Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey Barrel Fill #1

Taste Results
Taste Results for 5 Gallons on Peaches

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I used a 15 gallon Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey barrel I purchased at Keystone Homebrew Supply on a trip to Philly last year to drop off my NHC entries (advanced but didn’t place). Because I can only brew 5 gallons at a time, I had to brew 3 times to fill the barrel. Conventional wisdom seems to be for the first time use of a whiskey barrel, you should brew something big and dark, like an imperial stout otherwise the whiskey flavors will be too big for the beer. I don’t like to do what I’m supposed to, even if that doesn’t always work out, so I decided to fill the barrel with a pale ale type beer (kind of an Old Ale) colored a little with caramel wheat malt (46 SRM). People drink straight whiskey right, so why not put a lighter beer in for the first use?!

I decided to get a little bit of Brettanomyces in the barrel from the very beginning to help with protecting the beer from oxygen as it sat since it’s a smaller barrel. I chose to ferment one batch 100% with WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii and the other two fermented clean with WLP002 (details below).

Recipe Specifics:

Type: All Grain
SRM: 8.1
IBUS: 35
Batch Size: 6 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Final Bottling Vol: 5 gal
Efficiency: 75.00 %


Because I brewed three times (5 gallons each), the only change from each recipe is the addition of a different high protein flaked grain, below are those:

1) 1.5 pounds of flaked organic oats
2) 1.5 pounds of flaked organic quinoa
3) 1.5 pounds of flaked organic rye


Final Numbers:

(Average across the three batches)
Original Gravity: 1.060
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV: 6.6%
Keg or Bottle: Bottled 5 gallons, Aging 5 gallons in a carboy with bacteria, Bottled 5 pounds after it sat on peaches. 
Oxygen: 45 Seconds Pure Oxygen

Water Profile:


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6.30 g Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1
2.10 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 2
4.60 g Calcium Chloride (Boil 60.0 mins) Water Agent 7
1.50 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Boil 60.0 mins) Water Agent 8


R/O Tap Water Gypsum (gram/gal) Epsom Salt (gram/gal) Sea Salt (gram/gal) Baking Soda (gram/gal) Calcium Chloride (gram/gal)
Yes No 0.4 0 0 0 1.2


Calcium Magnesium Sodium Sulfate Chloride Bicarbonate Cations Anions Total Hardness Alkalinity RA S04/CI Ratio
110.9 0 0 59 153 1 5.5 5.5 277 1 -78 0.4

Mash/Grain Profile:

Mash at 154.0 F for 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
11 lbs 8.0 oz Organic 2-Row (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 82.1 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (see above for the 3 different batches) Grain 4 10.7 %
1 lbs Caramel Wheat Malt (46.0 SRM) Grain 5 7.1 %

Boil Ingredients:

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
18.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 35.9 IBUs
4.60 g Calcium Chloride (Boil 60.0 mins) Water Agent 7
1.50 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Boil 60.0 mins) Water Agent 8


Starter: Yes


Brew 1 – 4 ounces of WLP002 slurry that was 30 days old. Made a starter the morning of brewing.

Brew 2 – 5 ounces of WLP002 slurry that was 30 days old. Made a starter the night before brewing.

Brew 3 – New vile of WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii stepped up in 3 steps till about 1750 ml (on a stir plate) of a starter was ready to pitch.

Temperature: Both batches with WLP002 fermented at 62 degrees for the first 24 hours then were bumped to 66 degrees to finish. The WLP645 batch fermented at ambient temperatures 75-79 degrees.

After each batch fermented for 2 weeks, I then racked into the barrel and crossed my fingers.

I let the barrel site up in a open space by our loft, which meant I had to use some extreme gravity to rack out of the barrel.

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