Previously, I posted items about an ongoing project in which I “aged” nocino in a charred oak barrel, then replaced it with an Imperial Stout to soak up the nocino flavor (see the posts here, here, and here). As outlined in these posts, the Imperial Stout did not turn out as expected. Its flavor ended up being “noisy” according to one of my taste testers. Hoping to salvage something “beer-wise” from this project, I reflected on what I possessed after this failure. I still had a 10L barrel that contained nocino flavor. I noted that over the last few years, I enjoyed making nocino Manhattans using rye as my base alcohol. It occurred to me that the spiciness of the rye might pair will with a big Belgian beer and the nocino flavor. So, as mentioned in earlier posts, I decided to brew a Belgian Quad for barrel conditioning.
Today, this new phase began. I rinsed the barrel with water. The resulting liquid from the barrel (nocino/imperial stout) smelled amazing. Too bad it didn’t taste as good as it smelled! 🙂 I replaced the water with Bulleit rye. Because it would be too expensive to fill the barrel with rye (Duh!) I added only a 750ml bottle. I will rotate the barrel daily to get as much coverage as possible (I might add a second bottle later). The plan is to “recharge” the barrel for a few weeks. Then 10L of a 3gal batch of Belgian Quad will go into the barrel for conditioning. The Quad will be tasted periodically to evaluate its progress.
Here’s hoping that this calculation works better than the first one.