HIB 10: Barrel Project


Project Description:

Club has acquired a 35 gallon used rum barrel thanks to the generosity of Todd Zachary and we need to take full advantage of the situation. TVHB will foot the bill for most of the ingredients for a 5 gallon batch. Todd will kindly keep the barrel. When it’s ready, the beer will be bottled and you’ll get a case back. The remainder of the beers will be parsed periodically at the club’s monthly meetings and parties. A few restrictions apply. You’ll need to be able to brew all-grain (and handle 14lb of malt) and you’ll need to have a keg in which to transport the finished beer to Todd’s house. We want this to be a clean beer that ages for a long time, so bring your sanitation A game. Be prepared to help on bottling day as well. Be prepared to help on bottling day as well.


The recipe is inspired by BCS’s Old Ale. The club will buy the malt, hops, and yeast but it will be up to every brewer to supply ~1lb of “sugar”. Make it a cool one (treacle, black strap, demera, etc)! Something that would compliment a rum barrel. Assuming we have more participants than barrel volume, we’ll gather all the beers one afternoon and I’ll figure out how to do a mini competition so as a group we can decide who’s beers end up in the blend.

HIB 10

HIB participants can email HIBoss for information. You can also use the HIB name to participate in the mailing list of just HIBers.


Project Update:

A total of 10 beers made it to the barrel on June 26th. The barrel turned out to be larger than expected at 49 gallons! Reports indicated that even after having one beer aged in it, the barrel smelled strongly (and tastily) of rum. There was a tag stapled on the barrel from the Compañía Licorera de Nicaragua and more than likely held Flor de Caña rum from Nicaragua. It had previously only had one beer in it. A blender at Wicked Weed said that when they received the barrel from Nicaragua they poured out a sizable amount of residual rum, then they filled it with their Dark Age Stout (12%). According to a review, Wicked Weed had the Stout in the rum barrels for only 4 months. There’s a decent chance that the beer that was in this particular barrel may have been sampled by one Jesse Thompson on his honeymoon in 2013! None of the beers were noticeably off going into the barrel. One or two was a little hot and boozy and one or two were under-attenuated, but none were tart or sour. There wasn’t a big difference between WLP013 and WLP200, but the WLP200 was fairly clean at lower fermentation temperatures. The molasses beers finished higher than treacle which was slightly higher than other syrups, with simple sugars finishing the driest.

“I was there August 19-24 of 2013 on my honeymoon and had this rum barrel aged beer at wicked weed that just blew my mind. It was one of the most memorable and delicious beers I had ever had with a very prominent rum background. That is so cool!”~Jesse Thompson

“The different sugar types were interesting to taste. It’s not exactly like we needed proof, but it was a clear example how much sugar type impacts flavor.”~Joe Edidin

“And yes, those of us that did not use treacle felt our manhood was lessened that day.”~Tom Brandeis

“The three coolest guys used black treacle.”~Scott Moody

Photo Gallery:

IMG_1045 IMG_1049 IMG_1050 IMG_1054 IMG_1055IMG_1040IMG_1044IMG_1048 IMG_20160626_134756765