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Old 11-20-2011, 10:46 PM   #1
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Default Oak vanilla bourbon stout suggestions?

Im thinking to make a stout (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/extr...a-stout-96969/) and then rack it into a secondary on top of bourbon oak chips and some vanilla beans. Anyone ever try anything like this before? would all those flavors risk washing each other out?

I was thinking i would have about 1 oz french oak with 2 split vanilla beans sitting in around 4-6 oz of bourbon (maybe scotch instead) for a week or two, and throwing all of that into the secondary with the stout for 3-4 weeks.

any suggestions/advice would be great!

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Old 12-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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I just did something very similar with my Oak Barrel Stout clone attempt.

Are you using oak chips or cubes? I used 1/2 ounce of untoasted oak and three vanilla beans for two weeks. It ended up being a little too woody and not much vanilla came through.

As for the bourbon, it won't sanitize the wood chips, I recommend steeping the wood chips in 170+ degree water for 30 mins or so. Anyways, don't think you will be washing things out if it is balanced. You can always add pure vanilla extract if you think the vanilla is understated. I plan on doing some testing with that on mine

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Old 12-30-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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im planning on using chips, just because i already have them. ive heard they impart flavor quicker so im thinking ill do 1 oz and taste testing every week or so until i hit what i want. im planning on toasting them just a little bit aswell.

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Old 12-30-2011, 10:32 PM   #4
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Realized i didn't specify, but I used chips as well. If you use an ounce I'd check it at 3, 5, and 7 days. My 1/2 ounce for two weeks was REAL strong

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Old 12-30-2011, 11:11 PM   #5
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hmmm...maybe ill knock it down to .5 oz and then try it after a week. id rather have it sit for longer and get the flavor i want than add a lot and drink wood.
thanks for then input!

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Old 12-31-2011, 01:58 PM   #6
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OK, now you guys have me re-thinking my bourbon-oaking idea. I have 6 gallons of an imperial stout in the primary right now. And 3 oz of charred oak chips soaking in 8 oz of bourbon that I was going to toss into the 2nd for about a week before I kegged.

Am I crazy? I seem to recall added a couple ounces to one some time ago and not getting all that much flavor.

Oh, and so I don't completely hi-jack your thread, even though I don't like vanilla in my beer (from what I hear, you will get 'natural' vanillin from the oak bourbon interaction), I like the sound of 2 split beans in the bourbon.

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Old 12-31-2011, 02:07 PM   #7
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A few ounces is great for cubes, but seems a lot for chips. I brewed an Oak Bourbon Vanilla porter back in October and it was epic. I primaried for 3 weeks, the secondaried on 1oz of oak for 10 days, with 2oz pure vanilla extract and 8oz bourbon. Unlike Brett, I can barely detect the oak, I woulda bumped it up a little. The vanilla & bourbon are noticable but suble. It was a strong porter though - 1.080 OG, so maybe that's our difference.

But, as Brett said, test it every few days and bottle when it's where you like it. With chips you should need 7-14 days max, anything longer and you risk woodchip beer.

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Old 12-31-2011, 02:17 PM   #8
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OK, that makes me feel a bit better. The Imperial stout it's going into is 1.105 OG, so if you can barely detect it, at 10 days, 3 oz may not be to crazy given the extra gravity in mine.

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Old 12-31-2011, 02:58 PM   #9
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Ya mine was about 5.8% alcohol so maybe thats why the oak was more prevalent. Additionally, when I soaked my oak chips in 180* water for 45 minutes, The resulting 8 ounces of water smelled, tasted, and had the color of bourbon, sans the alcohol of course! I think on the Wood-aging Brew Strong show they were saying you could add just an ounce or two of bourbon and it would impart enough flavor for it to be noticed. Can't hurt to have more! I love my bourbon There is a wood aging thread on HBT that gives the recommended dosages for chips, cubes, spirals etc. Also, the char/toast level affects the flavor a lot as well. I had untoasted oak so that might be another factor for why mine is pretty prevalent.

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Old 12-31-2011, 03:47 PM   #10
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That makes sense - the toast & gravity should make a difference.
The nice thing about bourbon/vanilla is you can add on the low end of what you think you want when going to secondary, and you can always bump it up at bottling time. You can kinda cheat the same way with oak too - if you want more oak on bottling day, just make an oak tea and add that with your priming sugar. Easier to overdo it with that method though...

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