2008 GBA Fest at Splitrock Resort

This is the first time I've had the chance to attend Splitrock so it's hard for me to know for sure how this year stacked up, but overall it was a great beer festival. I've heard a few grumblings that the showing of breweries had been better in past years, but when you consider the price of a ticket, this is one of the best fest values going.

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Funky Barrel II - Kriek Belgian Cherry Lambic

The Kriek Project came to a close in November 2009 but here's the original project pitch:

As many of you Whales know, there is 60 gallons of Flemish Sour Red doing its funky thing in a Cabernet barrel in my basement and it’s been there since January 2008.

The membership of this batch includes: Bobby, Nick, Jody, Colin, Bill C, Gary, Gene, Brad & Jen, Mike V, Dave, and Rick & Heather, JD, and Jay. These shares will be collected out of the barrel about the first week of January (11 months total)

We didn’t want to waste the barrel nor the Lambic blend of funky critters that now have a foothold in the oak. The Kriek (Cherry Lambic) Barrel Project is born. Kriek is a Belgian wheat-based sour beer (Lambic) to which sour cherries are added (the raspberry version is call Framboise). There are quite a number of commercial examples available (somewhere):

Traditional Krieks include: Boon, Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen, Girardin 1882, Hanssens, Oud Beersel Oude Vieille, Timmermans Traditional.

Sweetened Krieks include: Belle-Vue, Chapeau, Lindemans , Mort Subite ,Timmermans, and St. Louis. ß


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2007-08 365 Whales Barrel Mead Project

Plan:  Ferment honey in two 55 gallon foodservice grade drums.  Rack into secondary Laird's Applejack barrels and age for one year.  Cost:  $30 per 5 gallon share all inclusive.

Barrel One @Luke's: Jenn&Brad, Luke, Rick&Heather, KeithS, Jody, Tripka, MikeV & Newman, BillC, Jim and BillS.

Barrel A @Uncle Leo's: Gene, Kristen&Rob, Leo, Colin, Prez, Gary, HarleySteve, BobbyM and Glenn.

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Funky Barrel I - Flanders Red 2008

Flanders Group

The Whales had run the course of big barrel brewing projects and wanted to switch things up.

Someone came up with the idea of doing something sour. Though it's an aquired taste, club membership had grown to a point where there would certainly be enough shares sold.

Updated to attach BJCP score sheets from the 2009 Buzz Off Comp. It scored 26/30 averaged to 28. The only dings were from high tannins from long aging in Oak. Subsequent batches in this same barrel shouldn't have that problem. The barrel was probably just too fresh for a year long soak.The original eleven shareholders were: Bobby, Nick, Jody, Colin, Bill C, Gary, Gene, Brad & Jen, Mike V, Dave, and Rick & Heather. The individual batches were brewed according to Jamil Z's Flanders recipe around the first of February 2008.

In selecting a barrel, it was noted that one might associate the dry/tart flavor of sour beers to that of a dry wine. On February 9th, several WHALES trekked over to the Unionville Vineyards http://www.unionvillevineyards.com in Ringoes, NJ to pick up Cabernet Savignon barrel for the project and do some wine tasting while they were there. Directly afterward, the group drove back to Bobby's house to rack the beers in. Some members couldn't make it so they dropped off their mostly fermented (with a neutral ale yeast) beers ahead of time.


Keith Story donated the wooden cradle to hold the barrel secure up on a few stacked concrete blocks to make the finished batch rackable into carboys.

After getting the barrel down into the basement, we wanted to make sure it was leak free. About 3 gallons of boiling water was poured in to help swell the staves. We put the bung in and spent a good 15 minutes rolling the barrel back and forth across the length of the basement. A few pints of water leaked out in the process but overall we were confident our stash would not leak out.


After filling the barrel and realizing there was still a bit of headspace in the barrel we later invited new member JD to add a topoff batch on March 15th.

Wooden barrels are not air tight so liquid is lost to evaporation over long periods of time. Therefore, sometime in fall 2008, newer member Jay added the last topoff batch.

The total membership is now 13 so 60/13 - dregs = approximately 4 gal each to rack out (or whatever it ends up being). Shareholders will rack their batches out of the barrel about the first week of January 2009.


Read more: Funky Barrel I - Flanders Red 2008