January 29, 2012

Barrel Notes: Day 2

Upon returning from Central Water's 14th Anniversary party, I walked down to the basement to put bottles in the cellar.  To my surprise I was greeted by this:

Whoa!  I'm not sure when fermentation had started, but this picture was taken less than 48 hours after filling.  Judging by the amount of foam and beer on the floor, it could have been 36 hours or less.  Between my priming efforts and the yeast pitched, I'd say the numbers game is in my favor!


After seeing how much beer I was losing, I recalled reading that Cantillon has started short filling their barrels to reduce the amount of loss during primary fermentation.  Given that my small 5 gallon barrel was lacking about a gallon, I decided to siphon about a half gallon of wort from the large barrel into the small barrel.

4 comments:

Jeffrey Crane said...

Did you use a bung or airlock at all in the first couple days?

We are brewing a Brett Saison in a 60 gal barrel and want to do primary in the barrel. So I was just wondering how much headspace to leave and what to use on the top bung.

Levi said...

For the initial part of primary, its too active for a bung or airlock. If you had a bung or airlock on it, it would likely blow off. When it stops spewing over, you can put a bung/airlock on it. I would recommend the Silicon Dual Fermentation Bungs.

Jeffrey Crane said...

How full would you recommend filling a 60 gal barrel to minimize losses?

Levi said...

6" headspace is ~10 gallons. That should be enough to minimize the majority of loss. I would primary the 10 gallons in carboys, and then when foaming in the barrel dies down, put the 10 gallons in and let it finish primary there.

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