Baltic Porter - Red Wine Barrel Project

>> Sunday, November 09, 2014

Today I'm brewing a Baltic Porter that's going to spend some time in a red wine barrel. One of my friends from my homebrew club (ZZ HOPS) acquired the barrel and asked for some help filling it. Projects like these are the kinds of fun things that result from participating in a homebrew club.

Here's a link to the original recipe and below is the way I brewed it (adjusted for my system efficiency and available ingredients).

8.5 # Avangard German Munich I
5.375 # Dingemans Pilsner Malt
6 oz Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt
6 oz Crisp Chocolate Malt
6 oz Dingemans Cara 45
6 oz Dingemans Special B
42.5g Magnum (60 min)
28.3g EKG (5 min)
0.5 Whirlfloc
0.5t Yeast Nutrient
WLP001 California Ale Yeast

Mash at 152F, 90 min boil, ferment at 65F

Brewing Notes
No real issues to speak of. My gravity came in a couple points low at 1.088; target was 1.091. My mill jammed as I was milling my grain for this batch. I took it apart and expected to find a pebble. I wasn't able to find the source of the jam and I ran it through for a second crush without any issues. I chilled down to about 70F then transferred to the fermenter and placed it in the ferm chamber set to 65F. I'll let it chill overnight then pitch the yeast.

Update 3/3/2015
We had a club meeting over the weekend and tried a sample from the barrel. It seems the barrel may have been infected with some brett. Unfortunately this beer won't turn out as intended, but in my opinion it does have a pleasant brett character, so I'm interested to see how it evolves. I didn't pick up on much if any sourness, so I don't know that there's any lacto or pedio in it. One disappointing thing, this beer had some nice chocolate notes going into the barrel and that seems to be reduced substantially.

Update 4/17/2016
We ended up pitching Roeselare into the barrel after realizing it definitely had a wild yeast infection. We'll be pulling this beer out of the barrel in about a month.