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Old 11-26-2012, 07:06 AM   #1
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Default Whiskey Barrel flavor without a whiskey barrel?

I will be brewing Midwest's 80 /- kit and would like to add a whiskey barrel flavor. Everything I find online calls for actual whiskey barrel chips, but I don't have this. My plan was to soak oak chips in scotch, but I need a little guidance. How much oak should I use? How long should I soak them and in how much whiskey? Should I add them to the secondary or earlier? How long should I leave it in the secondary after adding the oak? How will the added whiskey change the ABV?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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Look up Denny Conn's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter recipe. I believe he uses adds whiskey and oak chips separately.

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Old 11-26-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
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I soaked 1.5 ounces of medium toast oak cubes in Old Bushmills for 2 weeks prior to adding to secondary. I did not add any of the liquid, just the cubes...I like the way the beer turned out (Old Ale), you know the oak and whiskey is there but it's subtle.

Use 1 to 1.5 ounces of cubes per 5 gallons. I'm not sure about chips, I only use cubes in my wine and beer making.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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I did something similar on my whiskey porter. 1oz of the heavy toasted American oak chips soaked in 250ml whiskey. I let that sit for a week and a half in a mason jar. I added both the chips and the whiskey to the beer and then let that sit for another few weeks. The oak was a little strong at first but it has mellowed nicely after a few months. The whiskey adds a little bump to the ABV but I would not imagine very much. I think the added flavor of the whiskey is great.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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Oak chips and whiskey work will....go with good whiskey that you enjoy...start off with a small amount and taste...if you want more add more...remember you can always can't take out
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:12 AM   #6
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Whiskey is essentially vodka that's been stored in charred oak for long enough to extract vanillin, caramellized sugars and other compounds. Scotch is generally put in barrels that bourbon makers are done with, so it will have smaller amounts of these flavors. If you soak oak in whiskey, you're transferring some of the oakiness from the oak to the whiskey, not the other way around. You can get the flavors you want with whiskey, or from oak cubes or chips available in the wine section of your LHBS or online. Chips work a little faster than cubes, but give a less complex flavor. As far as the time goes, you leave it on the oak until it tastes oaky enough for you.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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I took 2 oak spirals, heavy toast, broke them in half, put them in a pint mason jar, and filled it with Canadian Mist, let it set for a week and topped up the jar, let it sit another week as the beer was finishing, then transferred the beer to a Hoff-Stevens keg, added the spirals and the whiskey, and 2 ounces of hops and sealed the keg. Let it sit in the H-S for ~2 months then transferred it to serving kegs. The whiskey, the oak and the hops were very prominent, and most people enjoy it. I am on the last keg now.

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