Infusion Spiral Systems for Beer
After using them [Infusion Spiral products] for the first time on a commercial scale, we were awarded a gold medal at the 2009 GABF for wood and barrel aged beer.
Wayne Wambles, Brewmaster—Cigar City Brewing
Craft Breweries are Going Spiral
The patented design of the Infusion Spiral system is benefitting today's brewmaster, too. Used most often after secondary fermentation, and occasionally during fermentation, the Infusion Spiral system adds color, flavor, texture and aroma to beer. The reason? Our premium quality woods are toasted with precise, convection oven heating. Together, they create a truly unique brew for you, without the mess of chips but with just as much speed.
What's more, we even have experimented with some exotic woods and have hit upon a real winner with Spanish Cedar. Exotic woods (non-oak) usually have limited availability, so check with our main office on current stock of Spanish Cedar and other new materials. And speaking of experimenting, we know some beer makers having great success at soaking Infusion Spiral systems in Bourbon for a week or two before inserting into the conditioning tank. With or without Bourbon, our most popular Infusion Spiral product for brewing has been supplied in American oak, in either Medium Toast or Heavy Toast.
Aging beer with Infusion Spiral systems is faster than using used Boubon barrels, costs less and takes less space. The amount of time needed for your beer to benefit from treatment with the Infusion Spiral system depends on the style and alcohol content of your beer. Bigger stouts require about four weeks contact time, whereas lighter-colored brews need only 10 to 14 days.
Tank or Barrel Aging?
If you are making an IPA or any beer demanding bright, forward hop character, wood aging inside stainless steel tanks is superior. Barrel aging will allow air ingress and degrade hop character in a short period of time. Tank wood aging maintains hop character until wood character reaches desired level.
Below are dosage ranges for different types of wood. Non-oak woods have limited availability. Check with main office for lead times.
3-12 spirals/bbl for 7-10 days
3-12 spiral/bbl for 1-3 weeks
2-8 spirals/bbl for 2-5 days
2-8 spirals/bbl for 2-5 days
One spiral = one 9” x 1.5” spiral
One bbl = 31 gallons
Time period ranges depend on amount of desired wood character
Infusion Spiral products may be re-used in separate batches, but only if the batches are brewed back-to-back. The coil will extract 50% slower on the second use, and it will be fully extracted after 6 weeks. For two equal batches, it's recommended to extract for 2.5 weeks on the first batch and 3.5 weeks on the second use.
Static Wood Soaking: Infusion Spiral products are placed into stainless tank holding beer. Slow extraction requires increased time for wood and beer contact.
Recirculating System Soaking: The recirculation system approach to wood soaking uses an external tank that holds the wood, keeping it separate from the fermenter or bright tank, containing the beer. The beer is pumped with a flexible impeller pump and variable frequency drive to control the flow rate through the external (wood) tank and then back into the holding tank. This drastically decreases wood extraction time. It also can reduce the volume of wood needed in the process. It is a much safer way to wood age beer, keeping people out of the tank, where they could be susceptible to CO2 and chemicals.
Read More About Oak Spiral Applications in Beer:
Call us for more information: 800-201-7125
Here are just some of the brewing companies using the Infusion Spiral Oak alternative:
- Sebago Brewing Co, Gorham, ME
- Gentleman's Club by Widmer
- Downward Spiral by Widmer (Outstanding—90 Beer Advocate Rating)
- Lattitude 33 Brewing, Vista, CA
- Hop Crisis by 21st Amendment, SF, CA (87-89 Beer Advocate Rating)
- Hall Brewing Co, Parker, CO
- Kretschmann Bewing Co, Webster, MA
- Harpoon Oak Aged Dunkel by World Class Beer or Indiana
- 30 Strong by Terrapin, Athens, GA
- Diablo Negro by Steamworks Brewing, Durango, CO
- John Henry Spiral Oak Aged Sipping Ales
Looking for woods other than oak? Try our exotic woods.
The Barrel Mill also offers spirals made from Spanish Cedar, Cypress, Sugar Maple and Cherry.
Natural oils and resins in Spanish Cedar (cedrela odorata), a species closer to mahogany than cedar, provide an aromatic wood that contributes primary characteristics of white grapefruit, sandalwood, white pepper and clove. It is a pink to reddish brown wood sourced from Central and South America and popularly known as "cigar box" wood for its distinct cedar scent and natural resistance to termites and decay.
Cypress (Taxodium distichum), also known as Baldcypress, contributes primary characteristics of yellow cake, vanilla wafer and sponge cake. It is a yellowish brown wood sourced mostly from the Southeastern US Gulf states and commonly used for exterior construction and the boat industry for its durability and resistance to decay.
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharin) also known as Rock Maple or Hard Maple, ranges in color from cream white to gold, sourced primarily from the Northeastern United States and Canada. This unique wood contributes subtle notes of maple syrup, with a soft sweetness. Additional hints of vanilla, caramel and bourbon pecan can also be detected.
Try Our Exotic Wood Sample Pack, Free!
Send us the name and address of your brewery or cidery, contact name and email and phone number to receive a free trial sample pack of Infusion Spiral 3-inch segments, one each in Spanish Cedar, Cypress and Sugar Maple. Send email to Len@thebarrelmill.com.