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Old 01-26-2011, 11:04 PM   #1
BrewFrisco
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Default Whiskey Barrel Aged Beers

First - my apologies for not searching this topic before posting - not sure if it is my "free" level that does not allow for advance searching or if I am missing a plugin.

Anyhow - I was hoping that some of the seasoned brewers could point me in the right direction for instructions on how to achieve that 'Whiskey Barrel' flavor in home-brew fashion. I only have the basic brew equipment and was hoping that with the addition of whiskey soaked oak chips that I could achieve the same flavor.

Anyone have some solid experience with this?

I am still trying to decide which beer to do first - stout or ipa. I have had both in the WB age and they both taste fantastic.

Also - I plan to age these for some decent time.



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Old 01-26-2011, 11:25 PM   #2
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I don't have a ton of experience, but I added bourbon soaked oak chips to an oatmeal stout I made. Probably went overboard and used 4 oz of chips for a 4 gal batch. After 1 week it had a good flavor and a great taste. If you want to leave it for a long time you could use less oak, say 1 oz.

On the other hand, I do have a Midwest kit (not done) that calls for 2 oz oak cubes.

Hope this helps and good luck!



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Old 01-26-2011, 11:33 PM   #3
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I put two ounces of whisky soaked oak spirals in my vanilla porter... First taste... Awesome. Part of the homebrewing process is having fun exploring new techniques.

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Old 01-26-2011, 11:34 PM   #4
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I strongly recommend using your oak and bourbon separately. That way you have more control over how much oak and bourbon character you have.

I've gotten good results from both chips and cubes. Cubes take a lot longer to reach their full potential. For a simple beer you'll age a long time, cubes are probably a better way to go. For a more complex beer, chips will provide you with plenty of oak character, but the complexity of the beer covers up the subtler flavors cubes bring, IMO.

I use oak chips on probably half the beers I make. I usually use 1.5oz / 3.3 gallons. So for a 5 gallon batch, 2oz is probably the most I'd go.

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Old 01-27-2011, 01:12 AM   #5
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WOW....just 2oz of Oak? This is surprising as the beers I am referring to age in Oak Barrels....50 gal? Just wondering how and what the difference would be?

Don't get me wrong...I will use the knowledge that I am receiving here on this forum but it just seems like such a minimal dosage of oak to achieve this powerful flavor.

Also...soaking instructions would be gladly appreciated - IE do you soak them for 1 week, 1 day....then do you let them dry for any period of time? Sanitizing?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-27-2011, 01:29 AM   #6
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Soaking the oak on whisky for one week, allows the oak to absorb the liquor and sanitize it to... I dumb the oak and the remaining whiskey into my secondary and rack on top, then secondary for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to bottling. You'd be surprised how much oak flavor 2 oz will add.

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Old 01-27-2011, 01:51 AM   #7
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Nice...thanks guy's for the assistance. Some great beers to come!

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Old 01-27-2011, 01:53 AM   #8
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It's all about the surface area to volume ratio. Think about how big 50 gallons is, and how little of it is touching the sides of the barrel. 2oz of chips in 5 gallons is a lot more oak-touching-beer than 50 gallons in a barrel.

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Old 01-27-2011, 05:41 AM   #9
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/using-jack-daniels-barrel-chips-my-experience-211857/

sorry to point at my own thread but the shoe fits...


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