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Wood-Aged Beer Oktobourbon

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uwjester

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Location
Fort Collins, CO
Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
Saflager w-34/70
Yeast Starter
No - use 2 packets
Batch Size (Gallons)
5.5
Original Gravity
1.062
Final Gravity
1.011
Boiling Time (Minutes)
90
IBU
24
Color
13.2
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
14 @ 50
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
2 @ 65
Additional Fermentation
3 @ 50
Tasting Notes
Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, and the best of all the beers - Oktoberfest.


Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.78 gal
Estimated OG: 1.065 SG
Estimated Color: 13.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 24.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
6 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 40.00 %
4 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 26.67 %
4 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 26.67 %
1 lbs Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 6.67 %
1.25 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (90 min) Hops 24.0 IBU
1.00 oz Bourbon Soaked Light (Medium) Toast Oak CuMisc
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
2 Pkgs Saflager w-34/70 (Fermentis #w-34-70) Yeast-Lager


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15.00 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 9.50 gal of water at 170.9 F 156.0 F

Mash note: I use a recirculating mash. If you don't do this on your system, 9.5 gallons is way too much strike water. Adjust accordingly.

Tasting Notes:
This beer has a fantastic aroma and flavor. To infuse the bourbon, I soaked the oak cubes in premium bourbon for 1 week. I dumped (drank) the bourbon off the cubes before adding them to the secondary. Doing so keeps the bourbon from overwhelming the beer. The medium toast oak cubes bring a very nice vanilla flavor to the beer that rounds out the bourbon and Oktoberfest very well.
 

bozizle

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Just want to say I brewed this a few weeks ago and tried an early test bottle this weekend... AWESOME! Really a great take on Octoberfest beer the flavor is perfect.
 

BudzAndSudz

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So you say that you add the oak cubes to the secondary fermentor, which according to your recipe means you only leave the oak cubes in for two days? That doesn't seem like nearly enough time to get a well rounded flavor extraction from the wood. Did you perhaps mean to say primary or does the bourbon pretty much do all the flavor extracting so that 2 days is sufficient?

Also, American, French or Hungarian oak?

Thanks!
 
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uwjester

uwjester

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All of the fermentation steps in the recipe are done in the same vessel. I guess I should have elaborated better. The steps are just a diactyl rest. 14 days at 50, 2 days at 65, ramp back to 50, and leave for 2 more days. After the rest is completed, transfer to the secondary vessel with the oak cubes. Since I keg, I use a keg as the secondary vessel and just leave the oak in until I'm done drinking it. Since I use cubes and not chips, I don't get the weird oak break-down flavors some have had.

I use American Oak with a medium toast.
 

BudzAndSudz

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Hmmm. I don't have a keg but I've been trying to talk myself into getting one, this may just do the trick!
If I can't swing the funds for a keg do you forsee any issues with throwing the cubes into the primary fermenter after a week and then leaving them there for another week before bottling? Including the diastyl rest etc.
 
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uwjester

uwjester

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I've never done any oak aging that way. I suppose it would be OK, but you might outgass some of the bourbon aroma that would otherwise be part of the poured beer. Since you are probably going to lager anyway, why not get the oak/bourbon at that time?

I'm guessing your plan is to bottle after fermentation is complete and then lager in the bottle? If that is the case, then it is obviously going to be difficult to oak age during lagering. If I were going that route, I would go with a month or so secondary on the cubes and then bottle. You could always add a neutral yeast to the bottling bucket at the time you bottle to make sure you have enough to bottle carbonate.
 

BudzAndSudz

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That was my plan yes. I was going to brew today and try to oak age in the primary phase but instead I just got out my cheap wallet and bought a kegging setup! I'll be making this the right way. I have a couple friends who absolutely love bourbon as a close second to beer. They're going to lose their minds when I pour them a glass of this :)
 
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uwjester

uwjester

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Awesome. I think you're going to love the kegging setup. Let me know how the beer turns out. I got the urge for one after commenting about it. Turns out it ages well. I popped open one of my last 4 last night.
 

Der_Evan

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Indeed a very good beer! This has been the first beer my friends and family have asked for me to brew again :) A double batch is also in order.
Thank you for a great recipie,

Prost!
 

BudzAndSudz

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I never checked in here to comment, but I think it's worth mentioning that I loved it! In fact, here we are in July and I'm already planning on making another batch or two of this soon so that it can have a month or two of lagering time before October rolls around. This and a couple batches of my Southern Tier Pumpking clone are basically the only thing I plan on drinking between Halloween and Christmas :p
 

jamesrm

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This is one of my all time favorites. I got a bit lazy and left it in the primary (A 23 gallon Conical), on the yeast, for about 4-6 weeks. I just kegged it 4 days ago, put in the wood chips and the liquor that had been soaking, and used a carb cap to force carb a 2 liter, and wow! Its definately one of my favorite brews to date! And considering about 18 gallons went to the kegs, it should be around awhile. I batch sparged using a Brew Magic system and hit the numbers right on. This brew has a amazing head, tastes great, very clean finish with a nice borbony/vanilla tone on the back palate. I used Buffalo Trace, worked out well.
 

rdbrett

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I will be making this soon. Will try and check back and report what my thoughts are.
 
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