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Old 07-20-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default Does oak really come through in bourbon oak?

I have a couple ounces of oak cubes that have been soaking in bourbon for about 3 weeks and (after taking a smell) i find it hard to believe that they will add anything more than bourbon flavor. Does oak really shine through the seemingly overbearing bourbon?

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Old 07-20-2012, 03:13 AM   #2
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Yes as long as you leave the oak in contact with the beer long enough. A lot of the bourbon flavor comes from the oak so it's not like you are getting a completely different taste out of the oak but the combination of the two will give you a more complex flavor than just bourbon or just oak. Of course, if you add too much bourbon you're just going to get bourbon flavor and no oak or beer flavors.

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Old 07-20-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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I have been doing the same thing (3 weeks) in anticipation of a Borbon Barrel Old Ale I will brew next week (kit from Midwest Supplies)

I have the oak cubes sitting in 10.5 ounces of Makers Mark Bourbon. I just hope 10.5 ounces of Bourbon doesn't overwhelm the beer. I dont want the Bourbon to dominate the beer, just compliment it.

I have experimented with adding one teaspoon of this mixture to a Stout I brewed in December and it tastes ok.

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Old 07-20-2012, 11:58 AM   #4
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I'd start off using less bourbon than you think you'll need. Same with the oak. You can always add more, but you can't take it out.

I just added about 5oz of Makers Mark to a 4 gallon batch of porter and will give it a taste in about a week to see where it stands. I added wayyyy too much oak to it originally, so I've been letting it age out a little bit longer to try to soften it. I'm planning on bottling it, so if it needs more bourbon flavor, I'll add it at bottling time. If you're kegging it, it will be even easier to dial in the bourbon flavor. Good luck!

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Old 07-20-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Cool. Yeah I figured I'd just add a small portion of it and taste/adjust overtime. And I'll start by not pouring in the liquid from the cubes too, I really want to get this right and not overdo the bourbon, that flavor drives me nuts when it's too upfront.

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Old 07-21-2012, 03:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd46 View Post
Cool. Yeah I figured I'd just add a small portion of it and taste/adjust overtime. And I'll start by not pouring in the liquid from the cubes too, I really want to get this right and not overdo the bourbon, that flavor drives me nuts when it's too upfront.
Add the liquid from the cubes. They have extracted a lot of the flavor from the oak.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcLight
I have been doing the same thing (3 weeks) in anticipation of a Borbon Barrel Old Ale I will brew next week (kit from Midwest Supplies)

I have the oak cubes sitting in 10.5 ounces of Makers Mark Bourbon. I just hope 10.5 ounces of Bourbon doesn't overwhelm the beer. I dont want the Bourbon to dominate the beer, just compliment it.

I have experimented with adding one teaspoon of this mixture to a Stout I brewed in December and it tastes ok.
I've made this beer. Be careful with the liquid (bourbon) after you soak you oak cubes. I didn't pour any off and just dumped it all into the secondary. It was about 8oz of Jim Beam into 5gal. It was over whelming IMHO. But it has mellowed a bit over time. If I had to do it all over, I'd pour half the bourbon off.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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>>I've made this beer. Be careful with the liquid (bourbon) after you soak you oak cubes. I didn't pour any off and just dumped it all into the secondary. It was about 8oz of Jim Beam into 5gal. It was over whelming IMHO. But it has mellowed a bit over time. If I had to do it all over, I'd pour half the bourbon off.

Aw, bummer. But thanks for the warning. Was it the oak that ws too strong, or the Bourbon?

Maybe I will start by pouring in 4 ounces, plus the oak cubes, for a month in the fermentor.
I will save the bourbon, to add a tea spoon to a beer, if it needs it.


Or do you think that is too much, when combined with the Bourbon mixture that has been sitting for 6 weeks with oak cubes.

I get the feeling that some of these recipes are not that well tested.

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:03 PM   #9
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I made this one as well. I actually got too much oak, though I did leave it on the oak for a couple months? and dumped all the borboun in. I liked it. And the base recipe was a pleasing strong ale.

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Old 08-04-2012, 02:12 AM   #10
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8 ozs isn't much. I'm adding that much to a wee heavy to get just a hint of bourbon. I've added much more to other beers.

Denny's Chcoolate Bourbon Porter (a popular recipe) uses 10 ml per bottle, which would be about 17 ozs in 5 gallons.

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