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Old 10-22-2009, 04:10 AM   #1
martinirish
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Default Blending beer and spirits (or wine)

Hi guys,

First of all, I'm not talking about wood aging with oak chips soaked in bourbon or wine or anything else, but about directly pouring spirits in.

I've seen a couple of recipes (mostly porters and stouts) in which bourbon/whisky is added. I brewed an Irish coffee imperial stout myself (Jameson whiskey, lactose and coffee) which is very tasty.

I'm wondering, have you ever blended spirits other than whisky/bourbon with your beer? and how was it?

And what about wine? Blending a little bit of sherry with an old ale or oud bruin or somekind of weird funky belgian quad or stout? It could add some nice fruity complexity (dark fruits), and some oxidation notes?

What do you think about that?


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Old 10-22-2009, 05:33 AM   #2
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I actually have an English Mild right now that I screwed up the water chem on and it came out ubber bitter. I dumped a 375ml bottle of grape spirits infused raspberry liqueur or sorts. I love it...others...well....


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Old 10-22-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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I've thought a few time about making a malt based beverage similar to port. Its my understanding that they fortify fermenting wine with neutral spirits. The alcohol boost stops fermentation and leaves a little residual sweetness.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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I would like the recipe for the Irish Coffee Imperial!
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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I've seen it done, and I've done it, and it can be very nice. However, that's a rare thing. The sherry or whiskey in the right beer can work.

Honestly, the best fermented, undistilled beverage I've seen for mixing that way is mead.


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Old 10-22-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
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The only concern I have about blending beer / wine / spirits is the yeast. increased alcohol may kill the yeast and prevent carbonation which isnt a concern if youre kegging also some spirits have added sugar with can restart fermentation, adding wine to beer could introduce wine yeast which may dry out the beer too much and in the case of sherry oxidize the beer.
I tried blending a dark rum with an imp IPA it was nice but a little too sweet (caramel) I might reduce the rum and add whiskey as well for more of an oaky flavor.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godofcheese View Post
I would like the recipe for the Irish Coffee Imperial!
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/iris...-stout-143857/
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:05 AM   #8
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I have an entire book on beer-based beverages, but it's all by-the-drink.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinirish View Post
And what about wine? Blending a little bit of sherry with an old ale or oud bruin or somekind of weird funky belgian quad or stout? It could add some nice fruity complexity (dark fruits), and some oxidation notes?

What do you think about that?
I've been brewing an Amber recipe forever that I've been tweaking for years. I decided at some point that wanted to add more of a wine-like complexity, aroma and character to it. I've tried just adding wine to it and never got great results. It tasted very much like beer mixed with wine and just didn't blend cohesively.

What I found works best is adding unfermented wine concentrate (probably sold anywhere you buy your homebrew ingredients).

I brew a batch of Amber, like normal, toss it into primary and pitch the yeast. After the real vigorous fermentation subsides, I pop the top and add about a pint of the wine concentrate. You'll notice fermentation will pick up pretty vigorously again for another day. After that, you just treat it like normal beer.

The finished product of the beer still tastes like Amber, but has a nice added complexity and wine character that you get more on the nose than on the palate. It just blends together more cohesively than if you add a finished wine to unfinished beer.

But, that's just from my experience. I'm sure there are others who have other techniques.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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Another local homebrewer once mentioned that a spirit like whiskey can be used as a priming sugar due to a lot of residual fermentables in it. I didn't buy into it. Can anyone confirm / deny?


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