn't for a brett or sour beer, this would be for your typical BBA stout. My experience is letting the beer complete fermentation in tank and then transfer to the barrel. Does anyone out there have experience with barrel aging how my GM suggested? Are there risks of stalling fermentation by disturbing beer during primary (which is my main concern)? Any other risks that people can think of?


  • #2
    I'm just familiar with that being a big part of spontaneous fermentation, from the koelschip to the barrel. If you're really worried about stalling fermentation, I'd wait till you are almost at terminal gravity then rack them over. We have seen refermentation in the barrel so make sure you use bungs with the pressure release plug. If anything fermentation may protect it as c02 off gassing is keeping the environment anaerobic.