Yeast and Cellars

Alternative Aging and Storage Techniques

Learn more about using wooden barrels.


Cleaning, Aging, Fermentation, Oak, Barrel, Sanitizing, Pellicle, Wood, Spontaneous


Although they were the original vessels for fermentation and aging, the use of wooden barrels are now popular again. However it is crucial to understand how they need to be treated before, during, and after being filled with beer. This lecture addresses topics including types of barrel, addition of fruits, and competing bacterial and wild yeast cultures.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the proper steps to take prior to purchasing an oak barrel
  • Understand the particular liquid attributes from which a barrel held prior to beer addition
  • Understand the difference between primary and secondary fermentation, and which process is more suitable for a particular style
  • Learning how to use adjuncts in an oak barrel, timing and quantity can greatly affect the final product
  • Understand the difference between yeast and bacteria, and how to pitch into a barrel
  • Know the importance of pellicle, its cause and effects on the long fermentation within a barrel
  • Learn how to blend numerous aged beers to get a better tasting final product
  • The proper steps to cleaning and sanitizing a barrel, plus reusing the barrel numerous times
    • Discuss the final thoughts on alternative aging techniques

Lecture developed by

Brian Taylor

Brian has over 18 years of experience in the brewing industry. After working with Flying Dog Brewery for three years, in 2003 Brian applied for and was awarded a scholarship to the Siebel Institute. Following completion of the program in 2004, Brian received a Brewing Science Degree at the Siebel Institute and World Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany. Brian began working with wild ales and barrel aging while at Goose Island Beer Company. Award-winning beers such as Sofie, Madame Rose, Juliet and Lolita were created under Brian’s barrel-aging innovation team. In 2016 Brian opened Whiner Beer Company, a brewery dedicated to wild fermentations and sustainability. Using oak barrels and a coolship, Brian creates spontaneously fermented beers.

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Enroll options

Lecture Duration (Narration)
34 minutes

Online Access to Lecture
10 days from time of purchase

Lecture Level


Lecture Duration
34 minutes

Online Access to Lecture
10 days from time of purchase



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