or…Why Spend 18 Months Oak Aging When You Can Spend 18 Seconds?
It’s a concept inspired by Randall the Enamel Animal, Dogfish Head’s organoleptic hop transducer module, which runs beer through a water filter packed with fresh hops to wow the drinker with hop sensation.
I’ve been doing a fair amount of oak aging over the last couple of years, splitting batches, experimenting. Being artistic. Being your typical homebrewer, I guess. The wheels are always turning, and one day Randall and bourbon-soaked oak chips clicked in my mind.
Darrell began very simply: oak chips in a plastic bag. I ran stout through the bag and into my glass, having good confidence that the process would strip off bourbon, but less sure about what degree of oakiness might be pulled down into my pint. I tested it out a few weeks back when my Beermapping Buddy, BahHumBrew, stopped in for lunch and a couple of Iowa beers.
Holy crap; it worked!
There is no rocket science here, no involved contraptions. I picked up a piece of PVC, threaded so I could screw in a screen (the kind that you can put in the bottom of your sink to catch debris). That is all.
In go the chips. Through pours the beer. On goes the smile.
No more tying up fermenters because I want to bourbon barrel a couple gallons of stout or pinot-ify a half-batch of wit. I just have my stash of variously flavored chips at the ready. Pour-sip-smile-repeat.
The improvement comes in the appearance department, which is just gonna have to wait. I have ideas beyond simply pouring beer through my didgeridoo, but no time to fool with it just now.
Anyway, dear readers, I give you Darrell the Barreler. Give it a try