The Barrel Project

The Barrel Project starts with two 10 gallon Bourbon Barrels from Tuthilltown Distillery in New York.

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The next step is beer. For round one, 24 gallons of an Imperial Stout.

Brew day for the Imp Stout was on Thursday, July 23rd. What a brew day. My system is sized to ideally brew 10 gallons of a high gravity beer. In this case I wanted 24 gallons; 20 for the barrels and 4 for topping off/blending, etc post barrel aging (or to drink). So, this meant a double brew day of 12 gallon batches, pushing my system to the absolute limits of capacity. In the end it worked out fine. 47lbs of grain meant 1 inch of clearance on the Mash Tun. No worries on the BK as I had already brewed a 15 gallon batch of a pale ale (18 gallons collected wort pre-boil).

But, 24 gallons of beer is a lot. Thats 5 traditional bucket fermenters and my 3 were already in use from the 15 gal pale ale I brewed two days earlier. So… new fermenters were in order. And I decided I needed to go bigger… to a pair of 60L Spiedel plastic fermenter vessels. These things are friggin awesome. I will never go back to buckets again.

Now the beer is fermenting away in the basement awaiting their transfer into the barrels. I’ve been quizzing some local brewmasters/cellar masters (Cambridge Brewing Company & Night Shift Brewing) on barrel preparation and I should be good to go. All I need is a pressurized racking arm and I’ll be good (build in progress).

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