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Old 12-23-2010, 03:58 AM   #1
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Default Bourbon oak chip aging help

So what do you think? This is my first time adding espresso or oak chips. I brewed a 5 gallon batch of yeti clone from AHS. I got experimental and added 3 shots of espresso at 5 min to flameout (because yeti does have an espresso oak aged yeti). Smells and tastes amazing! I hit the 1.090 that the kit aims for. I have 4 oz of light toasted american oak chips, i tossed about an oz out and have 3 oz soaking in jim beam bourbon. I am wondering how to add these... I may only add maybe 1-1.5 oz as I hear they impart ALOT of oak and too much is a BAD idea. I will probably wait for the secondary before tossing the chips in for maybe 7-10 days? Then I will bottle. I dont wanna ruin this because its so promising so far. Anyone have ANYTHING to add? Thanks!

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:47 AM   #2
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I would suggest sampling the brew starting after only a day or two. Far better to take more samples and catch it when the flavor profile is on target, then to let it go too far and have to try and compensate. That being said, I would go a little higher in flavor than you ultimately want, and then [bulk] age off of the chips for another couple of weeks before bottling. That way, if it mellows too much, you can compensate by adding a little more chips...

Personally, I'd go for a medium toast chip/cube over a light toast...

Something else you might want to think about is also aging over a split and scraped vanilla bean (after the oak)... When you age over a vanilla bean, you won't really get any vanilla flavor from it. From my understanding (will be finding out first hand soon) a single vanilla bean will enhance other flavors already present. Of course, adding more beans will add more vanilla flavor to the brew (better to add just one if you want to enhance, a few if you want vanilla flavors).

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Old 12-24-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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Hmm I heard of the vanilla beans but once I had a beer with vanilla that I hated. But i see what youre saying if it enhances other notes. Ill have to pick one up... regular grocery store? Split it and scrape outter layer off im guessing? then toss in 2ndary after oak is out?

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Old 12-24-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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I would get them from either a good store online, or a place with a good turnover rate. I doubt that will be your typical grocery store. I bought 7 beans via Amazon.com for under $8, that actually shipped from a place not far from where I live. I picked up the Premium Bourbon (Madagascar) beans, but you can get whichever has the characteristics you want. If you're unsure, you can sometimes find sampler packs that have a couple of a few different types, so you can 'sample' them...

I would do in secondary, after you pull the oak chips. I would also give the brew at least some time between adding flavor elements so that it has time to fully integrate them (just my thoughts there)... For either item, I would start sampling within a couple of days of adding. Sooner if you add more than the recommended amount per the volume of brew you're adding them into... You might want to pick up a couple different toast level of chips, so that you have more flexibility there too...

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Old 12-27-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Ahh. yeah no oak chips in yet, was going to rack to 2ndary on top of oak chips with vanilla bean, but should i do chips first then vanilla bean after i pull oak chips then?

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Old 12-27-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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I'd strain off the bourbon, and even dry the chips in the oven before adding to the beer or you'll end up with a strong bourbon flavor that takes a long time to mellow out.

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Old 12-28-2010, 03:22 PM   #7
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Really? I was considering dumping the bourbon straight into the 2ndary per a few people on here. They said maybe an oz per gallon of bourbon. Now im scared to add it if the chips will give it too much flavor... the point was to bring a bourbon flavor to the stout. Some say a pint wouldnt be too much to add to 5 gals.

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Old 12-28-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau815 View Post
Really? I was considering dumping the bourbon straight into the 2ndary per a few people on here. They said maybe an oz per gallon of bourbon. Now im scared to add it if the chips will give it too much flavor... the point was to bring a bourbon flavor to the stout. Some say a pint wouldnt be too much to add to 5 gals.
It's easier to add more of something later than to age out a flavor that you added too much of. So, start off smaller/less for the bourbon soaked chips and give them a good week or two before deciding to add more.

Taste test often when adding strong flavor elements that you're aging over.

For the amount of bourbon to soak the chips in, use the minimum needed to actually get them to soak it in. Let them soak for a spell (depending on the chips, it could take a little while to get a full soak/infusion).

I'm about to start soaking vanilla beans in bourbon that will be added to a porter. I plan to use just enough to coat the beans, and pour everything in... I'm on the fence about splitting and scraping the beans before soaking them, or doing it after. Plan to ask the guys at the LHBS that today when I go there.
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
I'm about to start soaking vanilla beans in bourbon that will be added to a porter. I plan to use just enough to coat the beans, and pour everything in... I'm on the fence about splitting and scraping the beans before soaking them, or doing it after. Plan to ask the guys at the LHBS that today when I go there.
I split and halved my vanilla bean before adding to rum for a week for a porter infusion. It worked amazingly well! I used captain morgan's private stock and achieved a near perfect background vanilla flavor.
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:17 PM   #10
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I split and halved my vanilla bean before adding to rum for a week for a porter infusion. It worked amazingly well! I used captain morgan's private stock and achieved a near perfect background vanilla flavor.
Good to hear... I have enough bourbon to use, or I could use brandy... On the fence about which to use in the porter... The base brew is a honey porter (first time I made it, it came out really good, adding the vanilla to this one). I'm also on the fence about using one or two beans... I'll probably start with one, then taste it after a week. If good, then let it go another week. If still on target, let it go a few more days and decide...

One thing I've read about aging elements is they can diminish over time. So, you basically want more than your target when you think it's done, so that later it will be where you want it to be.

How long did you age over the vanilla bean??
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