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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through November 08, 2005 * Bourbon barrel-aged stock ale < Previous Next >

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Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3726
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 12:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just returned from a trip that coincidentally circumnavigated Lake Erie (by land), with stops in Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit. While at Great Lakes Brewing (one of the great microbrewery/brewpubs, by the way) I was absolutely blown away by a bourbon barrel-aged stock ale they were serving only on tap at the brewpub. It is 10 percent ABV and is to die for in my opinion. I had one 12 oz. glass (enough to get me buzzed) and took home a growler ($20 with tax) that delighted myself and my wife for two fuzzy evenings.

I can pretty much discern the recipe (O.G. about 1.100, F.G. about 1.025, IBUs about 35, SRM about 12, with generous amounts of crystal malt and perhaps brown sugar).

But the real question is the bourbon barrel aging. The bartender said it was aged in Jack Daniel's barrels for three months. The whiskey flavor was showcased, but with a mellow woody quality rather than what you would get by adding the whiskey directly to the beer. I'm wondering what a homebrewer could do to emulate it. I know there is someone selling the charred remains of the barrels. Would it be possible to "dry whiskey" the beer by placing the char in hop bags during secondary?

If anyone happens to get to Great Lakes in Cleveland this beer has my highest recommendation.

(Message edited by BillPierce on October 24, 2005)
 

Chris Vejnovich
Intermediate Member
Username: Cjv85vmax

Post Number: 278
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 4.228.3.160
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 01:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,

A very good local homebrewer brought an Imperial Porter that he did some barrel type aging on and added Brett to as well. I don't know his exact techinque, but he did tell me that he took regular lightly toasted French oak chips and filled an old White Labs yeast tube that had been cleaned well with as much oak chips as he could physically jam in. Then he filled the tube with his favorite burboun and let the chips soak up the burboun for about a month or so. When he felt the chips had soaked up plenty of bourbon he simply chucked the whole tube burboun and chips into his secondary fermenter and let the beer age until he felt he had the right flavor. I am not sure when he added the Brett.

I am planning on doing the same thing myself(minus the Brett). I have a WL tube that has been aging with some Evan Williams Single Barrel for about two months now. I like the Bourbon barrel Stouts personally, so I am thinking about an Imperial Oatmeal stout aged on the oak chips and bourbon until I like the flavor, and then bottled.

I have used the char and although it was good, I am not sure that it was as good as using the chips infused with bourbon IMHO.
 

Vince Turley
Member
Username: Vince

Post Number: 230
Registered: 05-2003
Posted From: 66.245.85.221
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill-
This past summer I entered our local "IronMash" competition, which basically is you show up with your brewery and the ingredients are passed out at 9am - you have no idea what the ingredients list is until distribution the morning of the contest. The only ingredients you can bring to the competition are yeast (limit 2), brewing salts, and Irish Moss. You must declare a style per BJCP guidelines before brewing, and yeast must be pitched prior to departure. Brewers submit a sample of the beer several months later, and everyone brings a keg to the awards party. Of the 23 brewteams this year, there were over 15 different styles declared - a real testiment to the diversity of brewers and yeast selections.

One unique feature of this competition, besides the confidentiality of the ingredients package until competition day, is the use/promotion of "specialty" ingredients. This year there were two specialty ingredients, palm sugar and oak chips from the Jack Daniels distillery. I brewed an American Amber Ale, and dry hopped with 2 oz. of oak chips for 21 days at 64oF. The OG of this beer was 1.048, FG=1.013, and IBUs were around 50 with SRM approximately 8. The judges (three) were all National BJCP - all three commented on the hint of Jack Daniels, and how it really contributed to the beer. BTW, I took first place, and the beer scored a 39, 39, and 40.

Here is a link to this very unique competition if you are interested:
http://www.capandhare.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=PagEd&file=index&page_id=1

If you like, I can check in to the source of the oak chips. I really liked the JD addition, and hope that I can reproduce this beer.
 

dave star
Junior Member
Username: Dave_star

Post Number: 93
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 66.245.128.180
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is what I did

But a more reasonable approach is to use jack danills smoking chips and boil about 1 oz in a pint of water then add it to 5 gal of beer after fermentation and age till you get the amount of barrel flavor I find that 2 to 3 week is about right for the chips.
Dave
 

Chris Vejnovich
Intermediate Member
Username: Cjv85vmax

Post Number: 279
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 4.227.206.105
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 02:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vince, that is an outstanding idea. I am going to mention this type of competition to our club and to our local Brewpub who holds an quarterly competition. I hope that you don't mind that I am stealing your club's idea here.
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 190
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 198.51.251.199
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 02:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Allagash brewing in Maine does a bourbon barrel aged tripel (Allagash Curieux) which is amazing.

They age their stock tripel for 8 weeks in Jim Beam barrels in their bottle conditioning room, before bottling and corking.
 

Nick Zeigler
Member
Username: Ziggy

Post Number: 203
Registered: 09-2003
Posted From: 148.244.229.231
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill - I soak oak chips in bourbon or scotch (Lagavulin is my favorite) for about a month or more then add the chips to secondary and taste until it seems right. For a 1.065 IPA, this is usually 3 weeks, while bigger beers would take longer. Just be careful of over oaking it...
 

Vince Turley
Member
Username: Vince

Post Number: 231
Registered: 05-2003
Posted From: 192.31.106.35
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris-

I absolutely agree that it is a great concept, and it really turns out to be a cool competition because everyone brews the same day at the same location. The last 2 years this competition has been held in the parking lot of a local microbrewery (Rahr & Sons). A big part of the competition is just putting up with the environment - 105oF, plus heat off the asphalt! It's a great experience to set your mash, and then walk/talk amongst the other brewers regarding recipe selection and brewery configuration. And, the after-party where everyone gets back together is a fantastic party - opportunity to spend an evening "talkin' trash" and sampling everyone's beer.

Oh, and this contest is neither my idea, nor my homebrew club - I actually belong to the Knights of the Brown Bottle, which is one of several clubs here in the D/FW area. The Cap & Hare club has sponsored this event the past 4 years, and they do a great job. I can hardly wait for next yearís event already!!! I would encourage any club out there to adopt a similar event - it makes for a lot of great camaraderie, and it really does challenge your brewing knowledge and skills.
 

damon
Member
Username: Nomad

Post Number: 157
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 141.211.186.200
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is some helpful "barrel-aging without the barrel" advice...

http://www.stoutguy.com/beer/tech/oakbeer.php
 

damon
Member
Username: Nomad

Post Number: 158
Registered: 07-2004
Posted From: 141.211.186.200
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is some helpful "barrel-aging without the barrel" advice...

http://www.stoutguy.com/beer/tech/oakbeer.php
 

Bill Aimonetti
Intermediate Member
Username: Zuchinnicat

Post Number: 423
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 143.183.121.1
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a bourbon barrel-aged RIS going now. I used advice from radical brewing for the process. I took a French oak barrel stave and cut it into finger sized pieces. Then took a torch and charred them real good. Then I put them into a mason jar and filled it with JD and let them soak for a couple months. I ran the bourbon through a coffee filter and saved it in case I wanted more whiskey character and put the oak into the ageing tank where it has been for a little over six months now. I fill a 1 gallon keg every couple months or so to monitor the progress. Both the oak and the bourbon are present in the flavor but not too far up front. So far it seems like a nice balance and I donít expect to need to add any of the bourbon.

Nick, I love Lagavulin too but at $80 a bottle, I can't imagine using it to soak anything other than my liver
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3728
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I'm leaning toward soaking oak chips in bourbon for a month or so before adding them to secondary, and combining it with the Jack Daniel's char, which is sold here for use in smokers. I'll probably secondary in a corny keg, as it would be a pain to try to get all that stuff through the neck of a carboy.

As for the beer, I'm considering brewing it with extract and steeped crystal malt. I don't see anything about the recipe that really requires mashing, and as long as the extract is fresh I think it should taste just fine. I'll use a little more brown sugar to make up for the less fermentable extract. I also think this is a candidate for dry yeast. The beer is rather well attenuated and the yeast character really isn't part of the flavor profile, which is all about malt, caramel, alcohol, bourbon and wood.
 

davidw
Senior Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 1330
Registered: 03-2001
Posted From: 65.163.6.62
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

US56 Bill!
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 824
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.192.83.65
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill finally found the Nirvanabrau that would spur him to brew again, even if he lives in a closet. Just goes to show you that no matter how impractical brewing is for your situation, there's a beer out there that will change your mind.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3731
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 04:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not quite brewing in a closet. I have enough space in a spare bedroom to place a carboy (as long as I protect the carpet from blowoffs), and we actually have a closet-size cold room/wine cellar that is currently at 57 F, ideal for secondary aging.

The real drawback of my current situation is no good place to boil. Our kitchen stove is a 20-year-old electric model and the heat output is anemic. However, I can split the boil into two large pots each straddling two burners with foil placed underneath them to protect the stovetop. It's cumbersome but I did it once before.

My wife isn't fond of having the small kitchen totally occupied for an afternoon, but she too is very fond of this beer.

David, I'll have to see if I can get some US-56. I think Paddock Wood still has it. The neighbourhood BOP uses Nottingham.
 

Rob Beck
Member
Username: Robbeck

Post Number: 212
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 65.64.100.221
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 05:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, be careful about putting foil on the stovetop to protect it. I used to do this, years ago, and the concentrated heat held in by the foil ended up melting all the wiring under the stovetop, rendering it useless. It was an expensive lesson and the motivating factor in moving my brewing operations to the basement, as I was not allowed to brew on the new stove.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1850
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.226
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My local brew club, the Bloatarians, has been making a habit of doing a whisky barrel brew about twice a year for a little while. Jack Daniels sells them for $40 IIRC but you have to pick them up in Bardstown, KY.

Dan Listermann

--This space is again being left intentionally blank.-


 

Skotrat
Senior Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 1420
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 24.61.120.214
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 06:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Now,

Club Wort in Palatine, IL has been doing a whisky barrel aged Barley Wine for many many years now. The club founder Jim Thommes has widely been thought of the guy who brewed the first one.

I had the pleasure of hosting one of the brewing sessions at my old house in oak park.

It was a blast.

I really recommend going the distance and getting a barrel and going all out. I loved having the barrels in my basement for a year while it aged.

The final product was just plain top notch.

mmm mmmm mmm

-Scott
 

David Woods
Advanced Member
Username: Beericon

Post Number: 676
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 4.186.159.209
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 12:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What about soaking vanilla beans instead of wood. Does the wood really give off that much flavor-or does the flavor come from the bourbon?

David
 

PaulK
Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 245
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.32.217.23
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 01:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The bourbon barrel char is a great route to go. I used some in an Imperial Porter that won the category in the first round of last year's NHBC. To "freshen up" the char and to sanitize it(if there even is a need) I soaked two cups of char in Jim Beam for about a week. I dumped the whole thing into the secondary and let it sit for about a month. Aside from flavor, there's something about the char that seems to almost speed age and round out even a big roasty beer like that IP.
 

Dan Grady
Member
Username: Bierboy

Post Number: 103
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 67.52.213.9
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 05:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This sounds like a great idea. I have some medium toast French oak chips and bourbon. Now the only decision is stout, barleywine or porter.
 

Chet Nunan
Junior Member
Username: Chet

Post Number: 88
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 64.179.41.70
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 06:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll agree with Paul - the char has a smoothing effect you won't get from just the oak & bourbon.

I usually put it in a hop sack suspended in a corny.
 

Paul Erbe
Intermediate Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 306
Registered: 05-2001
Posted From: 12.27.22.67
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 08:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are sources to get the used barrels shipped. I have found them in the past. Probably would not take to long to find with a little googling.
OK I love the Zappa quote but it is getting old.
 

Dan Grady
Member
Username: Bierboy

Post Number: 105
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.225.8.152
Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 12:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.homebrewit.com/aisle/1140

for barrels.