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Old 03-06-2010, 03:36 PM   #1
abledsoe
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Default Bourbon Barrel Aging question

I only have a few batches under my belt so I am still figuring things out.

I am wanting to brew a Bourbon Barrel for a Bourbon Festival in September. I wanted to brew this early and let it age for quite a while. I plan to use the soaked oak chip/cube in the secondary route. Is there a good time frame for this? Would letting it sit in the secondary for 5 months be too long? Should I just let it sit in the secondary for a month and then let it sit in the bottles for 4-5 months?


Thanks!

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Old 03-06-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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Not at all, i have used bourbon soaked oak cubes for over 6 months before in a secondary. The longer you can leave the beer on the oak the better flavor you will get. The longer they are together the more complex flavors you will extract from the oak. I would avoid chips at they are meant to be left for 1-2 weeks.

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Old 03-06-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Thanks.

So would you say its better to give it the majority of the time in the secondary with the oak/bourbon or in the bottle to condition?

I have read a few things about it becoming too "oaky" if left in the secondary too long.

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Old 03-06-2010, 05:30 PM   #4
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Yes, if i were you, i would primary for 2-3 weeks, then rack it over to the secondary for 5-6 months (or as long as possible) and then bottle or keg. I would use 1-2 ounces of cubes soaked in Makers Mark (my choice of bourbon). After about 3-4 weeks in the bottle the flavors will start to meld and will end up very nice. Good luck with brew, let me know if you have any questions.

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Old 03-08-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromados View Post
Yes, if i were you, i would primary for 2-3 weeks, then rack it over to the secondary for 5-6 months (or as long as possible) and then bottle or keg. I would use 1-2 ounces of cubes soaked in Makers Mark (my choice of bourbon). After about 3-4 weeks in the bottle the flavors will start to meld and will end up very nice. Good luck with brew, let me know if you have any questions.

Chromados
I agree 100% with Chromados - cubes, Makers, 5-6 months.
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:57 AM   #6
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I agree 100% with Chromados - cubes, Makers, 5-6 months.
So 5-6 months in the secondary and then just the normal 3-4 weeks in bottles?

I had read a few things saying the bourbon barrel is better off bottle conditioning a little longer but not sure how much longer.

I have about 6 months total from now when I need it to be ready.

Thanks again for the input.
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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It's ready to go after you bottle it, but like any beer things will change the longer you wait. I wouldn't worry about bottle aging and just drink it/enter it in comps once bottled. Maybe save some for a year and try them to see how the flavors have changed.

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