Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oak Barrel Aging for Homebrewers (Part 3)

The day of transferring our Russian Imperial Stout to our new 55 gallon American Oak (heavy charred) barrel was finally upon us.  With the winter's first blanket of snow outside we finally were ready to take the 12 fermentation vessels of beer and get them into an oaky new home!  We brewed this beer on October 30th and wanted to give it time to really finish out before introducing it to the barrel.  We transferred it from bucket to barrel on December 12th which gave it about 43 days to completely ferment and settle out.

We followed our prescribed steps to preparing the barrel found HERE.  Unfortunately, after letting the barrel fully soak up the water and expand, and filling the barrel with a water/barrolkleen mixture, we discovered a tiny leak in the end of the barrel.  To fix this problem, a small wedge of natural cork was cut and hammered into the hole.

After soaking up liquid, the cork followed the oak's lead and expanded, thus stopping the leak!  After fixing the leak and cleaning away the barrolkleen, we moved on to the next step.  We dissolved 1 Oz. of citric acid and 2 Ozs. of sodium metabisulfite into 2 gallons of warm water, and used this mixture to rinse the inside of the barrel for about 10-15 minutes.  This was done to kill any wild bacteria/yeasts.

We rinsed the barrel out until the water was running clear, and put it on it's stand where it will rest
until the beer is ready.

We moved all of the buckets to the garage so that they were ready to transfer.  My HERM's system has a March pump attached to the body, and we wanted to use this to move all of the beer instead of the tedious task of siphoning it all.  We set this all up and then took a set of Final Gravities which averaged about 10 Brix. After adjusting for the alcohol, we came up with a calculated ABV of around 9-9.25%.

It tasted pretty good and will definitely benefit from the added complexities of the oak barrel.  We made 60 gallons of the beer originally.  We put 55 gallons in the barrel and kept 5 gallons in a carboy to age as a control.  This will give us an idea of what the stout tasted like sans oak flavor.  Because this is a new barrel we will probably start testing the flavor fairly soon as to make sure and get the beer off of the oak before it becomes to flavor dominant.  Overall the process went smoothly and we are excited to taste the results!  Cheers and we look forward to letting everyone know how this turns out!

All photos courtesy of Libby Connell

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cooking with Brewing Equipment - Sous Vide Style!

I came across an article earlier this week about Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, a Microsoft millionaire who decided to follow his passion for cooking and develop a cookbook.  This cookbook ( started as a pet project that was supposed to be 300 pages and ended up taking over three years to develop and is 2400 pages long!  In the article it talked about his use of Sous Vide ( which is a style of cooking re-discovered in the 60's and 70's that has been slowly spreading around the world.

Right now, it is used mainly in high-end restaurants around the world.  However, there has been a slow adoption among home based chefs and it has been increasing in popularity recently.  This website has some interesting information on it (  The basic idea of the cooking style is to use precise temperature control to cook a meat EXACTLY to the desired temperature of serving, without the possibility of overcooking it.  To do this, the meat is vacuum sealed with some spices/herbs. 

Then the vacuum sealed package is placed into a temperature controlled water bath.

Coincidentally, my Hot Liquor Tank has a PID controller on it which can precisely control it's temperature.  This is where it relates to brewing beer.  Anyone with a brewing setup that can control water temperature for an extended period of time has the equipment to try this cooking method!  We decided to make some Chicken Marsala, so... we placed some flattened chicken breasts, salt, pepper, and sprigs of fresh thyme in a vacuum sealed bag and put them in 141 degree water for approximately two hours.  At 141 degrees, it takes about 20 minutes for all bacteria to be killed (  As the meat remains in solution, it becomes more and more moist as the proteins continue to break down.  Ours came out IMMENSELY moist and tender.  It really was amazing. 

Once removed from the pouches, we patted them dry while heating some extra virgin olive oil until it was smoking.  We then floured the chicken and flash seared them on both sides (less than a minute on both sides).  This achieved the proper maillard reaction to brown the chicken up both for added flavor and for presentation. 

After searing, we added some butter and baby portabello mushrooms to the skillet for 5 or 6 minutes until they soaked up all the EVOO and goodness.  After that we added 3/4 cup Marsala wine and 3/4 cup chicken stock and let it reduce for 10-15 minutes on medium.  We added 2 tablespoons of butter and poured over the chicken.  Finally, we garnished with some chopped Italian parsley. 

The chicken took on a new texture that was more moist and tender than any chicken I have had before.  It was absolutely delicious.  We paired it with some steamed broccoli and citrus/pecan/spinach salad.  All of it was delicious.  This is the recipe we loosely followed (  The cooking process itself is amazing because you CAN'T overcook it, which means it is basically error free.  The only work is vacuum sealing it, and setting the temp., after that a quick searing in a pan or on the grill and it is set to go!  I would highly recommend trying this out if your brewing equipment is capable.  It was really fun, interesting, and we look forward to perfecting the style to impress our guests! 

Please try this out and post results!  We'd love to hear from other people who have tried this! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oak Barrel Aging for Homebrewers (Part 2)

This is the second installment to the Barrel Aging series we are doing.  The link to the first is here....

We finally got around to brewing the beer for this barrel.  Summertime activities seem to occupy precious brewing time, but we did it!  Because we acquired a new, heavy charred, oak barrel; we wanted to use a BIG beer to absorb the concentrated flavors.  This lead us to a Russian Imperial Stout recipe that we believe will help reduce the intensiveness of the flavors from the barrel.

Brew day went very well.  We had three 10-gallon systems up and running from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.  We had no hiccups in brewing.  This was probably due to our two beautiful brewing assistants (you know who you are).  This resulted in about 60 gallons of wort to ferment.  All of the initial gravity readings were pretty close to the estimated O.G.  Our microbiologist friend propagated a large concentrated batch of Wyeast #1056 (American Ale) for us.  All twelve of our fermentation vessels (buckets and a carboy) started without a problem within 16 hours and finished out nicely.  They were in a hallway that remained at about 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overall it was a great brew and we will be detailing the build for the stand and the transferring of the stout into the barrel soon.  


BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Oak Barrel Stout
Brewer: Thomas Sanford Asst Brewer:
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications --------------------------
Batch Size: 10.00 gal
Boil Size: 12.38 gal
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 56.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 72.3 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients: ------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
25 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 72.46 %
3 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 8.70 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 7.25 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4.35 %
1 lbs Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 2.90 %
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 2.90 %
8.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.45 %
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (60 min) Hops 13.5 IBU
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 14.9 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (45 min) Hops 6.2 IBU
2.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (45 min) Hops 21.1 IBU
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (30 min) Hops 11.4 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (10 min) Hops 2.5 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (10 min) Hops 2.7 IBU
10.00 gal Kansas City, KS Water
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: Double Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 34.50 lb ----------------------------
Double Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
70 min Saccrification Add 27.60 qt of water at 172.7 F 154.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 24.15 qt of water at 187.6 F 168.0 F

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rebel Smoked Porter

As most homebrewers do I subscribe to the newsletters of online homebrew stores. They send out monthly emails highlighting specials for the month and new products. A little over a month ago I got the newsletter from Rebel Brewer with some awesome new products. One that really caught my eye was Alderwood Smoked Munich Malt. After attending the GABF this year and tasting Alaskan Brewing Smoked Porter I really wanted to try brewing a similar beer. Knowing that Alaskan Smoked Porter used alderwood smoked malt I was in search of any malt I could get my hands on that was smoked with this wood. Rebel Brewer was the first place I found that carried a malt of this variety. I immediately placed an order for 6 pounds of this malt to use in a 12 gallon batch of porter. There was a smoked porter recipe on the website so I figured I would try a variation of that for my first smoked porter. I had a 50 pound bag of 2-row in the basement so all I needed now was the specialty grains and I would be set. Brew day went smooth and I now have 12 gallons of smoked porter in my conical fermenting. I plan on kegging 5 gallons and bottling the rest to age. I think I will try and serve the keg on my stout tap to give it a nice creamy head. Stay tuned for a tasting in the coming weeks.

Recipe: Smoked Porter
Brewer: Ashley Strube
Style: Robust Porter
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 12.00 gal
Boil Size: 15.38 gal
Estimated OG: 1.064 SG
Estimated Color: 28.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 24.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 62.61 %
6 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 20.87 %
2 lbs Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.96 %
1 lbs Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3.48 %
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 3.48 %
12.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 2.61 %
1.00 oz Nugget [12.20 %] (60 min) Hops 22.1 IBU
0.33 oz Williamette [4.90 %] (30 min) Hops 1.5 IBU
0.33 oz Williamette [4.90 %] (10 min) Hops 0.6 IBU
0.33 oz Williamette [4.90 %] (1 min) Hops 0.5 IBU
1 Pkgs London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968)

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 28.75 lb
Single Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 9.00 gal of water at 163.6 F 152.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 3.80 gal of water at 211.4 F 168.0 F

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Beer

About a month ago I was getting groceries and saw pie pumpkins and I knew it was that time of your again. It is time to brew a pumpkin beer!! I have brewed a pumpkin beer the past three years with great results. I have been trying different techniques and ingredients to see what is easiest and turns out tasting the best. The first year I tried the traditional technique of adding the pumpkin to the mash. It was very messy to say the least. The next year I read about throwing the pumpkin right in the boil. That was way easier and a lot less messy. It also seemed to give the beer a better pumpkin color. So here is what I did this year. First off I bought 4 pie pumpkins at the store. I quartered them and scrapped off all the seeds. If you have some baking pans it is a good idea to wrap them in at least one layer of aluminum foil, two is preferred. This protects the pan from the melting brown sugar that you will put on the pieces. I add brown sugar to each piece and bake in the oven at 350 for 60-90 minutes. This caramelizes the brown sugar and the pumpkin bringing out some nice flavors in the pumpkin. In past years I would stop here but his year they go back into the oven for a second baking. I heard that baking the pumpkin twice brings out more flavors that you cannot get with baking the pumpkin just once.

After it cools you cut the "meat" of the pumpkin away from the outside skin. You are now ready to add this to your boil. Using this method eliminates the worry of a stuck sparge that you could have if you put the pumpkin in the mash. I use a mesh strainer at the end of the boil to remove the pumpkin before I start cooling my wort. I do this because I use a March pump to whirlpool my wort as I chill with my immersion chiller. In the next couple weeks I will be bottling the beer and will post some tasting comments. Until then the recipe is below if you feel like brewing it for yourself. I normally do 12 gallon batches but for this one I bumped it up to 14 gallons to ensure I get 12 gallons at the end of the boil. With all the pumpkin and other protein and trub that will be in the bottom of the kettle I will probably loose two more gallons that normal. Cheers!!

Recipe: Pumpkin Ale
Brewer: Ashley Strube
Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 14.00 gal
Boil Size: 16.76 gal
Estimated OG: 1.069 SG
Estimated Color: 13.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 27.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 52.17 %
9 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 26.09 %
4 lbs Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 11.59 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 4.35 %
3.00 oz Glacier [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 27.4 IBU
2.50 tbsp Ginger Root (Boil 12.0 min) Misc
2.50 tsp Nutmeg (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
7.00 tsp Cinnamon (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
9.00 tsp Vanilla Extract (Secondary 14.0 days) Misc
2 lbs Brown Sugar, Light (8.0 SRM) Sugar 5.80 %
2 Pkgs London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968)

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 32.50 lb
Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 11.00 gal of water at 165.0 F 154.0 F

added 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in secondary or at bottling.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

West Coast Beer Tour - Series Intro

This year my wife and I took our summer vacation out to the West Coast for a break from the Midwestern heat, to enjoy long distance friends and family, and of course drink our way up the coast. Contrary to my beliefs, this was not supposed to be a beer tour but seven breweries and over 100 samples later, one could extrapolate the trip to be just that, a West Coast Beer Tour. So for our purposes, that’s what it was.

I will be posting a four part series on the trip that will cover San Francisco to Seattle with multiple stops in between. Russian River was the must see on the trip and it did not fail to impress. I have to admit that I did swing by a couple wineries while going through Sonoma. So for all of you double duty drinkers out there, I will be doing a spot on the Sonoma Wine scene.

Here is a list of the stops on the trip that will be featured in the West Coast Beer Tour Series:

San Francisco: Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery and Social Kitchen & Brewery
Santa Rosa: Russian River Brewing Co. Brewpub
Sonoma: Benziger Family Winery, and Imagery Winery
Boonville: Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Eureka: Lost Coast Brewery
Portland: Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB)
Seattle: Mac & Jacks Brewing Co. and Hale’s Ales Brewery & Pub

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Great American Beer Festival 2010!

09.09.09 Vs. 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale's
We just returned from Denver for the 2010 Great American Beer Festival this last Sunday. It was our second year and was just as amazing as the first. The same four went as last year; the three writers and our friend Rob from Austin who we wrote a post on detailing his first homebrewing experience!

This year was the 29th annual festival. There was over 2,200 beers served in the main convention center hall which was the biggest variety served at any beer festival, ever! There were 462 breweries serving over 36,000 gallons of beer to over 49,000 attendees. This year there were four new categories: American Style India Black Ale, Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Stout, Pumpkin Beer, Field Beer.

We went to the Friday night session and the Saturday afternoon session. We salute those who attend all four sessions as it truly is an impressive feat!

Sam's Number 3
Before our session on Friday, we went to the Falling Rock Taphouse which is a GREAT beer bar. We were able to meet Dean, one of the brewers from Pike Brewing in Seattle, WA. He was nice enough to entertain about three hours of questions regarding commercial brewing and was a great guy to hang out with. Their beers were great at the festival. At the taphouse we imbibed Russian River Consecration and Redemption, Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale and 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Ale, 2010 Sierra Nevada Estate Ale, among others. They actually set a record for fastest keg poured non-stop with the Sierra Nevada keg. They were all amazing beers. This hampered our ability to go hardcore at the first session and we ended up trying about 110 different beers. The second session on Saturday we were able to try about 175 or so.

Some highlights:
New Glarus - Rasberry Tart
Russian River - great stuff
Cascade Brewing - all of their sour beers are great!
Jolly Pumpkin - all were great, Biere De Mars especially
Lost Abbey - Angel's Share and their Framboise
Pike Brewing - meeting Dean
The pizza by our hotel!

The beers we returned with!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lower Manhattan Beer Bar

I just happen to be in New York this summer and swung by the Blind Tiger Beer Bar. If you are in New York and have time to grab a beer, try this fine local establishment that caters to the craft beer aficionados. The Blind Tiger is a favorite of many as a great place to grab a beer while visiting Lower Manhattan. Touted by the New York Times as being “One of New York’s best beer bars,” they are sure to fulfill your need for quality beer.

Unless of course you want a large selection of summer style beers and happen to show up during Christmas in July! Unfortunately for me, and fortunately for the locals, Blind Tiger was running their annual summer special featuring a large lineup of winter seasonals. So rather than getting my much anticipated Festina PĂȘche by Dogfish Head, I was presented with Bad Elf, Mad Elf, and a multitude of Winter Ales. Lucky for me on day that was pushing 90 degrees they had one of my favorites Allagash White and for my business partner Graham a Brooklyn Wheat. Both beers were poured to perfection and tasted their prime during the hot summer day.

Blind Tiger has 28 beers on tap, 3 on cask, and an excellent selection of over 60 bottle beers, of which almost half are on the ‘Vintage” list. With a selection like thAlign Centeris you are in the right place to try beers that are few and far between, and some you might not ever get to try again depending on the depth of your local bar’s cellar roster. So from the guys at KC Hop Heaven, cheers to the Blind Tiger!

Blind Tiger Ale House
281 Bleecker Street, New York NY

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beer Run!!!

A couple weeks ago my fiance Anne informed me that Victoria (our friend in DC) found an awesome place to buy beer and wine in Washington D.C. She also mentioned that Victoria would be driving back to Kansas in a few weeks. I immediately asked if she would be willing to pick me up a few beers to bring back with her. Fortunately for me she said yes and the search began. The store she was going to was called Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits. With a name like that it had to be good right?!?! The website has a search feature so you can browse their inventory to see what they have or usually have in stock. I was looking to pick up a few 750ml and 6 packs of beer you can not get around here. I was in luck Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits was loaded with good beer I have been wanting to try!! Here is a run down of the beer I was able to score.

(1) 750ml Dogfish Head Theobroma
(1) 750ml Brooklyn Brewery Locol #1
(1) 750ml Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace
(1) 12.7 oz Cantillon Iris
(1) 6 pack Kona Brewing Fire Rock Pale Ale
(8) 12 oz Firestone Walker Double Barrel Pale Ale
(2) 6 packs Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
(3) 6 pack Yuengling Traditional Lager

Good mix of beers for breweries we can not get in Kansas. There were many more at Chevy Chase I would have liked to get but I didn't want to over do the gracious offer I was extended. I just want to give a shout out to Victoria.....your awesome!!! I plan on sharing these with the KC Hop Heaven crew and posting some tasting notes on here in the near future. Cheers!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Avery Seventeen Tasting

Appearance – Pours black in the glass, with several fingers of rich mocha colored foamy head. Wow, this really stays rich, retaining with a VERY frothy 1/2 finger the whole way through and just abosolutely slathering the sides with a ridiculous amount of sticky lace.

Smell – The dry-hopping is evident in the nose, with some juicy and herbal smelling character, as well as some bitter fruit and light peppery spice. Smokey roast rises up underneath with a touch of sweetness here from the malts but most of it appears to come more from the citrus and herbal textures of the nose.

Taste – The taste is dark and roasty the whole way through, with chocolate sweetness and more tangy feeling caramel notes coming in off the edges. Hops add some pop here, with notes of earth and grapefruit, while pine and spice stretches out into a bitter and VERY dry finish.

Mouthfeel – The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied with crispness to the carbonation up front that then works itself into a much creamier backend. There is some heft to the body here but the alcohol is limited to some light warmth on the breath after each sip, helping keep this fairly sharp feeling and drinkable.

Drinkability & Notes – Decent drinkability, maybe not so much as your typical table schwarzbier but then again this is an anniversary beer and special occasion. Fairly smooth and solid all around, dark, roasty and earthy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oak Barrel Aging for Homebrewers (Part 1)

We have a large interest in brewing beers that we can age in oak barrels.  So, we are going to do an instructional set of posts on how to use 55 gallon oak barrels when homebrewing.  The same rules will apply for smaller barrels.  The amounts need to be adjusted appropriately, and the aging may differ slightly due to increased surface contact and increased oxygen diffusion in the smaller barrels.  These posts will be done as we go through the process and will be accompanied by instructions, recipes, pictures, opinions, and results.  This should give everyone a clear picture on what it is to use barrels and what sort of issues need to be addressed when using them.  We will be going a few different ways with the barrels.  We will be acquiring new American Oak barrels to start with.  These are also called North American oak (Quercus alba) or white oak.  They will contain high amounts of toasty and vanilla flavors. These will have an intense oak flavor and we will use these to brew BIG beers that can absorb the heavy amounts of oakiness and tannins.  As the oak flavors begin to mellow we will eventually switch to sour ales by inundating the barrel with a large set of bugs from dregs and commercially available bacteria and brettanomyces strains.  Finally, with enough beer/barrels we will use them for Solera brewing which involves using two or more barrels with different vintages of a beer; then pulling part of the oldest off for consumption and replacing it with newer vintages in series.  Hopefully this will be informative to you the reader and for us as well.

Our barrel has been stored dry.  This means that it will need to be swelled with hot or cold water to allow the staves to get larger as they soak up the water.   This seals any cracks and allows it to hold liquid.  We will begin by filling the barrel with 160 degree water.  We will do this by adding 13-15 gallons of water at a time in succession to start the sealing process.  Using water this hot will also help with sanitization.  Using water much hotter than this may results in warped wood.  The barrel will then sit for two days with the water remaining in it.  After a couple days, if the barrel is of good quality and built correctly there should be no more seepage or leaks.  You won’t want the water to remain in there for much more than 2 days for fear of contamination by mold or algae.  The curing process may take longer than 2 days.  If it does, drain and replace with new water to help avoid contamination.  Repeat until the seepage and leaks stop.   

After the initial swelling period, we will want to clean the barrel.  Because this is a brand new barrel with heavy charring, we want to make sure it is clean, and also remove some of the intense burnt flavors the char will impart.  This can be accomplished by using soda ash or BarolKleen.  We are using the BarolKleen for ours.  Mix 1 pound of BarolKleen for every 5 gallons of barrel space, which means we will use 11 pounds for ours.  Then Let this solution rest for 48 hours.  This will help leech excess tannins from the barrel. 

After the BarolKleen, it needs to be fluhed with water until it runs clear from the barrel.  This assures it is well rinsed out.  This is followed by a mixture of 2 ounces of Sodium Metabisulphite and 1 ounce of Citric Acid dissolved in 2 gallons of warm water.  Pour the solution into the barrel and roll it around so that all internal surfaces are contacted by the solution.  Do this for 5 – 10 minutes.  Then drain the solution and rinse the barrel well until the water is clear and pure. 

The barrel will then be ready for beer.  It will need to be filled ASAP to assure that the barrel is clean and free of any bad microbes.