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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > whiskey beer
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:37 PM   #11
Tiber_Brew
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I respectfully disagree Tiber while it is easy to get the whiskey flavor by just adding in some Makers Mark, the oak chips soaked in whiskey add a level of complexity that just adding whiskey alone will not produce. The oak tannins are an integral part of what makes a good whiskey. to get these in a beer would require a large amount of whiskey, and this would add more of other stronger flavor compounds that don't go well in beer. IMO 2 ounces of medium toast American oak cubes soaked in pint of good whiskey, burbon, scotch, etc for a couple/few weeks than added to the ferementer including the pint of whiskey in a good stout, porter or scotish old ale until the desired taste is reached, will result in a much more flavor balanced beer than just adding a fifth of whiskey will. The whiskey flavor should be a back ground note along with the oakiness to a very robust beer. OP might be time for some gallon test batches. Hmm might be time for some test batches for me as well I haven't done an oaked old ale since December. might have to whiskey soak the next batch.
Well, you raise a couple good points, but I still must disagree that adding oak chips to beer will give it whiskey flavor. One good point that you made is that adding oak chips to your secondary will add complexity that adding whiskey alone won't add. That's true, however it won't make it taste more like whiskey. It might add an oak essence that reminds one of whiskey, but keep in mind whiskey isn't aged in toasted oak chips. Charred White Oak and medium toasted Red Oak don't taste anything like each other, period. I don't know what else to tell you. Of course, feel free to add chips alone, or chips soaked in whiskey, or whatever you want. It will be a fine beer. Don't get me wrong. While it will be a great beer, it's like saying you can make water taste more like lemonade by adding limes.

Another good point you make is that the whiskey flavor should be a background character. That's true. When adding any kind of whiskey to a fermenter or bright tank, you should start with modest amounts until you've reached your desired effect. Same applies when using chips. Don't add a fifth of whiskey to beer, or a half pound of chips to it either. I can't imagine that coming out well. It really is all about balance, and it's not really difficult to achieve that.

I'd say it's a good idea to do some experiments. Split up a batch of beer, save a control, and modify the rest of the partitions with different methods that we mentioned. Please share the results if you do!

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Old 10-10-2010, 06:32 PM   #12
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i love all the points being brought up here. so here is the plan. to test these options maybe i will make a beer(recipe to be determined) do the primary fermentation as a 5 gallon batch. then i will separate to 5 one gallon containers for secondary ferm. one will remain a control. maybe one will get a few oak chips, another will get whiskey soaked chips, another just whiskey and last maybe i can char some oak with a torch and add them. do you see a down side to charring the oak chips myself?

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Old 10-10-2010, 09:12 PM   #13
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i love all the points being brought up here. so here is the plan. to test these options maybe i will make a beer(recipe to be determined) do the primary fermentation as a 5 gallon batch. then i will separate to 5 one gallon containers for secondary ferm. one will remain a control. maybe one will get a few oak chips, another will get whiskey soaked chips, another just whiskey and last maybe i can char some oak with a torch and add them. do you see a down side to charring the oak chips myself?
That sounds like a great experiment. I would do a little research about charring your own oak. There's plenty of information out there about that. Be sure to document everything you do in this experiment; I'm sure there's quite a few people interested in the results.

Good luck!
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:28 AM   #14
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ok so im gonna do some experimenting with this, and was try to figure out what kind of beer to start my recipe as, i was thinking maybe a brown beer, scotch ale, or a stout. what do you guys think about those options?

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:00 AM   #15
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i have been injured for the last few months, and i am finally starting to be able to move around again. i had 2 surgeries on my leg. now, back to brewing.

so whats the recipe. i am thinking something fairly simple, but "robust" in my mind, whiskey flavoring or characteristics dont seem subtle, so they might overpower if i were to use a blonde recipe, but at the same time, a porter might hide it all together. i am thinking a brown, or maybe even a red.

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:01 AM   #16
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i think i might have some friends over. everyone brings a sixer, or even some singles, and we try out some whiskey additions.

i was watching brewmasters the other day and it seemed like they were trying their ingredients out by tossing them in a mild flavored beer. they were making that Egyptian beer and they were testing the spices.

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Old 12-20-2010, 10:14 PM   #17
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i think i might have some friends over. everyone brings a sixer, or even some singles, and we try out some whiskey additions.

i was watching brewmasters the other day and it seemed like they were trying their ingredients out by tossing them in a mild flavored beer. they were making that Egyptian beer and they were testing the spices.
yah i was thinking of doing the same thing, im very interested in making this beer, im also thinking brown ale might be the best for this.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:49 PM   #18
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Take a google for Kentucky Common. It's an old style of American beer basically a partigyle made from the sour mash used to make Bourbon whiskey plus a small amount of dark crystal malt. It has a fairly high percentage of corn in the mash. There are only a couple of commercial examples still produced, but at one time it was one of the most common beers in the midwest.

The batch I made used 40% corn and 55% 6-row with the rest a mix of crystal 60 and 120 I had on hand. It came out a medium brown and the 24 hour sour mash gave it a slight tang. I could see adding a bit of Jack to it and aging with some oak to give it some more character.

Terje

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Old 12-20-2010, 11:01 PM   #19
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If you want a beer that tastes like bourbon (using bourbon as an ingredient) I've accidentally made it (while trying to get something with hints of bourbon barrel aged beer).

3 gallon boil
6.5lbs Light LME
3lbs two row (Us)
1lb Special B
1lb Crystal 20L
2oz Chinook hops 90min
1oz Chinook Hops 5 min
Nottingham yeast (pitched according to packet directions)

Steeped the grain at 155*F for 45 min.
Next I added the Light LME and brought it up to a boil.
As soon as it started to boil I added the 2oz of Hops and let it go until the last 5 minutes where I added the last 1oz of hops and the Irish moss.
At this point I pitched the nottingham in warm water.
Then I cooled to 80*F and slowly brought the nottingham up to 80*F by slowly adding the cooled wort.

When I tested the SG I found I nailed the 1.075-6 mark.

After the beer was safely in the closet I put about 2 cups of toasted oak chips in some bourbon (~1 cup) for a week and added that directly to the primary. I’ll let the beer age for 2 more weeks on the oak.

The FG was around 1.016.

I bottled and carbbed normally with 3/4 cup of corn sugar.

After 2 weeks in the bottle this stuff still tastes more like bourbon than anything. I'll check back on it in a couple months.

What I should have done, to get what I was looking for, would be to strain off the bourbon (and drink it normally), then dry the oak chips in the oven for an hour or so.

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Old 12-20-2010, 11:15 PM   #20
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subscribing to this thread, sounds interesting!

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