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Robbie
It seems that English brewers prefer oak from Poland and Germany thinking that the American white oak unsuitable. In Scotland however there was a history of using white American oak for Porters and of course Whisky and this was seized upon by Innis and Gunn in establishing their new brand in 2003.  I think I might be reticent about putting a beer into a new oak barrel.  It makes sense to use old whisky, rum, sherry barrels as you will impart some of the flavours from the spirits that inhabited the barrel previously.  I used to quite like Innis and Gunn but as my palate developed it became very sweet to taste, too sweet for me.

http://www.beeretseq.com/from-baltic-to-bourbon-wood-evolution-of-a-scottish-beer/
Beer is an expression of the human spirit. . . we use technical sciences as a tool to create it but its essence is and always will be a form of art - Handbook of brewing, chapter 2, page 55
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Clibit
Chatting to the brewer from Belgium brewery Alvinne the other week, he was in charge of the barrel ageing programme. They buy barrels from France mainly, I think, wine, calados and cognac.  But also sherry and bourbon. These are first use after their original contents have gone, and they use them no more than three times. 

I know nothing about barrel ageing. The traditional English use of oak barrels was obviously a completely different thing, where the oak and the Brettanomyces were the factors affecting the beer. I think that interests me more. 
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Robert
I think the oak barrel wouldn't have been significant in the taste of the beer. I say say this because the volume of the barrels was pretty big and there wouldn't have been that much beer in contact with the barrel and brewers used to treat their barrels to prevent them affecting the taste of the beer. Oak taste in beer wasn't a desirable quality. So. I think any air-tight container would do for Brett maturation.
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Pinto

Robert wrote:
I think the oak barrel wouldn't have been significant in the taste of the beer. I say say this because the volume of the barrels was pretty big and there wouldn't have been that much beer in contact with the barrel and brewers used to treat their barrels to prevent them affecting the taste of the beer. Oak taste in beer wasn't a desirable quality. So. I think any air-tight container would do for Brett maturation.


You could also replicate the situation by soaking some oak chips or blocks in a commercial brett yeast and throw em into the maturation vessel.  These should also be re-usable as the brett will soak into the cubes.

Reminds me of an interview that Denny & Drew did with a brewer from Florida who specialised in spontaneuos wild and brett fermentations (cant remember who he was tho) - he moved his brewery, so had a timber trussed roof installed in his new place and sprayed it with loads of his older beer so the timbers would become impregnated with the yeasties and his brews would remain fairly constant.

Beer is like porn - you can buy it easily enough, but its so much more fun to make it [wink]
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Robert
Pinto wrote:



You could also replicate the situation by soaking some oak chips or blocks in a commercial brett yeast and throw em into the maturation vessel.  These should also be re-usable as the brett will soak into the cubes.

Reminds me of an interview that Denny & Drew did with a brewer from Florida who specialised in spontaneuos wild and brett fermentations (cant remember who he was tho) - he moved his brewery, so had a timber trussed roof installed in his new place and sprayed it with loads of his older beer so the timbers would become impregnated with the yeasties and his brews would remain fairly constant.

The wood in the barrels was definitely instrumental in perpetuating the Brett infections so this would be a great idea.

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