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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > I'm familiar with "oaking" but what about "bourboning"

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Old 04-22-2010, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default I'm familiar with "oaking" but what about "bourboning"

I've thrown oak chips into batches to get a taste close to beer aged in oak barrels but is their a way to get a taste close to beer aged in a bourbon barrel?

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Old 04-22-2010, 01:21 AM   #2
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You can add bourbon to your beer, it shouldn't hurt anything since bacteria can't grow in a spirit. I've heard of folks adding wood chips to soak in bourbon for a month before adding to a secondary to achieve the flavor.

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Old 04-22-2010, 01:25 AM   #3
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Soak your oak in a cup or so of bourbon for a couple weeks, then toss the whole thing in your secondary. It gives you a nice oaked bourbon flavor without the harshness.

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Old 07-31-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Anyone have any experience with adding bourbon directly to the bottles? maybe a teaspoon or something? I want to try it out with the Imperial Stout I have in the works, but just in a sixer or so. Thanks!

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Old 07-31-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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>>Anyone have any experience with adding bourbon directly to the bottles? maybe a teaspoon or something? I want to try it out with the Imperial Stout I have in the works, but just in a sixer or so. Thanks!

I do. In preparation for the Midwest Supplies Bourbon barrel Old Ale I have had the oak chips soaking in 10 ounces of Makers Mark Rum since July 4th. If I add a teaspoon to a stout, it tastes good and has a nice aroma (a friend also liked it). The Bourbon flavor is not too strong. The oak flavor is a tad strong for some, but I think its fine.
I expect to add it to my just brewed Ale in a few weeks

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Old 07-31-2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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Sparkly, if you search "bourbon" you'll have a plethora of solid, tested information.

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Old 07-31-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
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What I've done is to take a capful of bourbon and pour it into a glass before I pour the Stout (or whatever. IPA is actually pretty good with some bourbon!)

This gives me a sample of what it might taste like if I were to put bourbon in the whole batch, but without affecting the whole batch. Some people might not enjoy the combination.

For a whole batch the accepted method is to soak an ounce or two of oak chips in a cup or several of bourbon for a few weeks before adding to secondary for a wekk or two soak.

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Old 08-01-2012, 02:45 AM   #8
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You might also try looking up Denny Conn's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter recipe to get an idea on how he managed bourbon addition for flavor.

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:11 AM   #9
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I remember an episode of Basic Brewing Radio where he was talking with Raj Apte (sp?) about how he simulated barrel aging by using an untreated table leg stuck through a bung in a carboy. The idea there is that the air diffusion rates seem to be pretty close to what you'd see with aging in an actual barrel. I imagine you could then just add the bourbon to taste after that point. Although, in my opinion it seems like beers that have spirits added to them really benefit from some extended aging to help smooth out the rough edges a bit.

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Old 08-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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I've played a bit since starting this thread a couple years ago. Just this year I brewed a 1.095sg RIS with a budd. When it was fermenting we took two mason jars and filled each one with 8oz or bourbon, 3oz of oak cubes and a vanilla bean. Once fermentation was up we tossed the entire fillings of the mason jars into each carboy. My half has been bulk aging since January and with a few samples taken along the way I can honestly say it tastes bourbon barrel aged.

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