Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Nordeast Brewers Alliance barrel-aging sour beer project

14 members of my homebrew club, the Nordeast Brewers Alliance (NBA) threw in some cash to be part of a sour beer barrel aging project, myself included. Originally we thought the money would go to purchasing the barrel, itself. We ended up finding one for free. It had been used by Town Hall Brewery for their Eye of the Storm honeywine this past winter and before that by (I believe) a vintner for a white wine, of what type I’m not sure.

The huge 60 gallon barrel is graciously living at Nick’s place in Northeast Minneapolis. Everyone is aiming to have their 5 gallons fermented around the time of our April club meeting (4/21), at which time we’ll syphon it all in along with the bacteria to do the souring over the course of the next year or so. Man, it felt weird to brew this beer this past weekend knowing I wouldn’t be drinking any of it for over a year. Normally I figure I drink or give away most of my output between two and nine months from brew day. This one will have to pay off in time. Here is what Nick bought to be split up between 14 guys:


  • 110 lbs of Rahr Premium Pilsner
  • 55 lbs of Castle Pilsner
  • 14 lbs of White Wheat
  • 7 lbs of Red Wheat
  • 7 lbs of Pale Wheat


  • 7 Vials Belgian Ardennes yeast Wyeast
  • 7 Vials Belgian Bastogne yeast White labs


  • 1 lb Sterling Hops
  • 1 lb Styrian Goldings Hops

Volume: 14 – 5 gallon batch’s (70 gallons)

Nick was scary good at this part…  🙂

Here are some of the brettanomyces and lacto bugs Nick’s been saving that will likely get dumped into the barrel:

In my next post, I’ll show how the grain bill listed above translates into the recipe each of us will be brewing.


3 responses

  1. Pingback: Surly 5 « Barking Dog Beer

  2. Pingback: Barrel Aged Sour Beer – Club Project « zoobrew

  3. Pingback: The barrel is full « Barking Dog Beer

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