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Old 01-11-2010, 12:51 AM   #1
wood173
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Default Bourbon in my beer?

I just finished brewing a bourbon barrell ale and I have the oak cubes soaking in some Maker's Mark. I looked around the forums and saw that some people weight their cubes in a bag and some just float them in the secondary. I also found that some people only put in the oak and others dump the bourbon in too. I would like to see what the consensus is.

Am I better off weighting down the oak chips or floating them, and should the bourbon go in too?

It is going to age for about a year, so smoothness should not be an issue.


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Old 01-11-2010, 02:30 AM   #2
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when i made mine i put the chips in a glass and filled it with bourbon and let it sit for a few days. then i dumped them both into the secondary. this method allows you to sanitize the chips and presoak the wood so it wont float(as much).



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Old 01-11-2010, 02:31 AM   #3
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I've never weighed them down and my bourbon beers always come out great.

I also don't like to pour the bourbon directly into the beer. I usually soak the oak chips in bourbon for 2 weeks and then drain the whisky back into the bottle. I then dry the chips and dump them into the beer. I alway have great whiskey flavor, but not over the top. My oak flavor gets a lot better as I progress while using the same whiskey over and over.

Unless you REALLY love bourbon, I don't suggest pouring it in. Everytime I've had a brew when this is done, it's way too much.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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Depends on how much you like MakersMark. In a 5.5 gal batch of vanilla bourbon porter that i aged 6 months before drinking i put about 2 cups of makers and 4 vanilla beans.

I think its just about perfect. Subtle vanilla aroma, and a good bourbon bite(?) in the finish. My SWMBO says it's too much bourbon. Some folks who've never had it would say that 4 vanilla beans is an insanely overpowering quantity.

Bottom line, it's your beer, you can taste samples and adjust as you go to get what you want!!
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt415 View Post
when i made mine i put the chips in a glass and filled it with bourbon and let it sit for a few days. then i dumped them both into the secondary. this method allows you to sanitize the chips and presoak the wood so it wont float(as much).
This is what I did too. I used a pint of Makers. After 6 weeks in secondary, I still have a strong oak flavor but hardly any noticeable bourbon. Next time I do this I will use only 1 oz of medium toast American cubes and 1 quart of bourbon.

But I really, really like bourbon.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:25 PM   #6
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I really like bourbon as well. Probably too much. So I will more than likely dump it all in. I am only using about a pint too, so now I am wondering if I should add a bit more. I suppose I can taste it after a few months in the secondary and add a bit more before bottling.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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So if I wanted a bourbon taste, but not too overwhelming, would it be a good idea to soak for a week or so, then instead of drying them I' would just put them in the carboy wet?
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:27 PM   #8
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I actually used some brandy to soak some chips in one brew and turned out nice and mellow....
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:37 AM   #9
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I made a porter with jack daniels and oak chips. dumped it all in. once it aged a bit, absolutely perfect.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoodbrews View Post
I made a porter with jack daniels and oak chips. dumped it all in. once it aged a bit, absolutely perfect.
What quantities of oak chips and jack did you put in?


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