The plan for this project involved making a couple of gallons of Nocino and putting it in a 10L charred oak barrel until it absorbed the desired flavors. Once the Nocino reached that stage the plan was to fill the barrel with an imperial stout that I brewed several months prior to the Nocino barrel filling.
I filled the barrel with 2+ gallons of Nocino on November 10, 2018. Barrel rotation to bring the entire barrel into contact with the Nocino occurred on a regular basis. A tasting on December 4, 2018, led participants to suggest additional time in the barrel, although there was a perceptible flavor change from the original filling. On February 17, 2019, the same taste testers unanimously suggested that removal of the Nocino from the barrel was reasonable/desirable at that time.
My plan, after removing the Nocino from the barrel, is to fill it with 10L of the imperial stout. I will add some Safale S-04 yeast and finish by placing an airlock on the barrel. Frequent tasting to avoid over absorption of the flavors from the barrel is planned, although there is sufficient imperial stout to blend with the contents of the barrel to counter any over absorption of the Nocino/oak.
My prediction is that in about 2-3 months the imperial stout will be ready for removal from the barrel. Small barrels tend to give up their flavors more quickly than larger barrels.
More updates to follow……