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Old 05-26-2009, 04:25 PM   #1
SnickASaurusRex
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Default Whisky/Bourbon/Scotch

Whisky/Bourbon/Scotch

Well My father has been into home distilling (alternative fuel sources) for a while now. Itís funny how all his fuel sets in oak for a few years and then comes out tasting like Knob Creek. I didnít know I could run my car on that stuff.

I have been playing with the idea of an American bourbon inspired ale, and I think it is time to bring this to fruition. What I am after is a beer that is in the spirit of bourbon, but not a literal translation. I donít think I want any corn in my mash, nor a sour mash. I also do not want to use 6-row, except for maybe a pound of it for symbolic purposes.

I was thinking of something similar to Scotch ale, just lighter in color and body. Maybe 2-row, with .25# C120L for a touch of caramel and color, some carapils for body and possibly a sprinkling of chocolate malt. What about a bready/malty component? Maybe some biscuit or victoryÖ I donít know about this? I thought about mashing a little high, but I donít really know what temp, 158F?

For the hops I thought I would use something very neutral for bettering like magnum, and something earthy and spicy. On hand I have Magnum, Saaz, and Tradition. I donít have any American hops that fit that profile, but I am open to suggestions.

I thought about using distillers yeast, but I want to keep my flavors in prospective. I was thinking something estery like an English strain, or smoky and subtle like a Scotchish ale strain.

Finally I wanted to age this beer out on some oak and dry hop just before bottling with the spicy earthy hop from the recipe. I know spirits arenít hopped, but this is a beer after all.


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Old 05-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
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It sounds like it would be a good beer, but it doesn't sound at all American or bourbon-esque to me.

If I were going for an "American ale," I'd go for 100% American grain and probably a popular US hop variety. Cascade is pretty played out, but Amarillo is excellent. You can even find whole-leaf Amarillo pretty cheap from most places and it's got a very nice, citrusy flavor. Barrel aging (or bourbon-infused cubes or chips) is a must.

If it were me, I'd shoot for a more medium body at around the 6-6.5%ABV range and a medium amber color. Keep the carmel & crystal malt but skip the chocolate and other dark grains. You'll get a good grassy amber just from the base 2-row so for a 5 gal. batch, maybe 1/2 lb. each of crystal 40* and carapils. Remember that you're going to pick up some color from the oak and you want to be able to show that off.

I'd pick a more neutral yeast, WYeast 1007 would be my pick based on experience. It'll do well even if you decide to boost the gravity up to the 1.08's and beyond (which I think would require too much aging to show off the complexity of the oak and bourbon very well).


I'd mash pretty high, too, around the 154*F range for the sacc rest. You want that body and sweetness to counterbalnce what should be at least 40 IBUs of hops.

But that's just my take on the idea.


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Old 05-26-2009, 06:08 PM   #3
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Hummm That does a complete 180 from what I was thinking. I do have a lot of amarillo on hand, about a pound of the stuff. I would like to stay away from the citrus and and stick with spicy and earthy, maybe resin, but I don't know of any Americans that aren't a kick to the face.

The 1/2# C40L and 1/2# pils is a good idea. I don't want a vary strong caramel flavor.

I also think 154F is a much better temp, especially if I am going to be above 6%.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:34 PM   #4
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Any other recommend-ments or suggestions? I sorta don't know where to take this one.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:48 PM   #5
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If you can find small quantities of some sort of smoked malt, that might be nice to give a bit of a smoky flavor to your brew to build on top of the oak. Williamette hops might do what you're looking for, and will impart a bit of a grassy flavor, which would be nice in a brew that style, I'd bet.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:14 PM   #6
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Oh that sounds good. I might have to put in an order for some rauchmalt and williamette.


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