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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Bourbon Barrel Old Ale
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:35 PM   #1
Brad
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Default Bourbon Barrel Old Ale

I am getting ready to start to brew a bourbon barrel old ale extract kit from Midwest Supplies. I am just curious as to if anyone has made this kit before? What bourbon you used? It says on the box with vanilla notes do you get those from the oak cubes that the kit comes with or do you add some vanilla to the batch? Here are the ingredients in the kit.

6 lb. Amber liquid malt extract
3.3 lb. Gold liquid malt extract
8 oz. Brown Malt
8 oz. Crystal 50-60L
8 oz. Wheat
4 oz. Aromatic
4 oz. Chocolate specialty grains
1 oz. Northern Brewer
2 oz. Willamette
2 oz. Fuggle hops
2 oz. American Oak Cubes

I just want to learn as much about this kit as possible to make the end result come out great. I plan on aging around 8-12 months like recomended. I drink bourbon rarely so I dont know what the best to use would be.

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Old 06-12-2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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I typically use Maker's Mark or Basil Haydens for my beer. You will definately taste it, so it needs to be something worth drinking. Don't buy something cheap like grand dads and expect it to come out well. It still might, but I prefer the better whiskey.

The vanilla flavors will be coming from the oak and the bourbon mostly. Oak imparts a vanilla-like flavor, but I can barely detect it's there most time. If you want a stand out vanilla flavor, I'd add it.

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Old 06-12-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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That kits comes out really nice. We soaked the oak in Woodford Reserve for several weeks while the beer was fermenting. I can't remember how long we kept it in secondary with the oak but knowing us it was at least a month.

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Old 06-12-2010, 10:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info I am really looking forward to making this kit. One more thing when adding your hops it says for the last 2 min add the aroma hops do you add it with your bittering hops? Or remove the bittering hops then add the aroma hops? This has been something I have questioned since I started brewing and never heard the answer? Or would it not really make a difference either way?

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Old 06-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #5
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No need to remove the first hop additions, just keep adding per the recipe.

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Old 06-12-2010, 11:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for the answers!

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Old 06-13-2010, 01:34 AM   #7
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use good bourbon like makers mark. i used a lot of jim beam in my whee heavy and it tastes fine so it's doable. def soak a vanilla bean in the bourbon with the oak cubes prior to adding and the liquor will extract the vanilla flavor better than boiling ever could. soak for a few days at least, the longer the better. don't worry about removing any hops. you can even leave them in for fermentation if you really wanted to! sounds like a promising recipe what kind of yeast are you using. 6 months aging will prob be fine for this recipe, 1 year might be over kill. 6 months in the bottle will be your best best; 6&6

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Old 06-13-2010, 03:09 AM   #8
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I will probably White labs english ale 002 Yeast as that is one that midwest pairs with there kits is there a better yeast that I should use?

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Old 06-14-2010, 03:50 PM   #9
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Brad, I just made this on Thursday June 10th! I added one extra pound of DME which brough the OG up to 1.076; WL002. Pitched at 70 degrees and brought the water in the tub around the primary down to 60. Fermentation started overnight, and has been going steady ever since. Out of curiosity I just took a gravity reading, it is now at 1.018 which is the expected FG according to the kit. Since it is still active, I am going to leave it alone for a few more days before racking it off to the secondary; though I don't expect it to get much lower than where it is now. I am more than happy with 7-8% ABV.

As for the oak cubes, they have been soaking for two weeks now in Wild Turkey. I am going to add a vanilla bean as Jessup suggested.

I think this will be most delicious around Christmas!

Let's keep each other up to date on the progress!

EDIT: I just tasted the sample that I pulled for the gravity reading and even though this is a four day old brew it is better than my first brew!

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Old 06-14-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
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With some slight modifications, I took first place in last year's NHC for the northeast region preliminary round with this kit. I added some cinnamon, vanilla beans soaked with the oak in glenfiddich single malt scotch, and a ton of honey to secondary.

After 7-8 months of secondary (still on the oak and vanilla beans), I bottled and it was spectacular.

Since then, I've converted the recipe to all-grain and tinkered with certain quantities of the off-recipe additions. It's still good, but will keep getting better as I dial it in...

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