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There is a barrel...
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Disclaimer: This might get lengthy and...wordy.


    There is a barrel at work that I have been allowed to use for purposes of beer. The long term goal for this barrel is the production of sour/wild ales. It is 13.2 gallons, oak, and previously held some type of red wine. Cab, maybe.

    Anyways, this thread was started to propose my initial plan, and stand by while anyone with an opinion tells me why my plan is stupid.

    The first batch I will brew for this barrel is going to be a super light, low gravity beer with:

    Pilsen Malt - 65%
    Flaked What - 29%
    Carapils - 6%

    1 oz of Crystal Hops (4.1%) - FWH

    Then I am going to pitch a starter of lactobacillus I cultured from another brewery, who specializes in sour beers. I have another sour beer (4 gals) aging with a starter of the same lacto, and I really like the tart, and yet soft sour/acidity that I am getting from it. I am going to basically let the lacto go for 6 months (maybe longer) before I rack off a few gallons of the sour beer, bottle it, and replace the racked off portion with fresh wort. I am also thinking each time I replace with fresh wort I am going to add a new starter of a new bacteria/yeast.

    i.e. - in six months when I add 5 gallons into the barrel after bottling 5 gallons, I will also pitch Brettanomyces lambicus, or something.


    Now for the real question. I need to brew 12-13 gallons of wort. I have a 15 gallon Keggle, but only have a 5 gal mash tun. I will need about 14 gals preboil. My grist is 16 pounds total. Rather than try and squeeze everything in the mash tun, I have devised a plan to split the mash into two 8 pound batches. Mash each half for an hour or whatever, sparge to a volume of 7 gals (approx), and then dump out mash tun only to do it again. I realize this is not the most time efficient method, but I am not too concerned by this, and won't mind spending a whole day brewing this wort up.

    Does anyone see any inherent problems with the mashing schedule?


    I will not be fermenting the wort with yeast before pitching the lacto. This first barrel fill will be 100% lactobacillus fermented.

    Thanks for reading my nonsense and rambling.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,207
    this sounds a little like what i'm doing in this thread:

    http://homebrewforums.net/discussion/870/solera-brewing#Item_16

    I know @jeepinjeepin has a barrel filled with lambic if i'm not mistaken. maybe he can give you some tips on how to use it best.

    and @Dr_Jerryrigger has used that type of split mash a few times with some success.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,207
    and apart from all that, Pictures!!!!
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,207
    Also, before you go and ruin the barrel with wild bugs, slap some high gravity porter in there for a month. mmmmm, barrel aged porter....
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 101,453

    Also, before you go and ruin the barrel with wild bugs, slap some high gravity porter in there for a month. mmmmm, barrel aged porter....



    yeah, do this, for sure!
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 101,453
    also, to maximize your mashing in minimum time, why not do a BIAB in the kettle and a smaller mash in the other tun, boil them together and add top off water?
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 47,711
    Lakewood said:

    also, to maximize your mashing in minimum time, why not do a BIAB in the kettle and a smaller mash in the other tun, boil them together and add top off water?



    This!
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 47,711

    Also, before you go and ruin the barrel with wild bugs, slap some high gravity porter in there for a month. mmmmm, barrel aged porter....



    and this too!
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 101,453
    for the record, im not a fan of topping off with water in general, but this seems like an appropriate usage of the technique.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,207
    Lakewood said:

    also, to maximize your mashing in minimum time, why not do a BIAB in the kettle and a smaller mash in the other tun, boil them together and add top off water?



    not a bad idea.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,929
    Lakewood said:

    also, to maximize your mashing in minimum time, why not do a BIAB in the kettle and a smaller mash in the other tun, boil them together and add top off water?



    Oh good call. Good call.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 73,249
    With that set up you should BIAG every time.
    "I'm going to guess that you are, indeed, fucked up."
    CurlyFat's 59,000th post
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    These are all good points. I guess I could just BIAB with about 12 gallons of water (qt/lb ratio of 3, which is very thin, but not unheard of I suppose), and sparge with about 4 gallons (assuming I lose 2 gallons to absorption) by pouring sparge water over the grain after its pulled out of the bag.


    Oooooooor (just had an epiphany), heat the 4 gallons of sparge in my 6 gallon pot and then set my bag of grain in that pot for 10-15 minutes, then remove the bag from the second pot and pour those runnings into my kettle. My calculations tell me that 16 pounds of grain and 4 gallons of water will take up 5.3 gals.

    See what happens when I ask you guys questions? I get answers and ideas! Thanks!
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,207
    Evan_B said:

    See what happens when I ask you guys questions? I get answers and ideas! Thanks!



    that's why we're here. be sure to have a little dme on hand and you'll be right on target.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312

    Evan_B said:

    See what happens when I ask you guys questions? I get answers and ideas! Thanks!



    that's why we're here. be sure to have a little dme on hand and you'll be right on target.




    Well I appreciate it.
    I always do! Though I am aiming quite low for this first barrel batch. Berliner Weisse style - OG around 1.033

    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,207
    Evan_B said:

    Evan_B said:

    See what happens when I ask you guys questions? I get answers and ideas! Thanks!



    that's why we're here. be sure to have a little dme on hand and you'll be right on target.




    Well I appreciate it.
    I always do! Though I am aiming quite low for this first barrel batch. Berliner Weisse style - OG around 1.033



    perfect!
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • BenSBenS
    Posts: 6,248
    Sounds like a great idea Evan. I am with fz though. Stick a nice big red or Porter in there first to soak up the liquor aromas and flavors before starting the sour.
    There's no starting point. It's just a massive sea of shit to wade through until you find the occasional corn kernel. -DrCurly
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 47,711
    BenS said:

    Sounds like a great idea Evan. I am with fz though. Stick a nice big red or Porter in there first to soak up the liquor aromas and flavors before starting the sour.



    once again..... THIS!
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.