M-17: Bourbon barrel aging optimization

S. GONZALEZ (1); (1) Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, CA, U.S.A.

Raw Materials I
Friday, June 6 - 4:00 p.m.-5:45 p.m.
Level 4, Grand Ballroom

Bourbon barrel aging is a common and increasingly popular brewing technique. Oak sensory impact and bourbon spirit flavors are desirable properties of bourbon barrel aging and additive properties of this technique. Known issues with this aging technique include higher than normal infection rates for both Lactobacillus and Pediococcus beer spoilage organisms and evaporative loss of barrel aged beer. The question of how to maximize desirable additive properties while minimizing harmful spoilage and evaporative loss was the trigger for this study. Oak analytical markers for desirable sensory attributes were monitored on a routine basis using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method, and individual barrels were evaluated for sensory spoilers, pH, and microbiological stability over time.

Steve Gonzalez started brewing professionally with the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in 1995. Steve obtained a M.S. degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in 2001. Since then, Steve worked in various operations, quality assurance, research and development, and product development roles for breweries, distilleries, and wineries throughout California before ending up at Stone Brewing Company.

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