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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Does this sound too ambitious?
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
MisterOJ
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Default Does this sound too ambitious?

I am going to be doing my second brew tomorrow. This will be my first solo brew though as my first batch was done with my brother.

First batch was an extra-hoppy IPA. It was easy, but mistakes were made. I'm going to put that knowledge to good use when bottling brew No. 2 - an ESB.

I haven't decided what brew No. 3 will be yet, maybe a basic porter or a different kind of IPA, BUT....

For my fourth brew, I think I'd really like to attempt a Bourbon Barrel Ale - one where I soak the wood chips in bourbon through the whole primary fermentation, then rack into a carboy and let the chips soak another week or two before adding them... then I'd like to let it sit for months. Maybe even a whole year before bottling.

From what I've read, this can make a really excellent beer. And, I love bourbon and bourbon ales, so that really makes me wanna try this.

But, that's a lot of time to put into a beer for a beginner. If I screw something up, it'll be so long before I find out and I think after waiting that long, it would be terribly disappointing.

So what do y'all think? Should I wait until I get several more successful brews under my belt before tackling the Bourbon Barrel Ale? Or am I just worrying too much about it?

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Old 11-18-2011, 01:35 PM   #2
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It's not that hard to do,but I'd work on getting a sound process down 1st. I did a few brews before I made my Whiskely ale with medium toast French oak chips & Beam's Black.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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RDWHAHB! Whatever it will be, it will be beer. The fact that you are considering a more complex beer is great. I am still a beginner (only two years in) compared to others, but have tried odd, complex and difficult beers. Go for it! Have fun! Get a send fermenting bucket and have a different beer going at the same time in case the Oakes one doesn't quite work out.

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Old 11-18-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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Do it. You could make one every year, and then see how you get better from year-to-year as opposed to batch-to-batch.

I'd go for it. Don't listen to naysayers such as yourself.

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Old 11-18-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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It's not too ambitious. Do it. I would just read up on using oak a little first. There is not much to learn, but the chips are for shorter aging while the cubes would be used for longer aging.

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Old 11-18-2011, 02:34 PM   #6
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It's not that hard. I say do it.

But that is not where you need to focus your attention. The sanitation, yeast pitch rate, and ferment temps are always going to be the core of good brewing. If you have a decent kit or recipe and follow sound methods related to the above, then you will get good beer.

Tossing some oak and bourbon in the secondary is not hard.

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Old 11-18-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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Do it! Part of the adventure to making excellent beer is the constant experimentation and learning along the way. Try new ingredients and techniques. Even if something doesn't go as you planned, learn from it and do it again better next time.

I don't think this is too ambitious at all. When you're drinking this one down the road, you'll probably be surprised at how well it turned out, and start thinking about how to make it even better next time.

Good luck, have fun. Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 11-18-2011, 02:43 PM   #8
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There is so much info on this site that you can learn from other people's experience. Brew what you want - that's why we homebrew!

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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Agreed you should just try it.

... and one thing on your point about waiting a whole year only to have it come out terrible...

There is no law against trying it after a month or two. You don't necessarily have to wait the entire year. Take a small sample after a month or two and see what it tastes like.

The chances are, if it tastes "good"... it'll only taste better with a little more age. If it tastes horrible... you may want to re-think keeping it around for the whole year.

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Brewing View Post
Agreed you should just try it.

... and one thing on your point about waiting a whole year only to have it come out terrible...

There is no law against trying it after a month or two. You don't necessarily have to wait the entire year. Take a small sample after a month or two and see what it tastes like.

The chances are, if it tastes "good"... it'll only taste better with a little more age. If it tastes horrible... you may want to re-think keeping it around for the whole year.
That's great advice. Thanks.

I really should have thought of that myself, but being the noob that I am, for some reason it never occurred to me to just try a sample after a couple months.

And honestly, the bad mistake I made in my first batch was while bottling. If I wait close to a year before bottling it, that'll give me plenty of other batches to perfect that whole process.
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