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Old 03-23-2008, 03:35 AM   #1
brackbrew
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I heard (or read somewhere once) about using oak chips in the secondary, but steeping them in whiskey first. Sounds pretty good, the guy I brew with wants to try it with half of a double batch we did. How long should we steep it for? I'm assuming you want most of the alcohol gone before you dump it in because of killing the yeast? Should we bring the whiskey (maker's mark) to a boil?

 
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:09 AM   #2
david_the_greek
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sorry I'm of no use for actual information, but I would say send me a sample of that Makers Mark to make sure the flavor profile will be right for your beer.

 
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:13 AM   #3
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For the oak cubes I have heard of soaking them in whiskey for a few days, then burning a few sides of the cubes to caramelize the whiskey and add that charred barrel taste. then adding the cubes back into the whiskey to soak a bit more and toasting them again. then just adding then to the secondary..Just remember, you can always add more cubes and just secondary for longer...its alot harder to get the taste out if you put to much in
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:41 AM   #4
gruntingfrog
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The amount of whisky that makes it into your fermenter won't be enough to hurt the yeast. You won't be dumping all of the whisky in, just the cubes you've soaked in it.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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Try soaking the whiskey into pre-toasted oak cubes for at least a couple weeks and figure on adding a total of 1 - 1 1/2 cups of whiskey to secondary along with the cubes. This should get you in the ballpark and you can adjust accordingly on future batches.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brackbrew
I heard (or read somewhere once) about using oak chips in the secondary, but steeping them in whiskey first. Sounds pretty good, the guy I brew with wants to try it with half of a double batch we did. How long should we steep it for? I'm assuming you want most of the alcohol gone before you dump it in because of killing the yeast? Should we bring the whiskey (maker's mark) to a boil?
You are not going to add enough alcohol to your 5gal batch to hurt the yeast. Even a whole bottle of whiskey would be only a minor increase in ABV of the beer and you would still be well below the tolerance of the yeast. No need to boil the whiskey just dump it in with the chips. The whiskey help to sanitize the chips/cubes before adding them to the beer.
Craig

 
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:04 AM   #7
drsocc
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I am doing this right now. I bought a piece of red oak, cut it into chips and roasted it with a blow torch. I then dumped them in some tupperware and soaked them for 2 weeks and 5 days in Jack Daniels. I dumped the soaked chips as gently as I could into the secondary on the day I racked from the primary. It will sit like that for three weeks - then I'll keg it. I have no idea how it will taste - but thats what I did.

(GET NON PRESSURE TREATED - IF YOU USE PRESSURE TREAT IT WILL TURN YOUR BEER TO POISON AND YOU WILL PROBABLY DIE OR SOMETHING)

 
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drsocc
POISON AND YOU WILL PROBABLY DIE OR SOMETHING)

lol...yes...CANCER
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:09 PM   #9
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I did a Bourbon stout last year. Fermented it for 4 weeks and during that time I had 2oz of oak chips that I burnt with a torch and soaking in bourbon (10 oz) then I racked it to the clearing tank where I added the chips and bourbon. It sat there for 2 months before kegging.
It is strong, very strong. But has got better as the months pass by. When I do this again I will drop to 4 oz of bourbon.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evets
Try soaking the whiskey into pre-toasted oak cubes for at least a couple weeks and figure on adding a total of 1 - 1 1/2 cups of whiskey to secondary along with the cubes. This should get you in the ballpark and you can adjust accordingly on future batches.
We've made two batches of Old Bourbon Barrel ale this way and it worked quite nicely. One batch was made with Woodford Reserve (very good) and one batch with green label Beam's choice (it was what we wanted for a particular party but yeeesh!). Basically you get the essence of the whiskey without the harsh burn and the oak adds that perfect something to the brew.
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