PDA

View Full Version : sweet bourbon for aging beer



clingman71
08-19-2011, 09:40
My last homebrew was a rye porter aged in secondary for 2 months on french oak chips that had been soaked in baby saz. My next beer is a pumpkin ale. I brew a pumpkin every other late summer for fall. Each batch is different, and this year I want it "oak/bourbon" aged. There will be spices in the wort, so I am looking for a sweeter bourbon with less spice. Any ideas are appreciated.

bgageus
08-19-2011, 12:02
I get a sweeter flavor from the wheats, soem OWA might be nice. I know this is not what you are asking for, but I am going to throw out the idea of toasting some applewood chips for the beer, given apples are a fall fruit it would go with the seasonal theme.

clingman71
08-19-2011, 13:31
Bgageus, I have a bottle of OWA, but find it difficult to use on oak chips considering how much I like drinking it. But, that is really an issue with aging any beer on oak. It was painful with the baby saz, and as a wheat lover, maybe worse with OWA.

As for the applewood, not sure ill use it this time, but I am wondering about how they would work with a sour Apple lambic.

TBoner
08-19-2011, 17:07
I've done a few bourbon-ized homebrews myself. I like the pumpkin-bourbon combination generally and have been contemplating a similar beer. A few thoughts...

First, a wheater is a great idea, and I second that suggestion, though Weller SR is cheaper, more abundant, and therefore might be less dear to you to use in a beer.

To take things in a totally different direction, you might consider the new Beam Devil's Cut. It's not a great drink on its own, I don't think, but the slightly greater wood influence gives the impression of sweetness, and it's pretty oaky stuff for a NAS whiskey. Not expensive, either.

Old Charter is sweet, and the 101-proof stuff is not expensive. I don't think it has a whole lot of character, but it might be perfect in this application.

One final thought is 1792. I'm not sure what you pay for this in your area, but I can get it for $23, so not overly pricey, and it has a slightly higher barley content than most bourbons. This adds some roundness to the flavor, IMO, and the 8 years of aging give it a nicely oaked vanillic backbone. It's not overly high in rye and not particularly spicy.

Best,
Tim

Bourbon Boiler
08-19-2011, 18:16
Elijah Craig is another inexpensive option that I think would be sweet and not overpowering. I know you asked for bourbon, but a Tennessee whiskey might be a good fit for the flavor profile you're looking for. The maple would add an extra "wooden" component, and I usually avoid them because I think they are too fruity.

Flyfish
08-21-2011, 07:18
My last homebrew was a rye porter aged in secondary for 2 months on french oak chips that had been soaked in baby saz. My next beer is a pumpkin ale. I brew a pumpkin every other late summer for fall. Each batch is different, and this year I want it "oak/bourbon" aged. There will be spices in the wort, so I am looking for a sweeter bourbon with less spice. Any ideas are appreciated.

You may be overthinking it--unless, of course, your palate is really, really sensitive. I put a cup of bourbon in 5 gal. of wort. The first time, I used Maker's Mark. That and the handful of barrel chips gave the porter a pleasant but subtle bourbon side note. Later, I just used Jim Beam Black because I'm cheap. Couldn't tell the difference. With all the intense flavors going on in your beer and the dilution of a cup per 5 gal., I bet you won't be able to identify the bourbon either.

TBoner
08-21-2011, 12:54
Elijah Craig is another inexpensive option that I think would be sweet and not overpowering. I know you asked for bourbon, but a Tennessee whiskey might be a good fit for the flavor profile you're looking for. The maple would add an extra "wooden" component, and I usually avoid them because I think they are too fruity.

Good points; EC12 is nicely woody, and either Dickel or JD would be plenty sweet, I'd think.

Bourbon Boiler
09-30-2011, 18:57
Curious how this project is going. Any update?

clingman71
09-30-2011, 19:39
The batch was split in half. First half bottled, second aging in makers soaked chips. The bad thing is that this became a collaboration brew with a coworker, and it is aging at his house. Makes me a little nervous if he were to get too thirsty.