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Old 02-23-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Bourbon Barrel Effect

Made a Scotch ale this past weekend and want to use about half of it for a bourbon barrel Scotch ale. But I don't have a bourbon barrel, of course (actually I do have a few of them but they are 55 gallons and have been stored outside for years...but I digress) so I need another way to accomplish the same effect.

My idea is to soak some form of oak in bourbon and add that to the secondary. From making wine I have US and Hungarian oak in various forms (sawdust, chips, cubes, staves, spirals) anywhere from untoasted to heavily toasted.

Does anyone have experience with this? The Scotch Ale is pretty big--was shooting for an export but boiled off too much so had an OG of 1.067, so not as big as a Strong Scotch Ale.


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Old 02-23-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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Bourbon is aged in heavy toast American oak


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Old 02-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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You need to soak the wood in bourbon for a couple of weeks, and use a very small amount. I use less than an 1.oz for 15 gallons. It's extremely easy to over do it. Then Taste it: you can always add more but you can't take it away.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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So you soak one ounce of oak in bourbon for two weeks, then add the oak to the secondary (I guess it could be the primary)?
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:39 PM   #5
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I would use a medium to light toast to mimic what you would actually encounter if aging a beer in a whiskey barrel. The bourbon will pull out some of the heavy toast through is aging process.

I used a medium toast on my Oak n Rye Porter adding the 2 oz of Oak and 16 oz of Beam Rye. Initially the oak was overpowering, it has aged nicely now, and get good characteristics from the oak and rye whiskey. Was on the oak n rye for about 2 months in secondary, and now in the bottle since November.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:20 AM   #6
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Default Oak Barrel

Hi
I have a batch of Barley Wine in a secondary and just got a 5 gallon toasted Oak Barrel and want to age the Barley wine in it. Does anyone have any suggestions on exactly how I should do it...how long , etc...Or does anyone have an instructional referecne they can point me to. Thanks
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:26 AM   #7
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1. keep in mind that there is a big difference between Oak cubes and chips. Chips impart the oak flavor much faster.

2. For 5 gallons you can try 1 ounce of oak cubes, though 1.5 to 2 ounces is more common

3. How long will you let the oak sit in the secondary. You can get all sorts of opinions here. For 2 ounces of oak cubes, I plan on 4 weeks
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:06 PM   #8
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Lot of good answers here. Remember surface area of oak = flavor. More surface area, more flavor... I think. Anyways, you can buy oak cubes by the ounce from northernbrewer or midwest or whereever. Then stick em in a jar with some burboun for 3-5 weeks. Then toss that (include the bourbon too if you want a stronger bourbon flavor) in the secondary with the beer and let age for however long you want. I am doing one right now. Oak cubes were soaked for 4 weeks and then in the beer for 6 months! WOOO!
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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I have a 5 gallon batch of robust porter in the secondary for about two weeks now. I soaked 4 oz of light oak chips in 7.5 oz of Beam Black Label for a week and a half. Think I'm bottling this weekend and then bottle condition for 3-4 weeks.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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Just as a bit of an update, my Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale turned out really great. I used 50 grams of medium toast Hungarian oak in a small baby food jar of bourbon for 2.5 gallons. I ended up dumping the whole works into the secondary. Just dumb luck, but was really happy with the results. Won me a couple of medals in good competitions.


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