After doing a lot of searching i finaly found a source for bourbon maple syrup barrels. However they are a little expensive. $150 plus $50 shipping. Is anyone interested in splitting the cost up or possibly helping set up a recipe doing a group buy and spliting the cost per batch? I have a decent recipe for a nice big stout or we could re use the bourbon county clone recipe. http://www.langdonwood.com/ http://www.etsy.com/listing/113054938/used-whiskey-maple-syrup-barrel
UK 2-row- 19 lbs
Munich- 1.62 lbs
Belgian Debittered- .81 lbs
Roast Barley- 2.16 lbs
Chocolate- 1.35 lbs
Crystal 60- 2.16 lbs
Total 27 lbs-
75 Minute- 2 ounces Willamette
30 minute- 1 ounce Willamette
0 minute- 1 ounce Willamette
Mash at 154-156 degrees, no lower.
Yeast- US-05- 2 packets, or a starter with equivalent yeast count.
(424 billion yeast cells needed, equivalent to two 11.5 gram dry yeast packets)- Mr. Malty
Hitting the numbers:
I mashed with 6.75 gallons split over 2 different mash tuns. Using two different mash tuns helps with efficiency theoretically, although I'd be interested to see someone try and do the whole thing in one tun, to see if their numbers are as good. Remember to thoroughly mix up all your grain if you split it into two tuns. You'll need the base grain's enzyme's to interact with the specialty grain and you won't be getting as good numbers if you're trying to sparge equal amounts in a tun that has more base than another.
That's 1 quart per lb of grain for the mash. I did another batch mashing with more like 1.25 or 1.5 quarts per lb and ended up with more liquid. I got the same numbers but had to boil down more for the latter. I suggest mashing light and sparging more. Your preboil volume should probably be at least 9 gallons. You'll need to boil off down to 5. The more you sparge the better your numbers will be after boil off. Remember that you should add hops in not at the start of the boil but when you think you have 75 minutes left, roughly. My boils have been anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes. It depends on your system. Remember that if you start out at a lower original gravity, your final gravity will also be off, negatively affecting the final mouthfeel and sweetness of the beer.
I'll be printing up worksheets for people to fill out as they brew to figure out what the most efficient way of brewing such a big beer is.
For fermentation, please be aware that you should really be using a 6-6.5 gallon carboy or bucket with equivalent headspace. Using a 5 gallon carboy will result in the loss of beer through blow off (which happened anyways with one of my batches in a 6.5 gallon carboy). Alternatively, you may split the batch in half over two carboys, as long as the yeast count for each is equal. This is ok as long as you remember to recombine them into one carboy after primary fermentation has completed. This will ensure that oxidation doesn't occur from the high amount of headspace you'll have with 2.5 gallons in a 5 gallon fermenter. Please don't slack off on recombining.
Also, be aware that fermentation of such a high-gravity beer will result in high internal temperatures. The beer will produce its own heat. English ale yeast, when it reaches high temperatures, will produce fruity esters that completely dominate and overtake the aroma and taste profile of the beer. You don't want this to happen to such an expensive beer. We can't put too many beers that taste like this into the barrel. Current ferm-room temperatures should be good enough for the beer. The outside digital gauge should be reading 66-67, or less. If it gets between 68-70 it will produce a bad beer. I've had two high gravity batches of beer ferment at this temp and their ester profile was overwhelming.
As the organizer of this barrel I will reserve the right for myself to reject any batch that I think will compromise the integrity of the barrel. If I think your batch is awful because you did something dumb like oxidized it, infected it, fermented it at wrong temperatures, forgot to filter out and remove the hot break, or did an atrocious job of hitting your numbers, I might replace your beer. Tough love. You will need to do a good job of hitting correct numbers by correctly calculating mash temperatures, mash and sparge volumes as well as monitoring fermentation temperatures. If you are concerned about brewing a quality batch, talk with me and we can work together making it. I'm happy to answer any questions anyone has.
1. Josh S- brewed
2. Lucas - brewed
3. Jeff W - brewed - paid
4. Jonas- brewed
5. Rich - brewed
6. Josh S 2nd batch - brewed
Since these are only 30 gal barrels I think 6 people brewing should cover it. If someone wants out or in let me know.