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AABG Sour Wine Barrel Project
March 24, 2010
5:43 am
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Mike O'Brien
Ypsilanti, MI
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I'll take it!

Mike O'Brien 734-637-2532

March 23, 2010
9:57 pm
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Jeff Renner
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I was just about to post the same thing.  This project is going to bump too close to our trip to Japan (April 13-23), so I guess Matt Becker gets lucky, too.

I still definitely want in on the next fill of the barrel.

Jeff

March 23, 2010
9:52 pm
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Ross Smith
Ann Arbor, MI
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Time has gotten away from me.  I doubt I will be able to get this batch done before the barrel arrives.  Darned school and wedding planning.   I guess Mike you're next in line if you want it.

March 23, 2010
9:13 pm
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Jeff Rankert
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Hop Substitutions that will work if you have trouble finding the ones specified.

EK Goldings - Fuggles, Willamette, or US Goldings

Styrian Goldings - Fuggles, Willamette,

Saaz - Stirling, Ultra, Tettnanger, maybe Hallertauer.

March 16, 2010
1:04 pm
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Aron Butler
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Dropping off kegs the weekend of 4/17 looks ok with my schedule.  I expect we'll be home, but if not, folks can just go around the back of the house and leave them in the covered porch (we have a fence, but no dogs).

If the barrel arrives during the week (like Monday the 19th) things will be slightly more complicated with work schedules, so we'll need to figure out how and when it will get to my place and be filled with beer.  I presume we will not want to wait too long to fill it, so I see a few options. 

Depending on logistics, I could possibly take a long lunch, or we could make arrangements to place and fill it on a weekday evening after dinner.  If coordinating schedules is difficult, I should be able to fill it myself the evening it arrives, if that's acceptable (I generally have a few hours of free time after my son goes to bed).  Otherwise, if folks would rather wait for a group event, perhaps we can convene something the following weekend?  Mark, let me know what your preference is.

I have completed the stand, so that is ready to go.  I also have a CO2 tank with enough lines and ball lock fittings to flow a few kegs in parallel, similar to what we did at Randy's.

March 15, 2010
10:56 am
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markzad
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As far as I know, we are still looking at Barrel delivery on April 19th.    Therefore we will likely want to brew by the first weekend in April in order to have fermented beer completed in time for transferring to the new barrel. 

Here is a 10 gallon recipe for a Saison I have been brewing for a while now with good results.  (originally from Jeff Rankert and might have been tweaked for hops on hand)   You will have to cut it in half for a 5 gallon batch if that is all you plan to brew.  I am going to brew 10 gallons so that I can compare the barrel aged vs original once completed.  Mike, do you have those hops readily available?   Maybe we can have hop kits made up? (rounded up to the nearest oz and let the brewers adjust)

As far as yeast, individuals may either pick up their own vial of WL Belgian Saison I yeast, or we can have someone step up and propagate a large starter for the group.  Any volunteers? 

For this first batch, we will only need 12 participants (provides us with 5 extra gallons for top off which is plenty for this shorter period run).  Based on our original list of first responders, the following brewers will be participating in this inaugural filling.   If you have changed your mind or do not think you will have the time to prepare your fermented beer for delivery / filling on April 19th (or the weekend prior if Aron is available for dropping kegs / cornies off), please let me know ASAP so that we can provide the spot to another brewer. 

  1. Mark Zadvinskis
  2. Jeff Rankert
  3. Chris Frey
  4. Randy deBeauclair
  5. Alex & Claudia Pettit
  6. Ross Smith
  7. Jeff Renner
  8. Justin Scanlon
  9. Phil Wilcox
  10. Dave Olds
  11. Pat Babcock
  12. Brian Petrovich

Next in line should someone drop out:

  1. Mike O'Brien 
  2. Matt Becker
  3. Roger Burns 
  4. Jim Dusseau
  5. Aron Butler

Again, if there is enough continued interest from the group, we can get a second barrel going sometime this summer or fall, when we are able to acquire it.   Very sorry to those who did not make the cut for the first batch, but I'm sure there will be plenty to share with you at future tastings. 

2005 Saison

Recipe Overview
Wort Volume Before Boil: 12.50 US gals Wort Volume After Boil: 10.50 US gals
Volume Transferred: 10.50 US gals Water Added To Fermenter: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 10.50 US gals Volume Of Finished Beer: 10.50 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.043 SG Expected OG: 1.051 SG
Expected FG: 1.015 SG Apparent Attenuation: 70.0 %
Expected ABV: 4.8 % Expected ABW: 3.7 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 21.6 IBU Expected Color (using Morey): 3.6 SRM
BU:GU ratio: 0.42 Approx Color:  
Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %    
Boil Duration: 75.0 mins    
Fermentation Temperature: 70 degF    
Fermentables
Ingredient Amount % MCU When
German Pilsner Malt 16lb 0oz 84.2 % 2.4 In Mash/Steeped
German Wheat Malt 2lb 0oz 10.5 % 0.3 In Mash/Steeped
German Munich Malt 1lb 0oz 5.3 % 0.8 In Mash/Steeped
Hops
Variety Alpha Amount IBU Form When
UK Golding 6.6 % 1.50 oz 17.4 Loose Whole Hops 60 Min From End
Slovenian Styrian Goldings 5.3 % 0.75 oz 3.4 Loose Whole Hops 15 Min From End
Slovenian Styrian Goldings 5.3 % 1.00 oz 0.4 Loose Whole Hops 1 Min From End
Czech Saaz 3.5 % 0.75 oz 0.2 Loose Whole Hops 1 Min From End
UK Golding 5.7 % 0.50 oz 0.2 Loose Whole Hops 1 Min From End
Other Ingredients
Ingredient Amount When
Yeast

White Labs WLP565-Belgian Saison I

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name: Single Step Infusion (67C/152F)

Step Type Temperature Duration
Rest at 153 degF 60

March 12, 2010
5:39 pm
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Jeff Renner
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Hope we'll be able to put together kits for this and get in a bunch of yeast packs.  Or maybe even make a big starter of yeast.  Whatever became of Dan McConnell's yeast propagator?  Did you get it, Mike?  Or could we use any other equipment you have?

Jeff

March 12, 2010
5:31 pm
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Jeff Rankert
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Divide ingredients by 2 for a 5 gallon batch.  Wink

March 12, 2010
5:30 pm
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Jeff Rankert
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Updated recipe for a Grand Cru to go into the barrel.

Wine Barrel Flanders Red Grand Cru

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal):        10.50    Wort Size (Gal):   10.50
Total Grain (Lbs):       24.00
Anticipated OG:          1.065    Plato:             15.99
Anticipated SRM:          12.9
Anticipated IBU:          13.6
Brewhouse Efficiency:       78 %
Wort Boil Time:             60    Minutes

Formulas Used
-------------

Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.
Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.
Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg
Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Fine Grind Dry Basis.

Color Formula Used:   Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: Tinseth
Tinseth Concentration Factor: 1.00

Grain/Extract/Sugar

   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 41.7    10.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)              America        1.036      2
 25.0     6.00 lbs. Vienna Malt                   Germany        1.037      3
 16.7     4.00 lbs. Flaked Corn (Maize)           America        1.040      1
  4.2     1.00 lbs. Aromatic Malt                 Belgium        1.036     25
  4.2     1.00 lbs. CaraMunich 60                 France         1.034     60
  4.2     1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt                    America        1.038      2
  4.2     1.00 lbs. Special B Malt                Belgian        1.030    120

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Mash

Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.30 - Before Additional Infusions

Saccharification Rest Temp : 154 Time: 60
Mash-out Rest Temp : 168 Time: 10
Sparge Temp : 170 Time: 60

Hops

   Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2.00 oz.    Goldings - E.K.                   Whole    4.75  13.6  60 min.

Yeast
-----
Wyeast Roeselare Blend 

 

 

January 20, 2010
3:53 pm
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markzad
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As far as oak character remaining in the barrel, it should be minimal which is why the winery is selling them off.   They use them 3-4 times and then sell.   Some wineries will have them re-chared in an effort to squeeze our a few more uses, but they do not use this practice.   Our primary reason for wishing to use barrels for this project is to provide a nice home for our motley crew of sugar munchers and to take advantage of the oxygen diffusion / exchange characteristics of the wood that keeps the sugar crew happy.  

January 20, 2010
3:49 pm
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Jeff Rankert
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I will put the recipe here first.

This was found on the internet some time ago.  It is the Rodenbach recipe that Peter Bouckaert (head brewer at New Belgium) had given out in a talk.  I brewed this back in 2004!  Only a few bottles are left.

2004 Flemish Red

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics

----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 10.00 Wort Size (Gal): 10.00

Total Grain (Lbs): 23.00

Anticipated OG: 1.064 Plato: 15.71

Anticipated SRM: 13.5

Anticipated IBU: 11.5

Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %

Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Formulas Used

-------------

Brewhouse Efficiency and Predicted Gravity based on Method #1, Potential Used.

Final Gravity Calculation Based on Points.

Hard Value of Sucrose applied. Value for recipe: 46.2100 ppppg

Yield Type used in Gravity Prediction: Fine Grind Dry Basis.

Color Formula Used: Morey

Hop IBU Formula Used: Tinseth

Tinseth Concentration Factor: 1.00

 

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

65.2 15.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) Great Britain 1.038 3

8.7 2.00 lbs. Flaked Corn (Maize) America 1.040 1

10.9 2.50 lbs. Munich Malt(dark) America 1.033 20

10.9 2.50 lbs. Crystal 60L America 1.034 60

4.3 1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

 

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.75 oz. Hallertau Hersbrucker Whole 2.75 11.5 60 min.

 

Yeast - Wyeast Roeselare Blend

Mash at 150

Mash out 168

-----

 

 

 

January 20, 2010
11:34 am
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Spencer Thomas
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Mark sent this to the AABG email.  The cost for French Oak seems quite reasonable.

Sour beer fans-

Barrel will not be available until March.   He is offering to deliver, but I don't want him to make a special trip unless he is already headed this way.   Cost for the French Oak will be $150 or $100 with 2 cases of beer.   I think the club will likely pay the $150 straight up as it's a pretty reasonable price....and we may all want to hold onto the precious results....assuming it turns out as we hope.  =)   I do think we as a club may want to at least put a six pack together for him as a gift if he does deliver for us.   Nice gesture to keep the relationship going and he's a cool guy.   He will not have any other barrels coming out of rotation until September, at which time we can determine if there is still enough demand/ interest in pursuing a second.  

At this point I think it would be best to keep contributions in 5 gallon increments (rather than some fraction of) for simplicity sake, but that will mean that some members will have to wait until round two, or the arrival of the second barrel.   As usual, I'm sure that there will be enough sample pulls for AABG meetings to give everyone a taste and track the progress of the project. 

I have reached out to Jeff Rankert, and will follow his expert lead for recipe formulation.  We will put together a short list of suggested first run recipes (that will work with residual red wine) and then put them out there for the first round participants to vote on.   I will try to nail down a better date for approximate barrel arrival (end of March maybe?) so that we can have a target date for our brew days.   It will be very important that everyone have their beer fermented and ready to transfer in order to minimize empty storage time.

I'm very excited to get this project going!

Mark

January 20, 2010
11:29 am
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Spencer Thomas
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Rog said:

spencer said:If we don't want oak character, I think French oak is a better choice.  In my experience American oak contributes a strong, somewhat raw, oak character, while French oak is much more subtle.


If we don't want oak character, then why consider an oak barrel in the first place?


I was commenting on Aron's summary below, where he says

Opposition to buying French was voiced on the grounds that it is not good value for our purposes, since we are primarily just looking for a vessel that will allow the microflora to develop, not expecting it to contribute much specific oak character.

We want a barrel so that it will develop microflora. There are other barrel wood choices, but AFAIK, they are even more expensive. American oak will contribute significant oak character to at least the first batch.  French oak is much less likely to do so. (Unless these barrels have been used so many times for wine that the oak flavor has pretty much leached out.)

January 20, 2010
11:19 am
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Rog
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spencer said:If we don't want oak character, I think French oak is a better choice.  In my experience American oak contributes a strong, somewhat raw, oak character, while French oak is much more subtle.


If we don't want oak character, then why consider an oak barrel in the first place?

January 20, 2010
10:51 am
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Rog
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I think a list of beers to go through the barrel might be useful.  Eg. I had a great "golden ale" that was from Northern Brewing by way of Jolly Pumpkin.  It was a nice, sour, blonde ale.  No phenolics, but with a lot of flavor for a lighter beer.  Point is, if we were going to do something like this, then it would not make sense to do at the beginning of the barrel's life due to the wine flavor.  Maybe kick around a beer order list like:

flemish red

flemish brown

golden ale

belgian ipa

or something would allow people to buy in on the one they are interested in.  I'd like to participate on any/all levels but some beer styles are not my favorites (any of the strong phenolicy belgians, for instance), so would defer to others.  

Items up for discussion:

1. beer styles, and

2. how long each will remain in the barrel, will determine when people will get their chance.  

3. Also, if the dump and fill approach means that the barrel wood is not that important, then I say go with the American Oak, and maybe get 2 to accommodate interest.  That might give a nice comparison with two barrels side by side.  In any case, it will look cool.

rog

January 20, 2010
10:44 am
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Spencer Thomas
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If we don't want oak character, I think French oak is a better choice.  In my experience American oak contributes a strong, somewhat raw, oak character, while French oak is much more subtle.

January 18, 2010
2:47 pm
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Aron Butler
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I'll try to recap key points where we're at right now (Monday 1/18): 

Purchase:

  • Mark Z knows someone who can get French (~$300/ea) or American (~$100/ea) bbls that are coming off aging of red wine.  He may also accept a keg of beer in trade for an American bbl.
  • The email list saw a proposal and second to buy a French bbl to be owned by the club, with expenditure justified by the fact that club ownership will greatly simplify investment/divestment transactions, and choice of French based on the character of the wood and also the opportunity to own such a nice asset.
  • Opposition to buying French was voiced on the grounds that it is not good value for our purposes, since we are primarily just looking for a vessel that will allow the microflora to develop, not expecting it to contribute much specific oak character.
  • As of now, it's not clear the question of which type or how many has been settled.

Physical Logistics:

  • Delivery timing is still uncertain; Mark Z is working on finding out more.
  • Someone will need to go pick up the bbl(s) in Traverse City (where the winery is located).
  • Aron Butler offered to build stand(s) for the bbl(s), similar to the one currently under the BBBW.
  • Jeff Renner expresed interest in housing the bbl(s), but said they wouldn't fit down his stairs.
  • Aron Butler offered to house one bbl at his place, assuming it could fit down the stairs.  Ability to house second bbl may be possible, pending verification of space requirements.  Would be useful to have length and max diameter dimensions on these models.  Smallest doorway to pass through is ~29" clearance.

Recipes & Operational Logistics:

  • Seems to be some consensus that these bbl(s) would be operated as fill and dump rather than solera type operations (the BBBW has been solera so far).  This will allow beers of different character to be made along the way.  Would also provide more simplicity for investment and divestment, considering the large number of brewers (~18 as of now) that want to be involved.
  • Need to figure out exactly how many and who would be investors.
  • A proposal to make a group batch of Rankerts' Flemish Red, which could be cultured in short order from dregs of Rankerts' bbl.
  • A proposal to allow the contents to sour naturally, allowing a few fill/dump cycles with differing character along the way.  This will be somewhat familiar territory based on what FORD has done.
  • A point that the first recipe should accommodate some inevitable uptake of wine color and/or character.
  • Other recipes/ideas are floating around as well.  I like the idea of doing something lighter in color, similar to JP's Bam (more session-ish) or Oro de Calabaza (more of a sipper).
  • There was a suggestion for a separate mailing list for this project as not to clutter up the main list with various detailed messages.  Also, there could be a kick-off meeting of interested parties.

Seems like next steps are for Mark Z to get timing info back to the group, then nail down key details from above either via on-line exchange or in-person meeting.

Am I forgetting anything?

January 16, 2010
11:00 pm
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Mike O'Brien
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What happend to my reply to the post the other day?

It said:

It must be the 'crochety old man' in me but it look like I have to go to more that one place to see my AABG mail.

I will give it a try:

I am in favor of the oak barrel - it sounds like it would be more usefull with the solara barrel - than with the 'fill and dump' barrel - but I am interetes so see the differance in the angles share.

Mike

Mike O'Brien 734-637-2532

January 15, 2010
12:05 pm
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To get started, I will paste a recent message from Crispy

I have had a few side bars with Jeff Rankert on a few of these issues. BTW, to set the record straight, Jeff was the first volunteer to raise his hand to store the barrel, but then went on to say the with his tight steps to his basement, that there might need to be some disassembly of his home to get it down there, and that if anyone else was truly interested in hosting it. I just wanted to give him and Sue that recognition…

Anyway, great discussion so far. The last thing I asked Jeff last night is what beer goes well with wine? While a funny thing to type, the first batch will pick up a lot of the barrel content character, as we learned from the early AABGBBBW and the first fill and dump with the FORD barrel. I suggest that the first brew only stay in the barrel 6-9 months and not be inoculated, simply because of the immense and unique character we will obtain. Both barrels began to sour “organically” in about 9 months or so, and this was the basis of the FORD club going to a Brown Ale recipe for the 2nd fill and dump, and the sourness obtained was pretty spot-on. Once inoculated, the layers of yeast can only be added.

And I still would like to get the French oak barrel since one of the potential costs is free or greatly reduced  – ifin we are willing to cough up a cornie or two of beer. The club treasury can support the outright purchase of either – a club vote is all that is needed. Both the physical beauty and the properties that the French oak offer appeal to me, and should to others as well. Mark is checking into this, but he originally stated that: They have both american and french oak (considerable price difference between them).  We can get an American barrel for around $100…..or free if we trade for some of the beer we make (like a 5 gallon kegs worth or something of the like…

And in the email from his friend at the vineyard, he stated that : So, here’s the meat of the deal and the reason we buy 95% French Oak.  The continental location of their forests and the gulf stream allows for a slower, more uniform annual growth cycle while our locations are have more peaks and the trees are more prone to “feast and famine” growth cycles.  This means the grain in Am Oak is more coarse and less uniform and allows for a little more tannin and more impact of flavors at a quicker pace into the wine. American oak is technically deemed a medium grain wood type.  The French trees are very fine grain.  This means there’s less penetration into the wood of the alcohol and wine, it takes longer to work into it and can also sit longer in the barrel allowing for more consistent oxygen uptake at a slower rate than a wider grained vessel would allow.  They also seem to offer nicer spice and vanillin components to the wines and less of the coconut and butterscotch that can overwhelm a delicate wine that is from a cool climate like ours.

A rotation of volunteers based on speed to raise hands versus allowing everyone who wants to participate is an option. But, as Randy points out, it has been challenging to keep the AABGBBBW going at times. I recommend that everyone interested sit in a circle and bitch slap each other until there is a clear winner. Whoa, I think I need some more coffee….still lots of time to discuss, vote, act, brew, pick up, set-up, fill, age, dump, bottle, then drink the results…

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