hist-brewing: hops, alcohol, and drowsiness / restoring old barrels

gdepiro gdepiro at mindspring.com
Mon Dec 13 12:22:59 PST 1999

Hi all,

In response to a thread from last week (yes, I'm slow) in which potential
narcoleptic properties of hops (and beer) are discussed, I will refer to
Wolfgang Kunze's _Technology Brewing and Malting_ (a modern,
university-level, German brewing text):  in the section of the book about
drinking beer and its effects on the imbiber, he says that while beer does
not cause tiredness, it "can uncover an underlying fatigue."

On to a question:  I am the brewer at a brewpub in Albany, NY.  The family
that owns the place also owned a brewery from 1842 until prohibition, so we
have some interesting memorabilia.  One item is a wooden barrel with a
Golden Gate-type tap.  It appears to be in fine shape (to my untrained
eyes), but has been empty for the past 90-100 years.  How would one go about
restoring this barrel for use?  I would love to age an IPA or barleywine in
this thing.  Is it as simple as filling it with water and hoping the staves
swell and seal? What about the use of brewers pitch?  Do I need to find a
cooper in downtown Albany?

Have fun!

George de Piro
C.H.Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station
(518) 447-9000

Malted Barley Appreciation Society Homebrew Club

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