whiskey barrel sanitize and oxygen concern.

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by wiggler, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. wiggler

    wiggler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    #1 wiggler, Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
    Hey guys, I am transfering my imperial stout into a barrel next week and concerned about exposure to oxygen, is it acceptable to maybe purge the whiskey barrel with co2 and then rack my beer. Obviously I wont put the barrel under pressure but could you just stick a hose in it and turn on the co2 to replace the oxygen? Also, what is the best way to sanitze a barrel that is freshly dumped, I hear just using a good spirit dumped in and rolled around will work.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,365
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    You generally don't stop fermentation of a beer. Why do you want to do so?
     
  3. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Messages:
    908
    Likes Received:
    912
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Healthcare IT Manager
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    Let it ride. My imperial stout was 18 days in primary before it settled down. Now it's in secondary and it's staying there for six weeks.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Cold-crashing is for clearing after fermentation is done. If you stop fermentation at a point where you leave fermentable sugars, you'll risk over-carbonation if it's ever packaged and warmed up. In the case of barrel aging, the fermentation would continue in the barrel, anyway so cold-crashing wouldn't do any good. The barrel is essentially a secondary fermentation chamber so just transfer the beer as soon as it looks like the yeast is dropping of it's own accord. That should be fairly dramatic and unambiguous with most any English yeast.
     
  5. wiggler

    wiggler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    i just thought you could stop fermentation when you did that, didnt think it could start back up.
     
  6. wiggler

    wiggler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    How would you guys suggest i santitize this barrel?
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    If it couldn't re-start you'd never be able to bottle carb beer. Once the yeast uses up all the sugars, it stops and becomes dormant. If sugars are added and the beer is put in a pressure-tight vessel like a bottle, the yeast starts to be active again and produces further fermentation and more CO2 which stays in suspension because it can't go anywhere. You can control the amount of CO2 and pressure produced by how much sugar you add.
    If you drop the temp and force the yeast to become dormant before the sugars are used up, you don't have an accurate way of computing how much sugars are left in the beer. It might be possible, though not necessarily desirable, to stop fermentation short and put the beer in a keg for carbing and keep it cold until it's consumed. It would just be sweeter than it's supposed to be and have an unfinished quality.
     
    wiggler likes this.
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,365
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I generally don't use wood barrels so I'll have to pass on this one.
     
  9. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Barrels can be sanitized a few ways. 1 is use a steam generator to fill it with steam. You probably don't have one of those so skip that. Another option is fill it with boiling water. This can wash out some of the flavor you want though. You could fill it with star San or whatever sanitizer you use for everything else. Again you will lose some flavor from the barrel. You can also get a bottle of whatever whisky was in the barrel, pour it in and slosh it around. That should be enough to get rid of most bugs that might be in there. I don't think any of the methods are 100% effective.
     
  10. wiggler

    wiggler Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Well I will give it a shot, if it works then great, if not then no big deal maybe it will still be drinkeable. I dont want to rinse out what was in it so Im gonna buy what was in it. Transfer next week.
     
  11. lonelymtn

    lonelymtn Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    PNW
    How big of a barrel are we talking about? If it is small enough for you to completely fill it with Whisk(e)y, that would be best from both a flavor and sanitation perspective.

    In my experience, I've always had the fortune to use barrels that have the spirit in them up until I am ready to transfer. My stouts or barleywines are typically allowed a *long* primary fermentation period so that I am certain things are finished up and the yeast also use that time to clean things up a bit. Then, on transfer day, the whisk(e)y is emptied out and the beer is immediately transferred in -- fill it so that the bottom of the (sanitized) bung is in the beer.

    Also, don't worry about oxidation. As long as you don't purposefully agitate the beer during transfer, you will be fine. Some amount of oxidation is part of barrel-aging. No barrel is vapor-proof.
     
    LittleCrittersBrewing likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white