Author Topic: Bourbon + Beer  (Read 6092 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Bourbon + Beer
« on: July 25, 2009, 01:01:43 AM »
I think this is one of those things you either like it (or are interested) or you hate it.

Well we are smack in the middle of a 4 day Summer Brew Fest in Portland Oregon
http://www.oregonbrewfest.com/

We went in on the first day - Thursday and had a good round of samples. Before I knew it I had a decent buzz going and it was past lunch so we had a bite to eat (spicy South African). We hear word of some brewery with a couple of open kegs of beer dosed with bourbon -- free samples !

So here is my mistake --- I sent the wife instead of going myself. To be fair she likes beer and is into the brewing we're doing - but not as tuned in as I am. She brings back a full mug of some seriously dosed brew - which is actually pretty tasty. Actually very good - and I'm surprised to hear they used Makers Mark Bourbon ... because thats what I used in a recent batch of a basic brown ale. However its not clear which brewery did it ... she forgot - DOH.

So I was going for a hint of bourbon / oak taste on the this first round. I added 1 ounce of toasted French Oak cubes soaked in bourbon during the last week in the secondary. Then I added 2/3 a cup of bourbon to the final 5Gal of brew in the bottling bucket. It smelled strong during bottling. Its now been 2 weeks - so after our experience at the Brew Fest I sampled one tonight. You cannot smell the bourbon (as you could at the brew fest) but its presence is there - just a little extra layer of taste / complexity. It needs one more week to mellow a bit.

Will be fun to hand out some samples to my tasters (with no warning) and see what comments I get. I'm thinking a between 1.5 to 2 cups should be about right. 

Brew On
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline stevemwazup

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Re: Bourbon + Beer
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2009, 12:02:57 PM »
     Great Post SleepySam,
I'm curious to find out how your Bourbon+Beer batch turns out with some age to it.

I made a Porter with some espresso added, about 1.5 cups to a 5 gallon batch.
I can relate to the flavors just being layers ( beer and espresso ). But with some patience the two distinct flavors have really blended together into one great tasting beer.
Keep us updated on this brew.

stevemwazup

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Bourbon + Beer
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2009, 06:02:59 PM »

I'm curious to find out how your Bourbon+Beer batch turns out with some age to it.

stevemwazup

Yes I need to test this out age wise - a teacher at the school where my wife works is a serious and advanced brewer. Last Fall he did a stout and added bourbon soaked wood cubes plus a touch during bottling. It was an amazingly rich - smooth and complex brew - and we bumped into him at the brew fest and got talking. He mentioned that after 7-8 months the bourbon flavor sort of vanished ...

Will have to test that
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Bourbon + Beer
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 09:03:09 AM »
Nice!

I have an old ale that I made back in February. I added the oaked bourbon (2C) from some oak chips that I had soaking for 6 months. When it was young it was a very in your face, but over time it has mellowed considerably. I tapped the keg again a week ago because I had room in my kegerator. It is coming along nicely, and I expect that it will continue to get better with age. This batch was a starter for a much bigger beer, so I really did not have anything to loose, and everything to gain.

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

hyrdr

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Re: Bourbon + Beer
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2009, 12:56:43 PM »
Interesting thread. Just would like to add for some consideration two different things. One is I also smoke a lot of meats. Ribs mostly in a slow cook indirect smoker made by Lyfetime. Always on the hunt for cheap smokking chips and chunks I found that Jack Daniels has bagged oak chips from their whisky barrels. They literally drip with bourbon essence. Might be a good fit. Also if adding actual bourbon I and a friend have found while watching nascar races that the best bang for the buck in Bourbons is http://www.evanwilliams.com/
Just my two cents

Offline bonjour

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Re: Bourbon + Beer
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 03:30:34 PM »
Interesting thread. Just would like to add for some consideration two different things. One is I also smoke a lot of meats. Ribs mostly in a slow cook indirect smoker made by Lyfetime. Always on the hunt for cheap smokking chips and chunks I found that Jack Daniels has bagged oak chips from their whisky barrels. They literally drip with bourbon essence. Might be a good fit.
While that will work with your smoker, don't add this to your beer, too much chance to add funk, unless that is what you are looking for.  The inner wood is fine, it's the outside surfaces that are the problem.

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Bourbon + Beer
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2009, 06:19:57 PM »
Yes your best bet is to get oak chips from your brew shop. Now when I did this I followed some instructions from the net and steamed the chips for 10min to kill any critters ... however my wife pointed out next time maybe I should bake them at around 25deg so they are not water saturated and thus soak up more bourbon. Something to consider


The brew I dosed was a basic brown ale about 1.049 OG  and 1.014 FG. I used 2/3 a cup of bourbon to exactly 5gal and it was just noticeable ... a hint of bourbon. Depending on what you want I would go 1cup to 1.5cups.

Brew On - and do post your results on this important research ;D
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

 

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