Aging Barrels

My barrel inventory has increased a bit, so I figured it would be best to keep notes here to track the history of each. I'm only including ones at my house and the one at my buddy Brandon's house. Here they are so far:

#01 - 10 gallon Queen Jennie Sorghum Whiskey barrel from Old Sugar Distillery. Top 3/4 of barrel has been waxed. Inoculated with Brett Barrel III and Roeselare on 12/6/2015 but has had additional cultures added along the way.

  • 12/6/2015 - Current - Wild Jennie; American Wild sour brown. I've been pulling for standalone releases, plus blending with other sours. The recipe for this beer has changed a bit over time to add complexity. 
  • 10/2/2015 - 12/6/2015Queen Jennie's Revenge; this beer scored really well at 2016 NHC (42 and 44 if I remember correctly) but sadly didn't move on to the second round. I blame the grouping as it was thrown in with all the other "specialty" beers in an saturated category. It ended up taking a silver medal at 2017 Beehive Brew-off for Smoked and Wood Beer.

#02 - 15 gallon Rye Whiskey barrel from Sugarhouse Distillery. Top 1/2 of barrel has been waxed. Heads also waxed 6/2020
  • 5/13/2020 - current - I started rehabbing this barrel for an upcoming sour beer. It's responded really well to several steaming sessions and I'm hoping to fill it in the next month or two. It will get inoculated with Bootleg Biology Spring '20 Solera. Rehab details here.
  • 7/1/2019 - 5/13/2020 - Empty; this will need some rehabilitation before refilling.
  • 1/1/2019 - 7/1/2019 - MadadaM Rye Barrel Adambier; this beer scored well at 2019 Beehive but didn't place. I entered it in another smaller local comp where it took Silver for Smoke and Wood Beer, that time entered as a barrel-aged Barleywine as more judges are familiar with this style compared to Adambier. 

#03 - 30 gallon Whiskey barrel from Sugarhouse Distillery. Barrel was treated to neutralize spirit character before initial fill. Top 1/2 of barrel has been waxed.
  • 3/14/2020 - Current - Golden Sour Solera: Inoculated with Bootleg Biology MTF Funk Island.

#04 - 30 gallon Whiskey barrel from Sugarhouse Distillery. Barrel was treated to neutralize spirit character before initial fill. Top 1/2 of barrel has been waxed.
  • 1/12/2020 - Current - Wild Red/Flanders Red Solera; I'm hoping this turns into an amazing Solera. Inoculated with Bootleg Biology Fall 2018 Solera Blend and Summer 2019 Solera Blend.

Brandon Barrel - 15 gallon Bourbon barrel from Sugarhouse Distillery. Top 1/2 of barrel has been waxed. Not numbered, but this barrel is at my buddy Brandon's house because I didn't have room. Inoculated with Roeselare 4/2017.
  • 11/17/2018 - Current - Sour Dubbel on Plums
  • 4/2017 - 11/17/2018BJRR Golden Sour on Coffee; this was a nice base beer. Unfortunately we picked up some green pepper character from the coffee. I think I'd like to try this recipe again.
  • 11/2016 - 4/2017 - Barrel-aged Imperial Porter (Chasing Abbey); there's kind of a funny story with this one. It was intended to be a clean beer, but picked up a Brett infection from my bottle filler when we packaged it. I ended up changing my bottle filler sanitation process because of this. It worked out in the end after extended aging, this beer won gold for Brett Beer.
  • 6/15/2016 - 11/2016KBS Style Stout (Get Out Stout); this beer medaled at some point, but I can't remember exactly when.

Tequila Barrel - 59-gallon former whiskey barrel that was last used commercially for 1 year Añejo tequila at Madrileña Distillery. Not waxed, and these tequila barrels tend to be beat up.
  • Officially retired 3/16/2020 - Converted to a trashcan holder for my patio. Much cooler than a basic plastic trashcan.
  • 11/17/2019 - 3/16/2020 - Empty and due to the lackluster character and the huge size, probably retired.
  • 6/25/2019 - 11/17/2019 - Tequila-barrel Tripel - This beer turned out well, but the Tequila character was very subtle. This basically seems to be at a point that it's a neutral barrel.

Read more...