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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Jack Daniels?
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:09 PM   #1
shbrewer
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Default Jack Daniels?

Has anyone brewed with whiskey? My father loves all things JD, and I was thinking of brewing a small batch of JD enhanced/flavored beer. The question is, is it worth it?
Thanks

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by shbrewer
Has anyone brewed with whiskey? My father loves all things JD, and I was thinking of brewing a small batch of JD enhanced/flavored beer. The question is, is it worth it?
Thanks
Sure, why not? If it were me, I'd brew a big stout or IPA, soak some oak chips in the JD for a day or two, then chuck the whole works in the secondary for a couple weeks.

My only question with adding a large amount of JD is that whiskey has sugars in it--would the yeast ferment those sugars, or are they unfermentable?
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:18 PM   #3
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I think an IPA would work for him. He likes beer but not the dark beers. I think also doing the soak with wood may give a better feeL. I'm not looking for an overwhelming taste but something there if you know what I mean.

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:21 PM   #4
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I have done the bourbon-soaked oak chips in an IPA before.

It was outstanding. I used only enough bourbon to cover the chips. If you want a noticeable flavor from the JD, use more. Also, a little oak goes a long way.

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shbrewer
Has anyone brewed with whiskey? My father loves all things JD, and I was thinking of brewing a small batch of JD enhanced/flavored beer. The question is, is it worth it?
Thanks
"Worth it"? Worth what? The few hours and nominal cost? Of course. Come on!

I have one in bottle right now. Essentially, it's a "fortified" brew. You see fortified wines all the time---port, sherry, etc.,---but never fortified beer. Not sure why that might be.

Anyway, so, here's what I did: I brewed a very malty, but low-IBU, winter ale as I normally would. Pacman was my choice of yeasts, and it did a very good job.

While it was fermenting, I put 2 cups of Evan Williams into a mason jar, and added about 1.5 ounces of oak cubes, as well as a vanilla bean that I split open and scraped the seeds from (added both the seeds and the pod in the bourbon). I put that in the fridge and let it steep for the week whilst primary fermentation was going on. When I racked to secondary, I added the whole thing to the beer. After about a week or two, I racked into another carboy, leaving the vanilla bean and oak cubes behind.

As for the final product---you may want to go with less actual booze than I used. It really does turn it into a different kind of beverage. It's still beer, of course, but it's got this weird alcohol thing going on. I like it, alot, but if you're not expecting it, it could weird you out. Regardless, the oak and vanilla are great complements to the bourbon. I say, go for it! Start out with just one cup of bourbon, though.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice Evan!. By the way my sister lives in your area, Augusta county, Grottoes. Any good local beer making outfits in that area?

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice Evan!. By the way my sister lives in your area, Augusta county, Grottoes. Any good local beer making outfits in that area?
Anytime. If there's a wacky beer, there's a good chance I've made it.

Dominion is the popular VA brewery, and I love their Bourbon Barrel Stout. Right around this area, though, there two---Starr Hill and South Street. Both are here in charlottesville. Starr Hill is okay...not the greatest, but they've gone from a brewpub to a Pub who has a related brewery offsite, and once they started bottling their stuff for commercial distribution, I think their quality dropped off. But they still have some cool acts that come to play at the music hall above the pub/restaurant.

My fav. is South Street. The brewmaster is awesome, he always hooks me up with yeast. They make great beer...he's got a bigass imperial stout aging in an old wild turkey barrel right now. But the brewmaster, who is not the owner, is in the process of building a brewery out in Nelson County called Blue Mountain Brewery and Hop Farm. He's gonna go out there, but Southstreet will still be around. I wonder if he'll hook me up with some wet hops...
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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Well, We've a brewpub hereabouts that also serves a bourbon barrel porter and just released a bourbon barrel barleywine, stout, Russian Imperial Stout and Scotch ale (which I haven't tried yet). The Porter is rich and you swear you can feel your tongue slurring it's words and blurring it's vision at the first sip. Not the kind of thing I can drink a lot of, but definitely has it's place on a cold Winters Eve.

As for the chips, I actually had a bag of former JD oak barrel chips that were sold at a kitchen supply place for use in BBq. Just soak 'em for 20 minutes or so and toss on hot coals just before you throw on your food. Not exactly DIY, but it could save you some hassle making your own. It also occurs to me that it might be something to try with your discarded chips...?

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Old 02-27-2007, 03:44 PM   #9
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I've brewed a bourbon vanilla porter before (see here) and it was great if you like bourbon. I used Maker's Mark, but if you wanted to go low rent with JD, I guess you could.

I think it would be best in a dark beer, i.e. a stout or porter, and it doesn't take much. I used 1.5 oz/gal, but I'm sure some people would want more of the taste. Add it at bottling, start with a little, and add more until you like the balance.

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