While working on my first sour, a Flander’s Red, part of the original instructions suggest that one can approximate some of the barrel characteristics by using some oak cubes and the ingredients that are typically stored within an oak barrel.
In my case, the Flander’s Red was aged in an old Russian River Pinot Noir wine barrel. I won’t be getting a full-sized barrel anytime soon, but I can attempt to impart some of the same flavors into the beer.
What I have here is 2.5 oz of American Oak cubes, medium toast in three small canning jars. I’ve poured a few ounces of Russian River Pinot Noir red wine, specifically some Healdsburg Ranches, Appellation Series Pinot Noir 2010 on top.
The article mentions that one should change the wine every few days for a period of two weeks to lessen the oak character helping further to simulate putting a beer into an used wine barrel.
After the soak these wine-soaked oak cubes will sit in the carboy with my Flander’s Red, in Rubicundiusque, for another couple of months to mix in the flavors and allow the beer, oak and wine flavors to develop together.