|Available in 4 convenient sizes (actually 5, if you count the 12oz bottles).|
After reaching terminal gravity it was time to transfer the quad into the brandy barrel I've been holding onto since January. It started life as a 20 liter Balcones distillery bourbon barrel that was used for a RIS and then refilled with a gallon of brandy. The beer spent 6 days in the barrel, coming out quite with a noticeable alcohol heat and some heavy oak tannins. (Fun fact: the residual CO2 will push beer through the spaces between the staves, and come out the other side of the barrel as sweet, oaky 'sap'.)
I then cold-conditioned the beer at 60 degrees for another 10 days. In just that short amount of time the oak and brandy flavors are already integrating into the beer nicely - I can't wait to try it five months from now.
I bottled the 4.5 gallons that remained on Sunday night (having lost some to evaporation and trub) into a mixture of bottles. Personally, I'm not fond of super-dry beers with a heavy oak presence, so in addition to the priming sugar I added 4 ounces of maltodextrin to add back some of the body that the super yeast ate. Eight bottles got the VIP treatment - corks, cages, foil, and labels - while the remainder went into a myriad of sizes of capped bottles for competitions, personal consumption, homebrew meetings, and etcetera.
More pictures after the break.
|Into the barrel.|
|1.018 - a touch dry for such a huge beer, but easily fixed with maltodextrin.|
|Into the bottling bucket.|
PS: Gamma seal lids make life easier.