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  1. #11
    Advanced Taster
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    Jun 2012
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    Mid-Michigan
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    Re: Best bourbon for brewing beer?

    I purchased an OESF barrel from Four Roses two weeks ago. My buddies are going to brew a stout and then age it in that barrel. We're going to donate some of it to our local country auction. I also expect a share of the brew as well. I can't wait to try it.

  2. #12
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    Apr 2008
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    Bourbon Desert of Nevada
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    292

    Re: Best bourbon for brewing beer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bw_thunder View Post
    Guess I should have included that. The kit is Bourbon Barrel Old Ale.
    I just tasted an attempt at an wood chip aged English BW last weekend. Having also been BJCP beer judge for 25 yrs- here's my best advice for the home brewer.

    My suggestion is to use a decent bourbon like EC 12 or some such- but skip the wood chip thing. In your ale, brew the beer- then after the secondary pull some sample and experiment with measured amounts of bourbon. You may end up using 6-8 oz bourbon in the 5 gallon batch... or more. This is way better control over the finished beer than the woodchip method, with much better flavor agents in addition. It also adds the lovely alcohol content as well, which is a nice flavor component of some of the stronger ale types. Imperial Stouts also lend themselves to this treatment.

    Cheers,

    RW
    Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most




  3. #13
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    May 2012
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    ATX
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    Re: Best bourbon for brewing beer?

    Quote Originally Posted by RWBadley View Post
    I just tasted an attempt at an wood chip aged English BW last weekend. Having also been BJCP beer judge for 25 yrs- here's my best advice for the home brewer.

    My suggestion is to use a decent bourbon like EC 12 or some such- but skip the wood chip thing. In your ale, brew the beer- then after the secondary pull some sample and experiment with measured amounts of bourbon. You may end up using 6-8 oz bourbon in the 5 gallon batch... or more. This is way better control over the finished beer than the woodchip method, with much better flavor agents in addition. It also adds the lovely alcohol content as well, which is a nice flavor component of some of the stronger ale types. Imperial Stouts also lend themselves to this treatment.

    Cheers,

    RW
    That's some awesome advice. This thread may have just inspired me to brew again after several years off.

  4. #14
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    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Des Moines
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    82

    Re: Best bourbon for brewing beer?

    Quote Originally Posted by RWBadley View Post
    I just tasted an attempt at an wood chip aged English BW last weekend. Having also been BJCP beer judge for 25 yrs- here's my best advice for the home brewer.

    My suggestion is to use a decent bourbon like EC 12 or some such- but skip the wood chip thing. In your ale, brew the beer- then after the secondary pull some sample and experiment with measured amounts of bourbon. You may end up using 6-8 oz bourbon in the 5 gallon batch... or more. This is way better control over the finished beer than the woodchip method, with much better flavor agents in addition. It also adds the lovely alcohol content as well, which is a nice flavor component of some of the stronger ale types. Imperial Stouts also lend themselves to this treatment.

    Cheers,

    RW
    I concur on this, I've done a chocolate stout where I added bourbon after secondary. I used WT as I found it was the best paring for that particular brew.

    One thing to note, when you do go to drink them make sure you go slow as a high abv stout plus the bourbon will go down easily.

  5. #15
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    156

    Re: Best bourbon for brewing beer?

    I have only tried this with barleywines, but my conclusion was that while I often like a woody whiskey I do not like what it does to a beer (either by just dumping it in or through the soaked oak method). EC12, for instance, seemed to add too much of an astringent note. When you buy a commercial barrel aged beer, otoh, you tend to get a ton of vanilla and sweetness. I found that moderately aged (e.g. 5-8 yr) bourbons worked best, although with four roses you could probably get away with something older since they age it so gently. Did not try OGD 114 but suspect it'd work well.

  6. #16
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    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    376

    Re: Best bourbon for brewing beer?

    Problem with wood chips is that they don't actually emulate barrel aging. Sure, you might get some wood extraction, and a little flavor from the bourbon you soaked the chips in, but none of the oxidative effects take place since (likely) this will be stored in an airtight container (save for pressure release valve).

 

 

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