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Old 03-04-2009, 10:28 PM   #1
Hilbert
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So I'm thinking of putting Bourbon soaked Oak in the secondary of one of my upcoming beers.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what beer style works best for adding oak? The only two recipes I have found one is a pale ale and one is a stout. Those are the two ends of the spectrum. Both sound tasty so I'm wondering which one I should start with.

Has anyone done this and been successful?
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:37 AM   #2
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I did it with an Oatmeal Stout recipe and it turned out really good, it was my first stout recipe, so that probably could have turned out a little better (too much carb), but I used bourbon soaked heavy toasted American oak. I secondary'd it for 2 weeks or so and it ended up as fairly mild, which I think worked out. Added a little more complexity to the brew.

 
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:54 AM   #3
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Try searching Denny Conn's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. Awesome recipe. I just bottled a 10 gallon batch and soaked 3oz. of medium toast cubes. I soaked them in Makers Mark when I started the batch. I primaried for 3 weeks. The chips soaked up about 400ml in that time. Put them in 5 gallon secondary for 3 weeks. Loved the initial flavor. Really a great recipe. If you are more of a Stout person, try the same in a Stout. Just remember oaking only gets better with time in the bottle.

 
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:58 AM   #4
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Drop down a few entries to the one asking for "your favorite recipe" and it's listed in the first response. How easy is that for getting this recipe. Should tell you this recipe is fantastic!

 
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog House Brew View Post
Try searching Denny Conn's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. Awesome recipe. I just bottled a 10 gallon batch and soaked 3oz. of medium toast cubes. I soaked them in Makers Mark when I started the batch. I primaried for 3 weeks. The chips soaked up about 400ml in that time. Put them in 5 gallon secondary for 3 weeks. Loved the initial flavor. Really a great recipe. If you are more of a Stout person, try the same in a Stout. Just remember oaking only gets better with time in the bottle.
That sounds like a lot going on in a beer but it also sounds tasty. I am a stout person. That was my thought that I would start soaking them when I brew and then when I'm ready for the secondary I would add them.

I'm going to look up that recipe for sure although I may skip the vanilla. I'm not sure if I'm sold on that flavor.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:59 AM   #6
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Imperial Stout. I soak the oak cubes in 2 cups of bourbon for 2 weeks and then added both the cubes and the bourbon to the secondary for 3 weeks.

 
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:40 AM   #7
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My homebrew club - Lehigh Valley Homebrewers - do a Bourbon Barrel brew every year, where everyone who wants in on it brews five gallons of the same recipe. All the beer fills the barrel, which then sits for several months. Then you get your five gallons back.

IIRC, the last one was Scotch Ale, and oh, my friggin' Gawd. It was Teh Best Evar. Just enough oak to let you know it was there, big vanilla flavors, a slight astringency. Dangerously drinkable.

Think about it. Big Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy.

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Old 03-05-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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I used 1oz of fine wood chips (they were almost like dust they were so small) soaked in 3 shots of bourbon. The chips soak up all the bourbon straight away, so I had to add another shot to make a slurry that would pour into my secondary.

I racked onto the chips and left them for a week, along with 1oz of Goldings for a bit of a dry hop. I have just racked the beer off the wood chips because I did not want it to be too overpowering. It is really good, slight oaky nose with a background flavour of oak on the taste, yet all the other flavours still come through. I was surprised that the oak didn't even mask the hop aromas.

I'm going to bulk age it for another two weeks and then bottle.

I brewed an English ale for this, but added extra LME for a boosted ABV which I thought would sit well with the oak. And it does. I also steeped some black malt for a bit of a darker ale which really compliments the oak.

I am very pleased with my results so far, can't wait to taste it when it's bottle conditioned.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:08 PM   #9
Hilbert
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do you guys throw the oak in a muslin bag to be careful not to siphon into the bottling bucket? or is that overkill?
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:14 PM   #10
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No, I use toasted cubes

 
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