Filling a barrel...

A while back I received a few oak barrels as a gift, but, never managed to do anything with them, except fill them with water and well that was about it.  I've abandoned those barrels from a brewing perspective.  They will be used in the Brew Garage though.

Recently the BUZZ homebrew club decided to start a barrel project using some barrels from Victory Brewing's Dark Intrigue version of Storm King Stout.  All the chatter on the mailing list got me thinking, "Should I give this another shot?"  Well, I ordered a barrel from Victory and I'll be picking it up next week.  Here goes nuthin'.

I guess I'll have to brew 5 ten gallon batches plus some extra for the angel's share.  Here are the steps as I understand them right now.

  • decide on recipe
  • purchase bulk ingredients
  • brew 10+ gallons 5 times
  • ferment in carboys
  • prepare the barrel (hmmmm...hoping I won't need to do much here)
  • fill the barrel
  • wait
  • top off
  • wait
  • top off
  • wait
  • etc (as long as it takes to get a beer that tastes good)

I guess this is going to force me to get the brew garage in gear.  It's a mess right now.  Any homebrewers out there ever fill a 53 gallon barrel before?  (Yikes 53 gallons!)

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