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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Balancing out burbon in a Bourbon Barrel Porter
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
TipsySaint
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Default Balancing out burbon in a Bourbon Barrel Porter

Hi all!

I'm new to the forum but a long time brewer.

I have a simple question.

I just made a partial mash Bourbon Barrel Porter. No problems with the beer and it hit all the right specs. At the start of secondary I added about 4oz of dark toasted oak chips that had been soaking in a fifth of the bourbon and then the fifth of bourbon to my 5 gallon batch. The bourbon is a little more over powering than I would like. Any ideas on what to add to balance the flavor out?

Thanks!

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Old 09-06-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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A full fifth of bourbon is WAY too much unless you want a prominant whiskey flavor. I put my wood chips in a plastic container and add just enough whiskey to keep them wet. I don't even add whiskey to my beer, just the wood chips. I get a subtle, but noticeable whiskey flavor.

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Old 09-06-2010, 03:16 PM   #3
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That is what i've found as well. I do like a prominent bourbon flavor but this is a bit much. to the point where the beer feels like it has little to no body/malt character. Tastes more like a watered down bourbon. I'm looking for a way to increase the body/beer flavor. Perhaps some dry hopping?

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Old 09-06-2010, 03:46 PM   #4
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For future reference, 8-16 ounces of bourbon per 5 gallons seems to be about right.

I think your best option at this point is to brew another 5 gallons of porter and blend.

Alternately, you could use it to blend with other beers in the glass.

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Old 09-06-2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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Back ground info:
I currently have a 2.5 gallon batch of Robust Porter in secondary. I used 1/4lb Oak Chip soaked in Wild Turkey Honey Liquor for 3+ months. I just covered the chips with the liquor in a small jar and set them aside. I added all the darkened liquor and the chips into the secondary. I also added a half pound or 2/3rds cup raw Cotton Blossom Honey at the same time. This will set in secondary for at least a month.

A few tips I have picked up:
-------------------------------------
When you cover Chips with liquor and let them soak out the Oak flavors you will wind up with darkened liquor.

To test the effect of this darkened liquor, pour off the liquid to measure only the liquid and not the chips. Then add about 1/50th of it to a 12oz bottle of regular porter. (FWI: 1/50 of a 5 gallon batch is a 12oz bottle.)

The Oak barrel Bourbon flavors in your test bottle will be close to final results.

Big tip for adding flavors:
-----------------------------------
Just use a syringe to add a few ml at a time to a measured volume of ready to drink brew. When you find that just right flavor addition you like, you can calculate the amount needed for a full batch.

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Old 09-06-2010, 11:05 PM   #6
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Beer Guy

Thanks for the info. Do you think there is any advantage to adding honey at this point? Right now I'm considering just making a second batch of porter and splitting the difference.

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Old 09-07-2010, 12:42 AM   #7
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Sorry, but honey will NOT help.

Remember…

You added a 51oz or a Fifth. That works out to 3.18 to 6.375 times more than Remilard recommended. Since there is 3 to 6 times more Bourbon than needed and if you already have it bottled then the best way may be to just use a bottle at a time to flavor another brew by adding a few oz to each glass.

Blending it with a double batch of non-Bourbon brew is possible. A single added batch would be like adding 25.5oz to each 5 gallon batch. Adding two batches would lower it to around 17oz per 5 gallon batch. Still strong, but that maybe acceptable to you.

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Old 09-07-2010, 01:35 AM   #8
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Hey Beer Guy

So I actually added 750ml or about 26 oz to the 5 gallon batch. It is currently in secondary. This is all just based off of the taste taken from theifing it.

Good to know that honey won't help. I'm thinking about aging it a bit more and then adding it 50/50 to a batch of the same porter that I originally used as a base.

That would bring it down to about 13 oz per 5 gallon. So much closer to the recommendation of 8-16oz earlier in the thread.

I'm also wondering how well the bourbon has mixed. Being that it has a higher abv and I theifed from the top and middle, i was wondering, will it float? Do I just need to give this a good shake?

Thanks a million for the help thus far gents.

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Old 09-07-2010, 05:18 AM   #9
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I was thinking a Fifth was 4/5ths of a gallon, but it is 4/5ths of a quart. My bad, sorry.

Glad you caught it though.

So with the correct figures then adding one other batch it should be just right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsySaint View Post

I'm also wondering how well the bourbon has mixed. Being that it has a higher abv and I theifed from the top and middle, i was wondering, will it float? Do I just need to give this a good shake?
It should be mixed fine. I would not shake it and maybe chance inducing any oxygen into the mix. Cardboard tastes really yucky.

Also, I would let the yeast do their job good first on the new batch and ferment it out as far as they can before adding it to the ABV boosted batch. Then I would just let the mix age in the bottle after that.
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