The Old Fashioned Bourbon Cocktail

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crusader1612

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Here's the Crux of it.
I recently entered the world of gentlemans cocktails, namely the "old fashioned"

an old fashioned is as follows:
"The Old Fashioned is a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding alcohol, originally whiskey but now sometimes brandy, and finally a twist of citrus rind. Wikipedia
Main alcohol: Whisky
Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 Sugar cube, Few dashes plain water - garnished with an orange slice & a Cherry".

my idea is this:
make an imperial porter, using a standard and simple grainbill, use hops at 60minutes for bittering (thius will act as the bitter section of the cocktail), then add hops such as mandarina bavaria and/or pacifica to give some hop aroma at flameout (these hops have a tendency to give nice orange, mandarin type qualities), at flameout/whirlpool also ass the zest of some oranges (being sure to leave behind the white with), then infuse with bourbon soaked oak chunks (makers mark most likely) to age on.

questions are;
- how much orange zest (no white pith)?

- how much bourbon on how many chunks?

- what sort of IBU ratio should IO aim for as there will only be 2 additions ideally (60min & flameout/whirlpool).

- how much in the way of whirlpool hops? my thoughts were round 2 oz of said hop or hops (it is possible i might use both mandarina and pacifica depending what i have on hand).

-should oats be a part of my grist for a bitof extra smoothness?

- would it be worth dryhopping and/or dryzesting?

Fedback is appreciated
 

TwistedGray

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Wondering if you can just add bourbon instead of just soaked chips? I mean, surely you can ... just a thought from someone who hasn't done that before.
 

troglodytes

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A friend brewed a imperial bourbon stout whose recipe called for bourbon soaked chips. He secondaried on the chips and the resulting bourbon flavor was extremely minimal. He added more bourbon directly into the bottling bucket and after cellaring for 8 months it was wonderfully balanced. It's my only experience with tasting the chip v direct bourbon addition, but I would opt for straight bourbon addition if you were really going for an old fashioned inspired porter. He used Makers, and it worked really well, so I can attest that its a good choice.

I think this is a great idea, BTW and would love to know how this progresses.
 

Northern_Brewer

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make an imperial porter, using a standard and simple grainbill
You're setting yourself up there - Cloudwater did an Old Fashioned strong ale a while back and it was amazing on keg (although looking at the reviews it soon faded in bottle). Think they might have used a bit of rye in it from memory.

I'd question the porter - it will be introducing all sorts of flavours that aren't in the cocktail, in the spirit of keeping things simple I'd drop a lot of the roasted grains. It's a clean, pure cocktail, the base beer should reflect that.

I'd guess you don't want to add the orange zest above 80C or so, preserve all those delicate aromas - adding at flameout may just turn it to marmalade.

Amarillo might be an idea for copper/cold-side hopping to boost the orange?

One cute twist might be to ferment or co-ferment with WLP050 Tennessee Whiskey, a clean POF- yeast unlike most distilling strains. I've actually got some fermenting beer at the moment, so get back to me in a few weeks to see if that was a good idea or not! But it's a Vault strain, so it won't be available for a while. Maybe next time.
 

probablynotnick

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Stout would be good and it sounds like you're on the right track for a good beer!
However I think that an old ale or barleywine might be more old fashioney
 

jready

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I love Bullet Bourbon so I would go for some rye for sure. I make Denny’s bourbon vanilla imperial porter with half a bottle of Jim Beam Black right before keging it is fantastic day one so I wouldn’t shy away from just adding bourbon/rye whiskey.
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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Wondering if you can just add bourbon instead of just soaked chips? I mean, surely you can ... just a thought from someone who hasn't done that before.
Sorry, I should've been a little clearer - i was thinking of soaking the oakchips in some bourbon and adding the whole mixture (the oak chips should add their own mark to the beer).

You're setting yourself up there - Cloudwater did an Old Fashioned strong ale a while back and it was amazing on keg (although looking at the reviews it soon faded in bottle). Think they might have used a bit of rye in it from memory.
I'd question the porter - it will be introducing all sorts of flavours that aren't in the cocktail, in the spirit of keeping things simple I'd drop a lot of the roasted grains. It's a clean, pure cocktail, the base beer should reflect that.
I'd guess you don't want to add the orange zest above 80C or so, preserve all those delicate aromas - adding at flameout may just turn it to marmalade.
Amarillo might be an idea for copper/cold-side hopping to boost the orange?
One cute twist might be to ferment or co-ferment with WLP050 Tennessee Whiskey, a clean POF- yeast unlike most distilling strains. I've actually got some fermenting beer at the moment, so get back to me in a few weeks to see if that was a good idea or not! But it's a Vault strain, so it won't be available for a while. Maybe next time.
Hmmmmm, a strong ale/old ale might be a better option, simplify the idea a littl, as you say the porter adds some roasty grains in there that could be undesirable for whats trying to be acheived. but will definitely add the orange at whirlpool rather than flameout. amarillo is a good idea too.

Brooklyn Brewery made a beer they called "Improved Old Fashioned" they started with a rye ale, check out the link they give recipe parameters.
Definitely add some rye, great idea! Use Rye in place of Oats, mouthfeel some spice and some extra dimension.
 

aprichman

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I've had good luck adding spirits to the keg and racking the finished beer on top. I would suggest 8 - 16 ounces per 5 gallons of beer.
 

Dcpcooks

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I make a granola beer with 12-20% flaked barley and quick oats. I toast the adjuncts with brown sugar honey and orange zest ie granola. I add that to the mash. It’s a 9% abv beer with Ringwood ale yeast. It get 110 ibu’s from equinox and a bit of eldorado. Once it’s done with primary I rack it to a used bourbon barrel and add a quart of the sugar syrup from luxardo cherries and more orange zest.

It’s a big orange cherry bourbon bomb. I started making the beer after I had American beauty from Dogfish. Then I decided to add the cherry syrup and barrel age it for a month. I even serve it with a luxardo cherry and orange peel.
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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I make a granola beer with 12-20% flaked barley and quick oats. I toast the adjuncts with brown sugar honey and orange zest ie granola. I add that to the mash. It’s a 9% abv beer with Ringwood ale yeast. It get 110 ibu’s from equinox and a bit of eldorado. Once it’s done with primary I rack it to a used bourbon barrel and add a quart of the sugar syrup from luxardo cherries and more orange zest.

It’s a big orange cherry bourbon bomb. I started making the beer after I had American beauty from Dogfish. Then I decided to add the cherry syrup and barrel age it for a month. I even serve it with a luxardo cherry and orange peel.
Sounds like a fun and interesting beer. Any recipe your willing to share?
 

troglodytes

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I make a granola beer with 12-20% flaked barley and quick oats. I toast the adjuncts with brown sugar honey and orange zest ie granola. I add that to the mash. It’s a 9% abv beer with Ringwood ale yeast. It get 110 ibu’s from equinox and a bit of eldorado. Once it’s done with primary I rack it to a used bourbon barrel and add a quart of the sugar syrup from luxardo cherries and more orange zest.

It’s a big orange cherry bourbon bomb. I started making the beer after I had American beauty from Dogfish. Then I decided to add the cherry syrup and barrel age it for a month. I even serve it with a luxardo cherry and orange peel.
This thread really made me want to try something like this myself. I wanted to go with a lot of rye and use something like Rittenhouse to really make this is as close to an old fashioned brew as possible. I looked up the ingredients that Brooklyn uses in their "Improved Old Fashioned" and came up with something like the following. Thoughts?

5.5 Gal
OG: 1.092
FG: 1.015 (Hoping I can dry this out with the low mash temp, active yeast and simple sugars)
SRM 19
IBU: 65

Mash @ 149F
5# 2-Row
5# Maris Otter
4# Rye
1# Crystal Rye
1.5# Sugar
.5# D-180 Candi Syrup (I've gotten great dark cherry/plum flavor out of this in the past)

Boil Additions:
.5 oz Sorachi Ace FWH
.5 oz Sorachi Ace 20 min
1 oz Citra 20 min
1 oz toasted coriander 10 min
.5 oz bitter orange peel 10 min
1 oz Sorachi Ace 5 min
2 oz Citra 5 min

Dry Hop/Spice/Booze:
1 oz Citra Dry Hop (4 days)
4 Oranges (zest only) made into tincture (4 days)
16 oz Rittenhouse Rye (used to make zest tincture) (4 days)
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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Has anyone used Angostura Bitters in a beer? Probably more late (my thoughts were to make a strongish oldfashioned type concoction and add to secondary).
The concoction would be as follows:
200-250ml of bourbon
1 oak spiral
sweet orange peel from 2 oranges
1 tsp of angostura bitters.

I could add sugar, but i feel like thats a waste of time.
I've also decided to stick with my Imperial Porter - much like denny conns bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter (I am temptd to add a vanilla pod too).
 

S-Met

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Why not zest the oranges and soak them in your bourbon until their color starts to fae, about 2-3wks. Adding a bit of the white pith can add a bittering component depending on the variety. Lime is especially good at this.
 

divrack

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Here's the Crux of it.
I recently entered the world of gentlemans cocktails, namely the "old fashioned"

an old fashioned is as follows:
"The Old Fashioned is a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding alcohol, originally whiskey but now sometimes brandy, and finally a twist of citrus rind. Wikipedia
Main alcohol: Whisky
Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 Sugar cube, Few dashes plain water - garnished with an orange slice & a Cherry".

my idea is this:
make an imperial porter, using a standard and simple grainbill, use hops at 60minutes for bittering (thius will act as the bitter section of the cocktail), then add hops such as mandarina bavaria and/or pacifica to give some hop aroma at flameout (these hops have a tendency to give nice orange, mandarin type qualities), at flameout/whirlpool also ass the zest of some oranges (being sure to leave behind the white with), then infuse with bourbon soaked oak chunks (makers mark most likely) to age on.

questions are;
- how much orange zest (no white pith)?

- how much bourbon on how many chunks?

- what sort of IBU ratio should IO aim for as there will only be 2 additions ideally (60min & flameout/whirlpool).

- how much in the way of whirlpool hops? my thoughts were round 2 oz of said hop or hops (it is possible i might use both mandarina and pacifica depending what i have on hand).

-should oats be a part of my grist for a bitof extra smoothness?

- would it be worth dryhopping and/or dryzesting?

Fedback is appreciated
Sounds like a nice beer but I would think you'd get closer to the cocktail making a brown or Amber type affair with lots of rye for thick mouth feel. A bit of special x or similar would probably get you close too.
Might not be as nice as a Porter but closer to an old fashioned
 

troglodytes

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Has anyone used Angostura Bitters in a beer? Probably more late (my thoughts were to make a strongish oldfashioned type concoction and add to secondary).
The concoction would be as follows:
200-250ml of bourbon
1 oak spiral
sweet orange peel from 2 oranges
1 tsp of angostura bitters.

I could add sugar, but i feel like thats a waste of time.
I've also decided to stick with my Imperial Porter - much like denny conns bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter (I am temptd to add a vanilla pod too).
The bitters is a nice idea. I've been using 2 dashes of angostura and 2 dashes of orange bitters when I make an old fashioned. It certainly brings the drink together, but I wonder if it would have any effect when talking about 5 gallons of beer? You know what you can do...make the brew without the bitters, then when you're serving it, put a couple of dashes in the individual glass. It will make a nice effect on the head, and that way you can do a side by side of a glass with bitters and one without to see if it really makes a difference. While you're at it flame and orange twist over it at serving as well. I'm getting so thirsty just think about this. Very excited to see how it turns out.

Edit: BTW: does anyone have any advice on my previously posted take. Specifically wondering whether anyone has used a Sorachi/Citra combo to bring out citrus flavors (hopefully I don't bring out any dill flavor from the Sorachi)
 

divrack

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The bitters is a nice idea. I've been using 2 dashes of angostura and 2 dashes of orange bitters when I make an old fashioned. It certainly brings the drink together, but I wonder if it would have any effect when talking about 5 gallons of beer? You know what you can do...make the brew without the bitters, then when you're serving it, put a couple of dashes in the individual glass. It will make a nice effect on the head, and that way you can do a side by side of a glass with bitters and one without to see if it really makes a difference. While you're at it flame and orange twist over it at serving as well. I'm getting so thirsty just think about this. Very excited to see how it turns out.

Edit: BTW: does anyone have any advice on my previously posted take. Specifically wondering whether anyone has used a Sorachi/Citra combo to bring out citrus flavors (hopefully I don't bring out any dill flavor from the Sorachi)
I suppose if you were being real clever about it you could get a lot of the angostura bitters component through fermenting a phenol heavy yeast hot to get that clove flavour naturally...
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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The bitters is a nice idea. I've been using 2 dashes of angostura and 2 dashes of orange bitters when I make an old fashioned. It certainly brings the drink together, but I wonder if it would have any effect when talking about 5 gallons of beer? You know what you can do...make the brew without the bitters, then when you're serving it, put a couple of dashes in the individual glass. It will make a nice effect on the head, and that way you can do a side by side of a glass with bitters and one without to see if it really makes a difference. While you're at it flame and orange twist over it at serving as well. I'm getting so thirsty just think about this. Very excited to see how it turns out.

Edit: BTW: does anyone have any advice on my previously posted take. Specifically wondering whether anyone has used a Sorachi/Citra combo to bring out citrus flavors (hopefully I don't bring out any dill flavor from the Sorachi)
Just saw the price of angostura bitters.....I think I'll leave that alone for now. Lol.

Sorachi is a great hop if used well and at the right time. It is quite powerful so a slight hand is probably a good idea.
Personally I'm no longer a big citra fan, as it's in nearly every single beer on the market. I did enjoy my sorachi/Nelson pale as combo though (sorachi gets added late but not at whirlpool flameout or dryhop). I find that if you add early enough you get the lemon citrus flavour without the pledge/fill issues many talk about.
 

KTbrew

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I was just thinking through a similar idea myself because I love old fashions. I've worked with both citrus zest and bourbon soaked oak a lot so here are my thoughts.
When adding fresh zest secondary is the way to go. In a session beer the zest of one medium will usually give a pronounced but not overpowering flavor/aroma. However, it begins to fade rather quickly especially in bottles. Try to get valencia oranges or navel would be my second choice. In a beer like you are planning I'd add at lease one per gallon. Use a potato peeler to zest them. Side note- the quality of citrus varies greatly. I would find the best organic fruit that you can.
The whiskey soaked oak is another story. It totally depends on how much whiskey flavor you want and how long you plan to age the beer on the oak chips. I would think you would want a fairly pronounced whiskey flavor so I would recommend soaking 1 oz. of toasted american oak chips in at lease a pint of whiskey. Start by adding the whiskey only and taste to see if you like the flavor. If you want more oak or whiskey you can always add more.
To modify this further you may consider soaking oak and orange zest in whiskey. The whiskey will do a great job of stripping the oils and aromas out of the zest. And again, you can always add more to the beer later.
 

KTbrew

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My original idea was to make a blonde or cream ale. Add orange zest and a few maraschino cherries to the secondary and a fifth of whiskey and some bitters to the keg. I'm going for something that tastes at least as much like old fashioned as it does beer.
I was originally thinking blonde or cream ale but now I'm thinking of doing it in a saison which I continuously make, blend and have on tap.
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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My original idea was to make a blonde or cream ale. Add orange zest and a few maraschino cherries to the secondary and a fifth of whiskey and some bitters to the keg. I'm going for something that tastes at least as much like old fashioned as it does beer.
I was originally thinking blonde or cream ale but now I'm thinking of doing it in a saison which I continuously make, blend and have on tap.
If I were you I';d make it a big Imoperial Cream ale or Blond Ale, it needs backboneto handle the whiskey etc I reckon, hence why I thought of Porter etc. I do agree that its a good idea to go lighter and more old fashioned -y .
lastly I'm not planning cherries, orange and cherry with whiskey oak and hops, doesn't sound like a good fit (but thats just me).

Now kind of toying with using a scottish ale, traditional boil down of first running for thickness and sweetness. then add in my "old fashioned" concoction.

you may consider soaking oak and orange zest in whiskey. The whiskey will do a great job of stripping the oils and aromas out of the zest.
This is actually my plan.
My aim for the base beer is around 7-8%, using either a scotch ale recipe with traiditional first runnings boil down, or the porter as previously mentioned.
200ml of makers mark whiskey on a broken up oak spiral (x1), with the zest of 2 oranges in the mix - let it sit for fermentation and add into the secondary ( I secondary in keg, once full fermentation has gone, then I'd rack over to a serving keg from there and add my angostura bitters, around 1-1.5 tsp for the full keg (start low and adjust if required).

the two recipes I'm working on are as follows:
- Imperial Porter (aka Dennys Vanilla bourbon porter)
using a hefty flameout addition of hops for additional orangey aroma (no angostura bitters) add bourbon oak chips and orange zest to secondary.

- Scotch Ale (traditional First runnings boil down) use a bourbon orange tincutre with the oak chips and soak for 2 weeks only and add angostura to the keg to taste.
 

lootcorp

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Curious to see how this turns out. I love Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, and I thought Brooklyn's Improved Old Fashioned was a really tasty beer. Would love to get something similar brewed up when the weather starts turning colder.
 

troglodytes

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Sorachi is a great hop if used well and at the right time. It is quite powerful so a slight hand is probably a good idea...I find that if you add early enough you get the lemon citrus flavour without the pledge/fill issues many talk about.
This is the kind of stuff I'd love to pick peiople brains on. Due to the recent 47hops super sale I now have a lot of Manderina heading my way. I'm now thinking a 3:1 ratio of Manderina:Sorachia Ace. When you say "add early enough" are you saying limit it to a 20 and 10 minute addition of Sorachi to minimize that pledge flavor?
 
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crusader1612

crusader1612

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I was just thinking through a similar idea myself because I love old fashions. I've worked with both citrus zest and bourbon soaked oak a lot so here are my thoughts.
When adding fresh zest secondary is the way to go. In a session beer the zest of one medium will usually give a pronounced but not overpowering flavor/aroma. However, it begins to fade rather quickly especially in bottles. Try to get valencia oranges or navel would be my second choice. In a beer like you are planning I'd add at lease one per gallon. Use a potato peeler to zest them. Side note- the quality of citrus varies greatly. I would find the best organic fruit that you can.
The whiskey soaked oak is another story. It totally depends on how much whiskey flavor you want and how long you plan to age the beer on the oak chips. I would think you would want a fairly pronounced whiskey flavor so I would recommend soaking 1 oz. of toasted american oak chips in at lease a pint of whiskey. Start by adding the whiskey only and taste to see if you like the flavor. If you want more oak or whiskey you can always add more.
To modify this further you may consider soaking oak and orange zest in whiskey. The whiskey will do a great job of stripping the oils and aromas out of the zest. And again, you can always add more to the beer later.

That's what I did. I used sorachi at 20mins with Nelson at whirlpool and dryhop exclusively. Seems to work.
I did dryhop sorach I on a farmhouse Ale which did wrk, but mostly because it played with the yeast rather well. Lemon and dill notes with spice and fruit.
 
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