Over the weekend my brother-in-law and I were discussing
(actually drinking and discussing) brewing a large batch
of belgian beer in a demijohn that had been his fathers.
He (the father) passed away 2 summers ago and the gear has
been sitting there ever since.
To make a long story short, we went into the ba***t of
my mother-in-law's house to retrieve this thing, and discovered
that the demi-john was full. The tag on the outside tells us
that this is a batch of "white wine" started in October 1984.
We sterilized a siphon and removed some into a glass. It tastes
like a sweet sherry, or some other kind of fortified wine. My theory
is that he was probably brewing it on the strong side and put in a
little overmuch in the way of sugar. It's a little cloudy, but very
smooth. Comparing it to, say William's and Humbert Dry Sack, it's
probably a little less ***ic, and it lacks the oak that you find
in a commercially prepared sherry.
Other than that, though, it's quite pleasant!
Anyway - we think we would like to keep it now. My belgian ale is going
to have to wait until we figure out what to do with this stuff.
1) Does anyone have any ideas about how we can remove
2) Would adding some sherry yeast bring the *** content
higher and make it dryer?
3) Would moving it into an oak barrel and aging it for another
10 years improve it? Does anyone know where I can find such
4) Rather than add sherry yeast, does it make sense to add brandy
to bring the *** content up -- a la port?