|After seven months
A lot has happened since I first started talking about the large batch of Baltic Porter the Tao of Fermentation planned on aging in an used red wine barrel. To start with, the beer became known as Yin with its brother Yang starting to take shape quite recently. I also started referring to the Tao of Fermentation as the Fellowship of Tao Brewers. Since putting the beer into the barrel in mid January (13.13.13 if you recall ;) ) I'd made it a point to taste it once a month to see how it was going. In the May time frame I felt it was getting pretty close to being ready and my June I was convinced of it so we started talking about ways to get it out of the barrel.
|One of the beers I opened
It was decided that we would set the date for exaction to occur at our August meet up. Shawn had a long rod of stainless steal which he fashioned into a racking cane and Daniel procured a self priming pump.
In addition to collecting the beer I thought it would be fun to watch Beer Hunter the Movie while drinking some beer off of Shawn's beer engine in honor of Michael Jackson in addition to opening some Michael Jackson worthy beers. Unfortunately the draining of the barrel, drinking of beer and general comradery was too load to really hear the movie so I'll have to check it out at a later time.
The beer itself came out really well and measured 1.014 FG. When you consider the overall group average gravity of was right around 1.095 SG we're looking at an ABV of 10.76% with an apparent attenuation of 83.82%, pretty outstanding. The flavor was fantastic and we noticed there was some stratification that the different levels with the first pull being very different from the last pull.
I ended up with three vessels pulled from the around the beginning, middle and end totaling around 11 gallons. I believe the extra couple of gallons kegged is really Shawn's as he only brought a single keg with him so I prepped a keg for him that was filled with the last couple of gallons.
|The barrel crew and the fruit of our labor
Instead of leaving the beer how it is I plan on dividing what I have into three beers. The batch I already have kegged I'll leave as is and rotate in as a spot on the crate becomes available. The 4.5 gallons I collected in a carboy I'm adding three vanilla beans to and will let it sit for a couple of months. To the last keg I am also adding a vanilla bean and half a cinnamon stick, once this is done I planning on BeerGunning it to share with Shawn.
I'd like to see what everyone does in the next few months and try to organize a tasting where we can taste the different directions everyone went. I'm also interested in see if a grand cru blend can be created.
From here the barrel needs to be cleaned, sanitized and sealed until the next round. In my head I'm torn between an imperial oatmeal stout (Imperial Rhino) or an old ale.
Till then στην υγειά σας