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Old 02-03-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default Bourbon barrel porter question

I just received this kit from northern brewer and my question is that it asks you to rack to a secondary let it sit for 1-2 weeks then add oak chips soaked in bourbon. Now I was all set to do this and it would require me to buy another carboy but I was thinking can I just add the oak chips and bourbon to the primary at say 2 weeks and just let them sit in there for another 2 weeks and bottle at 4 or 5 weeks? Or does it really need all that time in the secondary with the bourbon soaked oak chips? I was just trying to save some money but only if it isn't going to ruin the beer.

Here is a link to the recipe.

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Old 02-03-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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You can launch the chips right into primary and just hold to the same time lines as given in the recipe. The secondary is primarily for clarity and quite a few people are arguing against its use these days. I understand their arguments but still choose to use a secondary mostly out of habit.. For what it is worth, I would suggest sampling the beer after the oak cubes have been in there for about a week. Oak can be strong ju-ju, but at 2 ounces you will probably be ok.

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Old 02-03-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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so let it just sit in the primary for 6-7 weeks?

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Old 02-03-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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Well the recipe calls for 1-2 primary and 2-3 secondary (pretty standard) so your total in "primary" will be 3-5 weeks if you hold to the recipe. Personally, I wouldn't let the oak chips sit for longer than 2 weeks so I would handle it as such:

Either wait for the airlock to become nearly motionless, or use a SG reading to determine the end of "primary" fermentation. At this time add the oak chips and let it rest for 2 weeks after that. This will be your "secondary." I think you should be fine with that. If you want to stretch it out to 6+ weeks. That is fine, but I wouldn't add the oak until the last 2.

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Old 02-04-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
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ok thanks for input

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Old 02-04-2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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you're welcome, good luck!

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