Used wine barrels as fermenters?

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Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby glenlyon » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:22 pm

I was given two very nice used (53G) wine barrels. While they are quite sound, I doubt they have any future as an aging vessel. Instead I was thinking of converting them into wooden fermenters. Any thoughts?
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:28 pm

They're no good, I'll take them off of your hands.

Seriously, they can be used as fermenter and can be used to age something as run or can be re-charrred to used to age bourbon or any
other of whiskey
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby kiwi Bruce » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:43 pm

+1 R.W.HillBilly One of the things I know from brewing is that once you use a barrel as a fermenter the yeast strain is "fixed". You can't sterilize it to kill off a yeast once it's established...this goes for wild yeasts as well. In England there are breweries that use wood, I believe that they Sulfate the hell out of them between batches, and over pitch so the "House yeast" has a super strong hold on the wort when a new batch is started. It can be done, it does have limitations, but good management and being aware of what these limits are and you should have "No worries" However... If the barrels are sound enough to hold a wash, why do you think there days are done as ageing casks? What was in them previously ?
Last edited by kiwi Bruce on Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:58 pm

It might have been done a time or three :lol:

If you mod the top a little bit, and fashion a steam wand, you can strip right out of it, too. Mash, ferment and strip all in the same barrel :!:
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:20 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:It might have been done a time or three :lol:

If you mod the top a little bit, and fashion a steam wand, you can strip right out of it, too. Mash, ferment and strip all in the same barrel :!:


That's my standard method, but with a SS 55G barrel. No reason that a wood 53G barrel wouldn't work just as well, assuming that you can get the appropriate fittings.
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"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby Fraser » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:40 am

You're going to have a really hard time sterilizing wooden barrels. Wine makers sometimes burn sulfite candles inside them, but there's a steep learning curve to that method. Steaming them out may work, but you'd need to figure out the temperature and duration. Wood just isn't generally ideal for fermentation unless you're in the business of using them regularly and have a good regimen of cleaning them. But give it a try, it might work out alright for you.
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:59 am

With all due respect, who cares?

14753546226909.jpg


Buffalo Trace doesn't (above).

Personally, I would invite a home cultured blend of yeast and low ph infections. Thinking about getting a wooden mash paddle just for this reason.
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby jonnys_spirit » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:00 pm

+1 on the like button!
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Re: Used wine barrels as fermenters?

Postby Antler24 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:47 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:It might have been done a time or three :lol:

If you mod the top a little bit, and fashion a steam wand, you can strip right out of it, too. Mash, ferment and strip all in the same barrel :!:


Found this thread while looking for info on wooden fermenters. So you use you 15g keg to steam cook the corn in the barrel right? How long do you use steam and how much water are you losing in the keg? I love this idea!
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get a brix reading on said ball bearings and then you can find out how much fermentables are in there
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