Wood-Aged Beer Pirate Strong Ale

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cmac62

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This sounds like it would be a great winter warmer/holiday brew. I'm subbed and I'll contemplate brewing someday, along with all the other great recipes on here. :bigmug:
 

Knightshade

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I have tried subbing out the CaraAroma and will avoid that as much as possible from ever doing again. My LHBS also doesn't carry so i order from Adventures In Homebrewing. It surprises me how much of a difference that grain makes. Also as J1 stated, dark and light brown don't seem to have an impact as i have used both based on what I had on hand.
Hmmm...I just placed a fairly large order with AIH (2 5G kegs and some other oddities) as I’m still rounding out my kit having started brewing just this past year...dang it. I’ve got..I think two other LHBSs that I haven’t tried yet. Perhaps a small adventure is in order.

As far as the brown sugar goes, I’ve got a good amount, but it was bought from a local bakery distributor who starting splitting supplies into smaller batches to sell to the public in order to survive. So..plastic bag..definitely brown sugar. That’s about as far as it goes. Good info though, glad it isn’t too impactful 👍
That...is freekin awesome.
 

chrisbrew

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I recently picked up a small barrel from a local distillery that was freshly dumped of rum so figured I'd brew up a batch of this and then transfer over to the barrel. I had to make a few substitutions along the way but happy with the results so far. The beer finished at about 8.8% abv and I just moved it into the barrel today.

Thanks for sharing the recipe, I'm excited for the final product!
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pwortiz

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I recently picked up a small barrel from a local distillery that was freshly dumped of rum so figured I'd brew up a batch of this and then transfer over to the barrel. I had to make a few substitutions along the way but happy with the results so far. The beer finished at about 8.8% abv and I just moved it into the barrel today.

Thanks for sharing the recipe, I'm excited for the final product!
View attachment 699911
This is awesome. I am looking forward to hearing about how it tastes!
 
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j1laskey

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I recently picked up a small barrel from a local distillery that was freshly dumped of rum so figured I'd brew up a batch of this and then transfer over to the barrel. I had to make a few substitutions along the way but happy with the results so far. The beer finished at about 8.8% abv and I just moved it into the barrel today.

Thanks for sharing the recipe, I'm excited for the final product!
View attachment 699911
Awesome!!!!!......just seeing this now....keep us posted how it turns out!!!!
 

chrisbrew

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Awesome!!!!!......just seeing this now....keep us posted how it turns out!!!!
I pulled it from the barrel last Sunday which was earlier than I was planning but the sample had already picked up very strong rum flavors and I didn't want it to get over the top. I am letting the beer condition with some vanilla for a bit which I'm hoping will smooth out the rum flavor. I'll report back when I finally get this tapped but from the samples I have high expectations!
 

Knightshade

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I finally bit the bullet and ordered a mill, and ordered some CaraAroma while I was at it. None of my local shops carry it...

Was there a water profile mentioned in this thread that I may have missed? I did run a search for 'water profile' but nothing came up.
 
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j1laskey

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When I first started brewing this I used “spring water” gallon jugs from the grocery store.

As of late I’ve started to use DO water and adjust to what style I am brewing.

My last batch of Pirate that is on tap now was brewed with straight DO water.

Let us know what you decide to do!?

Cheers!
 

Knightshade

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Water adjustments are probably the single most confusing part of the "basic" brewing process for me right now. I use brewer's friend and just kinda guess from a baseline of RO water.
 

Knightshade

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I brewed this over the weekend...we'll see how it turns out. I ended up using Cluster vs. Galena, total inventory brain fart on my part. I thought I had Galena already...and didn't. So that was adjustment #1..

And now..I haven't started aging the oak chips yet...because I honestly think I might have screwed up and forgotten to cycle wort through my whirlpool arm when I put the IC to sanitize during the boil. Assuming....that I didn't screw it up, I'm thinking I'll probably do a mashup of Zaya which has a high level of sweet caramel and vanilla character, and Mt Gay Black Barrel which has a robust wood aged character to it.

Ferment took off like a rocket with US-05, and looks super healthy so far. Wort is turbid, as the yeast is definitely having a party.

IMG_82C7226AAE2A-1.jpeg
 

Auger

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Almost 8 gal at 1.061 into the kettle...right on target. I think I'm going to call it "Tropical Shipwreck". LHBS was out of citra so subbing in an oz each of cascade and motueka. Also holding the pineapple over to the secondary.

View attachment 687904
Wow this was a while ago. Been pulling on this keg for a while now, but it's really come around the last few weeks. It ended up around 9%, the kveiking yeast was a beast. Not a ton of yeast character even after fermenting hot and fast, but definitely on the boozy side. It's mellowed out some now and the oak and booze lets the vanilla and pineapple come through now. One and done though, drinking this stuff.
 
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j1laskey

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Wow this was a while ago. Been pulling on this keg for a while now, but it's really come around the last few weeks. It ended up around 9%, the kveiking yeast was a beast. Not a ton of yeast character even after fermenting hot and fast, but definitely on the boozy side. It's mellowed out some now and the oak and booze lets the vanilla and pineapple come through now. One and done though, drinking this stuff.
Yep....10oz pours!
 

Knightshade

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So I checked fermentation yesterday and I was at 1.008, which is 88% attenuation so I figured the hell with it. Keg it.

I had just finished kegging an IPA, so I was already in that mode anyways.

847FD073-0950-45BF-B49C-A252F0A6D4B1.jpeg


It hadn’t soured and was really clear on top while in the fermenter. This alleviated my fear that I may have contaminated it almost 100%? I still can’t shake my feeling about the whirlpool, but maybe that’s just paranoia. It’s a step I most certainly won’t possibly miss again and that’s good.

My rum has only been soaking for 6 days now. So I racked into a keg that has a shortened dip tube and it is “crashing” in the kegerator.
  • Plan is to add a hop cage with the chips this upcoming weekend while pushing CO2 into the keg.
  • Purge a couple times
  • Let the cage sit in keg for 2 weeks
  • Pull cage while pushing CO2
  • Start carbonating (set and forget)

  • Suggestions or good (decent) plan?
 

Knightshade

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Thanks..I've actually read through that thread before. I like a fairly recent piece of advice in there though. Pick one expert, and follow their advice. Ingesting multiple sources, to include the interweb is going to drive you crazy.

I use brewer's friend, so the math is already done for me. Where I think I'm lacking is the lack of a guide into what is recommended for a particular style. I won't, or just don't want to fall into the trap of trying to emulate a specific city's profile. All I'd really like is....maybe the recommended numbers for recommended BJCP styles. Maybe I just need to find different software.

Also just stumbled on what looks like a fairly good read, on HBT of course. Which I feel like I've also found before..but didn't understand WTH I was looking at, at that time...

 

cmac62

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Thanks..I've actually read through that thread before. I like a fairly recent piece of advice in there though. Pick one expert, and follow their advice. Ingesting multiple sources, to include the interweb is going to drive you crazy.

I use brewer's friend, so the math is already done for me. Where I think I'm lacking is the lack of a guide into what is recommended for a particular style. I won't, or just don't want to fall into the trap of trying to emulate a specific city's profile. All I'd really like is....maybe the recommended numbers for recommended BJCP styles. Maybe I just need to find different software.

Also just stumbled on what looks like a fairly good read, on HBT of course. Which I feel like I've also found before..but didn't understand WTH I was looking at, at that time...

I like AJ's simple idea of a tsp of both CA Cloride and one of Gypsum for a balanced beer and add more of either based on hop/malt profile of the beer. For me that makes it simple. I'm looking to brew a xmas beer based on SA's Old Fezziwig Ale and I'll use just a little more CACL that gypsum and that will help bring out the malt. :mug:
 

chrisbrew

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Here's an update on my batch now that is been keg conditioning for a little over a month.

I was relieved that the rum was not as potent once I got it transferred to the keg. It has really melded together to form a great balance with the pineapple, a few weeks really did help out. I ended up going with about 1lb fresh cubed pineapple and I enjoy it but for anyone who doesn't like pineapple they wouldn't like my version. Vanilla and cinnamon are there but faint, slightly stronger as it warms.

Overall, it has been a hit with everyone that has tried it and I will be brewing it again. Thank you @j1laskey for sharing the recipe!
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Knightshade

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I threw 3oz of oak chips into a wide mouth mason jar with a cut and split vanilla bean. Covered it all to almost the rim with Zaya rum and let us soak for two weeks.

Zaya already has a fairly sweet vanilla character to it already. It wasn’t my first choice as I have another in mind that would be better, but mayhaps I’ll save that for the 2nd? batch.

At any rate, threw the chips into a hop basket, attached to a keg lid and threw it back into kegerator where it has been chilling for the past couple of days. (All the while spraying Star San on anything that moved...freekin nerve wracking...)

Non carbonated, it is already pretty impressive although after a HeavY dose of reading, I may have messed up on the water chemistry a little bit which is why it is ever so very slightly bitter. Think..hoping the rum sweetness may overpower that.

Plan is to let it sit for two weeks, then pull the basket out, then put the gas on it to carbonate. Or maybe I’ll just leave it in there as to not risk further contamination, idk.

Oh..and I sipped some of the soaked rum. It wasn’t horrible at all. I wouldn’t buy a product like it out of the bottle because the wood kind of..distracts from the main character of Zaya, but I could drink it. Might need a 2 vs 1 ice cube to mellow it a bit. But then...I love rum.The majority of my liquors are just that. I have 9 different types in my cabinet atm.
 

Knightshade

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Finally taking my first real pour of this tonight. Rum flavor has mellowed out significantly since pulling the chips out of the keg. Fairly malty backbone and I can definitely taste the underlying vanilla, and fruitiness.
Ended up with a balanced profile for water chemistry, think I might lean more towards the chlorides with the next batch just to reduce the hop character. But perhaps that is due to using cluster vs galena as recipe instructed. Another correction if I do this one again.
 

Knightshade

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Wanted to throw out more on this...because it surprised the hell out of me. Some friends on mine returned my generator last night, so we were hanging out in my very open garage, freezing our butts off. He had asked for more of my cider, so I had already filled up a growler and since we were chatting up a bit decided to give him a pour which he was enjoying. Not a beer guy....at all. But he saw the other 3 taps and was like..what else you have? So I started talking about this beer. I looked over at Her and said I feel like you might not like it (she is a lager if anything drinker...maybe hef. prefers wine/liquor), but it has been aged on rum, so maybe???

Give them both a small pour.

He : "It smells amazing...wow, I've never had anything like this. Its good!"

I take that with a grain of salt, because I know he hasn't experienced much beer wise, but a cider drinker liking a beer..sweet.

She : "I can smell the rum for sure..."

ensuing conversation about rums in general because she and I both love rum

"Oh....oh. Yeah...I could drink this."

Also noticed this morning that I've only got about 1/3 of a keg left so...need to brew this again soon for sure....w/the tweaks I've already mentioned.
 

Knightshade

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Newest batch. Let the rum sit in the chips for closer to a month vs 2 weeks which was probably too long. I’ve also been having finished beer sit on the chips vs pitching in fermenter. Think I went 3 weeks vs what I had planned on only being 2.

That was back in early March. I’ve been picking at it every once in awhile. Oak is mellowing out in back end but very in your face. Need to be more disciplined with timing next time for sure.

Think it is almost there with the modified water chem and upped pineapple tho. Closer…
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Snuffy

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Just collected the ingredients for this recipe and plan to brew it this weekend so it can mellow until winter. The only variations are canned pineapple and dark brown sugar. Thought I had some Bacardi Black Label but the only rum I have is Sailor Jerry’s spiced. Anybody used spiced rum with this recipe? I didn’t see that covered in the thread, but I admit I didn’t read every post. I’m probably going back for Myers dark, a fresh pineapple and light brown sugar. I should know better than to mod a recipe on the first attempt.
 

Davedrinksbeer

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Just collected the ingredients for this recipe and plan to brew it this weekend so it can mellow until winter. The only variations are canned pineapple and dark brown sugar. Thought I had some Bacardi Black Label but the only rum I have is Sailor Jerry’s spiced. Anybody used spiced rum with this recipe? I didn’t see that covered in the thread, but I admit I didn’t read every post. I’m probably going back for Myers dark, a fresh pineapple and light brown sugar. I should know better than to mod a recipe on the first attempt.
I think spiced rum like Captain Morgan’s or whatever would be good in this recipe. Never did it but it would be good if that’s what you like. All my bottles have been drank. I think I liked this better around 2-3 month mark, it had a nice tropical pineapple taste to it, over time the pineapple faded and took more of a rum/woody flavor but that probably my fault when I made it. Good luck, it is a tasty beer, all my friends liked it.
 

pwortiz

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Just collected the ingredients for this recipe and plan to brew it this weekend so it can mellow until winter. The only variations are canned pineapple and dark brown sugar. Thought I had some Bacardi Black Label but the only rum I have is Sailor Jerry’s spiced. Anybody used spiced rum with this recipe? I didn’t see that covered in the thread, but I admit I didn’t read every post. I’m probably going back for Myers dark, a fresh pineapple and light brown sugar. I should know better than to mod a recipe on the first attempt.
Your dark brown sugar is fine; I use it all te time. Fresh pineapple is better, I think, but canned probably is equally good; I just don't remember using before. The rum...first, I would suggest a change to Black Seal if you were up for it. I switched for price and taste from Meyer's. I am really curious about Captain Morgan spiced being used here and if it works well, I would be willing to try it myself!
 

Snuffy

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I think spiced rum like Captain Morgan’s or whatever would be good in this recipe. Never did it but it would be good if that’s what you like. All my bottles have been drank. I think I liked this better around 2-3 month mark, it had a nice tropical pineapple taste to it, over time the pineapple faded and took more of a rum/woody flavor but that probably my fault when I made it. Good luck, it is a tasty beer, all my friends liked it.
Sounds like it would be good. What about the vanilla? Was it enough with one bean? I had seen posts where someone was saying they were going to add another bean next time because the vanilla was not that noticeable. If I use spiced rum, I think it would enhance that vanilla kind of flavor. And I have 2 beans on hand I'd like to use up. Don't want vanilla overload tho. Did you go with the whole 4oz of oak? Seems like a lot... I'm kind of skittish about oak. I've ruined a couple of beers with it in the past. Easy to go too far. I am planning on this going at least 3 months before I serve it to anyone - other than samples here and there.
 

Snuffy

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Your dark brown sugar is fine; I use it all te time. Fresh pineapple is better, I think, but canned probably is equally good; I just don't remember using before. The rum...first, I would suggest a change to Black Seal if you were up for it. I switched for price and taste from Meyer's. I am really curious about Captain Morgan spiced being used here and if it works well, I would be willing to try it myself!
Good to know! I think I will go with the ingredients I have and use the spiced rum. I need to comb back thru this thread and see if anybody else has done that. Any sweet or spicy flavors I can get from it should be good in a big beer like this. I am going to add both vanilla beans too. Screw it. Go big or go home, right? Gonna need an eye patch to keep from seeing double around Thanksgiving.🏴‍☠️
 

pwortiz

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Sounds like it would be good. What about the vanilla? Was it enough with one bean? I had seen posts where someone was saying they were going to add another bean next time because the vanilla was not that noticeable. If I use spiced rum, I think it would enhance that vanilla kind of flavor. And I have 2 beans on hand I'd like to use up. Don't want vanilla overload tho. Did you go with the whole 4oz of oak? Seems like a lot... I'm kind of skittish about oak. I've ruined a couple of beers with it in the past. Easy to go too far. I am planning on this going at least 3 months before I serve it to anyone - other than samples here and there.
I can answer the vanilla question - 2 beans is awesome if you LOVE vanilla. I do. But, almost all others that have tried that version preferred the 1 bean. 4oz of oak is fine if you stick to the time requirement. If you leave too long or much longer than called for, you will be less satisfied with the results. I have also done 3 oz with very good results.
 

Snuffy

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I can answer the vanilla question - 2 beans is awesome if you LOVE vanilla. I do. But, almost all others that have tried that version preferred the 1 bean. 4oz of oak is fine if you stick to the time requirement. If you leave too long or much longer than called for, you will be less satisfied with the results. I have also done 3 oz with very good results.
I've read some more here and I think I will keep the beans to 1. I like the vanilla but don't want it to overpower the rest of the flavors. Gonna have to get some regular dark rum too, I guess. Sailor Jerry's may add too much spice. I will save that for batch 2. Consensus is to not pour in the rum after soaking the oak because it pulls the harsh out of the chips. Glad I went back and checked cause I would probably have just dumped it in. I'm going back to the original recipe with the exception of dark brown sugar and canned pineapple. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Knightshade

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I can answer the vanilla question - 2 beans is awesome if you LOVE vanilla. I do. But, almost all others that have tried that version preferred the 1 bean. 4oz of oak is fine if you stick to the time requirement. If you leave too long or much longer than called for, you will be less satisfied with the results. I have also done 3 oz with very good results.
+1 on this...dealing w/that very thing w/my current batch right now.

My suggestion is to figure out which rum you actually like..and use that. I can't stand some of the ones referenced in this thread (Morgan, Myers, Sailor, Kraken), so I went a different route.
 

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With vanilla beans it depends if you can actually find some good plump vanilla beans, seems all I can find are dried up skinny ones so I have to use 2 but 2 beans seems to be the norm for 5 gallon beer batches. Vanilla Beans are expensive so you could use a 2 ounce bottle of pure vanilla extract instead.
If you don’t want a “woody” taste just don’t soak it that long in your rum, cut the time in half from the recipe.
I used fresh pineapple and I think that’s better, definitely more pineapple flavor than can.
 

Snuffy

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With vanilla beans it depends if you can actually find some good plump vanilla beans, seems all I can find are dried up skinny ones so I have to use 2 but 2 beans seems to be the norm for 5 gallon beer batches. Vanilla Beans are expensive so you could use a 2 ounce bottle of pure vanilla extract instead.
If you don’t want a “woody” taste just don’t soak it that long in your rum, cut the time in half from the recipe.
I used fresh pineapple and I think that’s better, definitely more pineapple flavor than can.
I have 2 vanilla beans and I'm not sure when I will get around to brewing this recipe again - or any that uses vanilla. I may just split and scrape both and then toss them into the secondary. Pineapple flavor is not going to be my primary concern with this beer. Or cinnamon either. I just want a smooth blend in there somewhere. With that oaky rum hint. Hoping the hops aren't too in-your-face either.
 

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Dumb question, but since there are thirteen pages of comments, I didn't read through every one.

Are people still primarily using the original first-post recipe or has there been a shift to a newer version of the recipe? I'm wondering if the original (8+ years later) is still the agreed-upon option.
 

Snuffy

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Dumb question, but since there are thirteen pages of comments, I didn't read through every one.

Are people still primarily using the original first-post recipe or has there been a shift to a newer version of the recipe? I'm wondering if the original (8+ years later) is still the agreed-upon option.
I think the original is the tried and true method and still stands. Variation in some components but the core recipe is proclaimed solid.
 

pwortiz

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Dumb question, but since there are thirteen pages of comments, I didn't read through every one.

Are people still primarily using the original first-post recipe or has there been a shift to a newer version of the recipe? I'm wondering if the original (8+ years later) is still the agreed-upon option.
Agree with Snuffy. I still make this using the original recipe overall. The only other variant I've done is with mango (2 mangos worth of fruit vs the pineapple) and messed with the vanilla amounts here and there. But the grain bill and base? Leave that alone ;)
 

Davedrinksbeer

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Dumb question, but since there are thirteen pages of comments, I didn't read through every one.

Are people still primarily using the original first-post recipe or has there been a shift to a newer version of the recipe? I'm wondering if the original (8+ years later) is still the agreed-upon option.
I used the original recipe, came out great.
 
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