Im prepping to start my second homebrew, and am planning on doing the Austin Homebrew Oaked Imperial Whiskey Stout and I have a couple of questions before I begin. I will be doing this kit as a mini mash and will use DME.
First off, AHS suggests to double pitch the wort because of the high OG (O.G. = 1.087). I ordered two vials of WLP004 Irish ale yeast and can't decided whether I should use them both or make a starter with just one and save the other. I plan on leaving it in the primary for 2-3 weeks and then keeping it in the secondary for 2-3 months, does that sound like a reasonable amount of time... more? less?...
Since the beer will be in the secondary for two to three months I was curious if I will need to add more yeast before I bottle... (not sure if that is a dumb question but I feel like a lot of the yeast will die/go dormant after the long period.)
Once in the secondary I plan on adding 2.5 oz of oak chips that had been soaked in one cup of makers mark for a week. however, I'm not sure of when the best time to add this is. From other threads I was planning on doing it around 1-1.5 weeks prior to bottling, also should I put that cup of makers mark into the secondary or just the chips? Any suggestions (I'm a big fan of bourbon flavor in beers so im not afraid of a strong flavor)? I was also thinking about adding one vanilla bean...
Finally, do you guys have any suggestions for me on this brew? It is only my second hombrew (first was a baltic porter) and I already have high hopes for this one. Im planning on brewing it now so that I can bottle it and let it age over the summer and enjoy it next Thanksgiving!!!
Anyways thanks for all of your input and look forward to hearing back from you!