What is a Foeder?
A foeder is a large oak vessel, commonly barrel shaped, that is used for the fermentation of wine, spirits, and beer. They act in much the same way that traditional oak barrels do but the larger volume of a foeder eliminates the variations of flavors that can occur between small barrels. That in turn eliminates the need for what can be a lengthy blending process. The slower oxygenation that occurs in a foeder also allows for more control during the fermentation process and the convenient tasting port makes it very easy to monitor.
How is a Forjstone Foeder built?
My foeders are made from New England sourced, clear grade white oak. The boards are milled in Southern Maine and are joined on the seems by a modified tongue and groove joint. There are thirty-two identical staves in each 15bbl foeder.
The barrel bands are made of 316 stainless steel and are adjustable via a mechanical fastener unlike traditional barrel bands that are fixed in size by either rivets or welding. The adjustable bands allow the brewer to tighten or loosen each band to accommodate for changes in swelling due to seasonal changes in humidity, as well as during rehydration or cleaning. Additionally, the removable bands allow the foeder to be assembled on site or disassembled for transportation or repair.
There is a top and side manway on each foeder. These manways have been engineered to move in harmony with the wood staves of the barrel and do not add any extra stresses to the wood timbers. The top manway is fitted with a tc fitting for convenient direct attachments of sprayballs, spray balls, and other fittings.
Apart from the initial milling of the oak staves, all of the woodworking and metal fabrication is done in house and by hand.
Can I order a Custom sized Foeder?
The short answer is probably. Send me an email outlining your needs and we can go from there. At present I only offer a 15bbl foeder. However, the designs for a 20bbl are in the works and will be available soon.
How do I care for my new Foeder?
There are a number of resources on the web and in the library that offer great insight and specific practice methods for maintaining your foeder that go into much greater detail than I can here. For example, the book, Wood & Beer: A Brewer's Guide, by Dick Cantwell and Peter Bouckaert is a fantastic resource when it comes to all things foeders. However, I’m always available for questions before and after the purchase.