Oak Barrel Prepwork

Oak barrel leaks

It is midnight the temperature is dropping to freezing while I wrestle with an oak barrel. The last time I prepared a barrel for fermentation I pinched a fingernail and worked for months with black thumb. I do this because I am nuts when I can't sleep. Otherwise I be inside listening to music or "chiving". Nonetheless I lifted this barrel and inserted a washing wand with one hand. She is weeping at the moment while I'm tapping around with hammer and chisel. The staves and the rings are loss. The barrel heads may need a rub with paraffin wax & bees wax. If all fails I have a back up. The last one took several rounds to expand. I am pumping a hot wash using citrus acid with potassium metabisulfite to knock down the wild yeast. The complete cycle will take four hours. The barrel will likely seal for water but fermented liquids are less dense. The fear is after the prepwork she may still weep requiring additional attention.

The wort going into the barrel will be a Berliner Weisse fermented solely with WLP0677 Lactobacillus. The project is part of my 2014 NTHBA Past-President series. This local home brew club are ladies and gents who encourage my efforts. I'd like to think we are building a community together. The Berliner will be a competing tap at the annual Bluebonnet Brew-off. Come out and look for CH and I. We will conduct the brewday this weekend at the NTHBA brewday shares will be split by the members.

barrel rings re-seated
Oak barrel leaks
The Bird Visits New Belgium
Molly Bird visits New Belgium. Thanks for the post card!   

Works Cited:
http://thechive.com/
http://www.bluebonnetbrewoff.com/
http://www.newbelgium.com/community/Blog/14-02-03/Snapshot.aspx

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