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How To Add Wood Flavor To Your Beer Without Barrels

Barrel-aging beer has become immensely popular among commercial brewers, but the process is less common for homebrewers.

Dave Carpenter Feb 2, 2015 - 4 min read

How To Add Wood Flavor To Your Beer Without Barrels Primary Image

Finding a barrel in which to age your beer can be a bit of a challenge, and if you do happen to come across a barrel, there’s the inconvenient fact that barrels are 31 gallons. Those of us used to brewing 5- or 10-gallon batches will be hard-pressed to fill that 31-gallon barrel.

Fortunately, you don’t need to take up cooperage to give your beer that lovely oaky flavor you find in your favorite aged stouts. Manufacturers produce a wide range of products that are just the thing for homebrewers looking to infuse their brews with barrel character.

Types of Oak Products

Some companies do produce small barrels suitable for homebrewers. Expect to pay $200 or more for new barrels, or slightly less for used ones. But unless you expect barrel-aging to play a major role in your home brewery, cubes, chips, or spirals may be a better choice.

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