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Old 01-07-2012, 01:48 AM   #1
djbradle
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Default Northern Brewer Bourbon Barrel Porter

I put this in the primary at 58 degrees ambient in the basement on Jan. 2nd and hit the OG of 1.065. I just took a reading this morning and it's now at 1.024 with active ferm still going on. I gave it a swirl and placed it to a warmer spot at the basement stairs at around 68 degrees which is on the upper level for this Scottish ale yeast. Temps are supposed to be between 55 and 70 degrees for this strain. Any objections to this move? Bubbling had slowed to ever 5-10 seconds at this point. The sample tasted great! What were everybody else's FG's that have brewed this kit? If I can get this into the teens I'll be pleased. I have two vanilla beans sliced and opened sitting in 20 oz of bourbon with the 2 oz of toasted oak cubes going for 1.5 weeks now. This is an extract kit btw, my second batch ever. It's level at the 5 gallon mark on the bucket which was better than my number 8 at about 4.5 gallons when moved to secondary, basically from poor water measurement in the primary pour. I didn't do a full boil with this bbp.

Before I add this bourbon/vanilla bean(2)/ oak cube mixture are there any thoughts out there as to the best way to do it?

I was thinking of adding the full 20 oz because I typically like stronger flavored beers. I had placed the vanilla beans in the jar about 4 days ago. The oak cubes have been in there for almost 2 weeks. I used a cheap bourbon, Old Crow reserve.

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:57 AM   #2
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I tapped mine in December and absolutely love this beer. I soaked the oak cubes in a measuring cup so it was an easy pour into the better bottle, then racked off of'em at whatever the prescribed time was (sorry nowhere near my notes right now). I added a little more maker's than the high end of what they suggest and will add more next time.

I'm thinking of splitting the next batch with either vanilla or pepper so if you remember when the time comes, please let us all know what you think of the finished product.

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Old 01-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #3
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I just removed the oak cubes from the bourbon mixture. Reason? I took some deep whiffs of the bourbon mixture and just did not like the strong charred oak flavor (I'm not a bourbon guy). I transferred the vanilla beans and all liquid contents into a sanitized 1 liter flask. I filled the mason jar with about 1 oz of filtered water and swirled to obtain all the vanilla bits in the bottom and added that too. I prefer vanilla and bourbon notes much more than oak. We'll see how this fits the bill for flavor. The oak cubes really imparted strong oak tones to the bourbon which imho will do the job of getting the oak nuances in the secondary.

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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Welcome to brewing! For a second batch, you appear very educated on the topic. You gave great information to help anyone that comes to answer your questions.

I do this with my batches. Since they can generate pretty good heat when the fermentation is vigorous, I keep it in a cooler part of the basement, and move it warmer near the end. Some yeasts seem to benefit from a little swirl (not enough to aerate) to rouse it and get it working again.

To keep my atta boy in tact, make sure to let us know how this comes out. This sounds like a beer I would like to try.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the compliment lou2row I'll have to live up to your praise!

After much reading on this forum and having Palmer's book, I feel that I have a fairly solid beginners stance.

Now we stand at the 8th day in primary and I sanitized my beer thief and hands and the bung once it was removed to check another reading. Before I pulled it I did spray the top of the bucket with star-san mixture and let it sit for a minute. It now has a gravity of 1.018 down from 1.065 putting her at 6.17% abv according to brewersfriend.com abv calculator.

This sample is cloudy of course but tastes very good! Very similar to the Pro-Am porter from Wormtown brewery that I had a few weeks ago(liked that one alot). It definitely exhibits the chocolatety and roasty caramel malts with perfect hop balance (not a hophead). Pretty decent thick mouthfeel which I hope will stay that way through secondary and bottling. The color is a bit lighter than other porters I've had commercially.

Maybe another swirl? I think I'll put her in the secondary on the bourbon next Monday for a full two weeks. It's possible it might drop a bit more but I doubt it considering the abv already. I've used no clarifiers in the boil for these two batches but then again I'm not so interested in clarity though that may change when I actually hold up a glass of the proper "seasoning". Got some whirflock tabs for the next two, a nut brown ale, and a chimay blue clone.

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Old 01-13-2012, 04:51 AM   #6
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Well it's racked to secondary now. Number 8 on the left and the porter on the right.

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Old 01-13-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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Forgive the picture quality from this iPod 4th gen. For some reason it takes horrendous pics in low light.

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Old 01-22-2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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I started this kit a week ago, I was putting it in promash to have notes, and when googling for a .rec file, I found that this recipe looks like it used to have 13lb Marris Otter, not the 9.5 now listed.. anyone know when this happened or the story behind it?

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Old 01-23-2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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Good question why but I couldn't tell ya. This is the extract kit I'm doing; is that what your doing as well?

In anycase I took another hydrometer reading on the 21st and still am sitting at 1.018. The flavor has changed to quite oakey bourbon-like now so I will bottle tomorrow if I get a chance. Can't really get the vanilla right now but my taste is very rudimentary and unrefined.

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Old 01-23-2012, 02:57 PM   #10
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Oh, left out that bit, I am doing the all-grain (there is no Marris Otter in the extract version)

I found that the old recipe had 1.076/1.090 for pre/post boil gravities for the all-grain version, while the extract version had 1.062/1.072..

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