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Old 06-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #11
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Drat, please describe the honey addition to the secondary, and how it affected the flavor profile. How much did you add, and didn't it stimulate more vigorous fermentation than is normal in a secondary?

Also, how many vanilla beans did you add?

Many thanks!

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Old 06-14-2010, 05:10 PM   #12
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Did I say honey addition to secondary? I must not have been awake this morning. I add honey to most of my beers during the chilling process. I use the icebath method and when I can safely touch the lid without burning my hand I make my addition (my guess is that the wort is down to around 110 degrees or so). For the old ale, I stir in with a sanitized spoon 3lbs of wildflower honey.

I use two vanilla beans split down the middle soaked in good scotch for the duration of the primary. Those get added to the secondary and the beer racked on top.

I'm going to experiment with my next brew adding the honey in at the same time as the oak and vanilla. I know it'll start fermentation back up and I'll probably rack it again after a month to get it off the sediment, but I'm trying to preserve as much of the subtle flavors from the raw honey as possible...

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Old 06-15-2010, 07:25 PM   #13
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Well, took another reading, @ 1.016, so I went ahead and racked it off to the secondary with the bourbon soaked oak cubes. Only two natural foods stores in town, neither had whole vanilla beans, but one ordered some for me. I will add them when they come in. I tasted the SG sample; very good, best tasting "green" of the four that I have brewed so far. Now the long, long wait. . ..

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Old 06-15-2010, 07:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceportBP View Post
Well, took another reading, @ 1.016, so I went ahead and racked it off to the secondary with the bourbon soaked oak cubes. Only two natural foods stores in town, neither had whole vanilla beans, but one ordered some for me. I will add them when they come in. I tasted the SG sample; very good, best tasting "green" of the four that I have brewed so far. Now the long, long wait. . ..
Good luck on the waiting. I've found that it helps to brew a lot of other crazy beers so you're not tempted to bottle too soon.

We drank my last 22oz bottle of this last month (approx. 2.5 years since brew day) and it was better than ever...
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:03 PM   #15
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I will hopefully be brewing mine this weekend I dont know yet what I will attempt to change or add or how to go about it. Still pondering Bourbon, Vanilla and bring a higher abv to it. I am waiting for my belgain wit's Krausen monster to go back to the depths for my fermenting bucket to open. Or I will just have to make a trip to the LHBS and pick one up.

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Old 06-16-2010, 08:46 PM   #16
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well, I took this interesting shot looking into the carboy just before racking, to me, looks like heaven!

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Old 07-07-2010, 12:24 AM   #17
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Update 7/6/10: Vanilla beans in, soaked in bourbon and then added. While I had the top off, took a sample, down to 1.014 which put it at Big Beer status of 8%. I chilled the sample and tasted; bourbon up front, then burnt oak, a bit of hop bitterness at the end. Maybe some raisin or dark current notes in there. I may use lactose and sweeten this up at bottling. Very pleased so far!

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Old 07-07-2010, 07:19 PM   #18
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The bourbon gets added at bottling, right? I might whip this one up sometime soon.

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Old 07-07-2010, 08:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowsonTiger22 View Post
The bourbon gets added at bottling, right? I might whip this one up sometime soon.
I know some do this; however, the instructions, which mimic aging in bourbon barrels, state to soak the oak cubes in bourbon for a few weeks. You then drop them in the secondary (see picture above) and rack on top of them. The long aging time, in this case, six months, allows the beer to absorb the bourbon and charred oak flavors much like if the beer was in an oak barrel.

I am sure you could add a bourbon directly at bottling, but it would not taste the same as this aging process.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:04 PM   #20
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Just started this last night Sept 18th. This is the first batch I made a yeast starter. I used white labs English Ale yeast. Finished brewing and in the fermenter around 9:00 P.M. Woke up this morning with two inches of krausen. So all good so far.

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