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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Bourbon Flavor without Distilling?
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #1
bellmtbbq
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Default Bourbon Flavor without Distilling?

Hey y'all,

I'd love to try an experiment to make a drink (I guess an unhopped barleywine) that had a bourbon (corn + little 6 row) flavor without distilling. Basically a drink around 10-15% ABV that didn't have a "hot" alcohol flavor, much smoother.

I was thinking, since you're not distilling and removing some of that strong malt flavor, to use a bit of sugar to mild the flavor out, maybe like 50% sugar, 33% cracked corn, and the remainder 6 row barely. Age it for a few months or a year on a lot of oak.

Anyone have any ideas on it? A bit strange but I'd love to get a bourbon type drink without breakin' the law.


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Old 09-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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Buy bourbon?


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Old 09-30-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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Nah it's the same as brewing your own beer. The enjoyement
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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50% simple sugars?
theres a very fine line between brewing and distilling IMO
brew a nice big BW and oak with bourbon soaked chips in secondary for a couple months if your going for a "Bourbon" flavor

What your describing...at least what it looks like...is a "barleywine" spiced bourbon. and like i mentioned distilling is illegal and NOT mentioned on this forum. Stick to brewing big beers with barley malt and not fermenting out liquors...
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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I never mentioned distillin', I said I don't want to. I'm saying I'm aiming for the flavor, and the fact is bourbon is mostly corn. Same as using adjuncts in a lite lager or such. I'm aiming for a beer, or a malt based beverage with that flavor.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:09 PM   #6
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Bourbon may be fermented and distilled from corn but what gives it its flavor is the charing and high ABV into the barrel. Like i said you can achieve this by soaking oak chips in your bourbon of choice and "dry hopping" in secondary on a large barleywine of your choice.

Stick to "brewing" beer, i dont think i would use lite lagers as a style to compare to the "flavor" of bourbon. you are looking for flavor like you said, correct?

EDIT: i see when you were recommended to buy your own bourbon you stated you rather "brew" your own its the "excitement" your almost reaching that fine line i was talking about and we DONT talk about distilling on this forum. Try it on your own and dont mention it. it IS illegal afterall...

...good job editing that post to be more specific...
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:53 PM   #7
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see if any of the regional distilleries are willing to sell you a used barrel, and ferment in that
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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You have to use charred oak then, that's where most of the unique flavor comes from. It takes years (YEARS) for the bourbon to extract the flavor from the barrels.

I don't think it's possible without using actual bourbon in your beer.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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As mentioned the majority of the flavor comes from the oak barrel but I think I can help here...

Forget about corn.

For your base grain us Golden Promise. It gets "scotch" like flavors when used as a base grain in high ABV brews.

I would then bulk age it on oak chips. THEN After it had a small oakiness to it, I would freeze concentrate it. This should take into the 25%-30% ABV range. I would steer you to the Utopias clone threads because it is close to what you are wanting.


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