Barrel Aged Sours with CJ Shamas- BeerSmith Podcast #112

by Brad Smith on September 29, 2015 · 1 comment

PodNew200CJ Shamas joins me this week to discuss his barrel aged sour beer program. CJ has come up with a method to schedule his beers to maximize the flavor and utilization of oak barrels for making great beer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (45:49)

  • CJ Shamas joins me this week to discuss barrel aged sour beers. CJ has been home brewing since 2001, and has been producing barrel aged sour beers for the last 7 years. Through experimentation and the utilization of 10 small barrels, CJ, along with his brother James has successfully established a program to schedule and create complex sour beers.
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  • We start with a short discussion of his barrel program and how he schedules beers to maximize the utilization and flavor profile from the barrels.
  • CJ tells us where he finds some of his barrels.
  • We discuss specifically how beers are schedules for various types of barrels so you can get the most out of each barrel.
  • CJ explains the beers he prefers to brew and why he brews them in a particular order.
  • We discuss a recipe for a typical Flanders red as well as how he prefers to age, ferment and finish it.
  • He also shares his thoughts on brewing a Belgian Strong ale and how oak barrels can enhance this beer.
  • We talk about adding fruit to sours including when to add the fruit and some of the fruits that have worked best for CJ.
  • We discuss blending sour beers.
  • CJ shares some of the challenges he has found working with sour beers and barrels.
  • CJ gives us his closing thoughts on brewing sour beers.

Thanks to CJ Shamas for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andy Roth January 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm

This was a great episode and convinced me to try barrel aging. I have an Imperial Stout in my newly aquired 5G bourbon barrel now, that I am hoping will be ready for St. Patrick’s Day.

Next up will be a Flanders Red. It would be great if you could post CJ’s recipe for this. Thanks!

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