Monday, January 13, 2014

Bourbon Barrel Porter Transfer

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
 
Sunday morning, Dizzy & I woke up and did a quick transfer of our Bourbon Barrel Porter to the secondary fermenter. Now, if you’ll remember, this porter was started the weekend before I went to Utah… so it has been sitting in the primary fermenter for about four weeks. Normally, you would do two weeks, then transfer to the secondary for about four weeks with the “additions” that we’re putting in. Now, because of our schedules& illness the past few weekends it hasn’t really worked out… but that shouldn’t really effect the brew much. A little extra time fermenting will help the flavors to mellow out and the yeast to do it’s thing fully… that is if you’re only a little over that target time. You don’t want to leave it in there in primary for a few months or anything then transfer… as your yeast will pretty much be dormant or dead at that point… and you might have a lot of “nasties” in there too. However, where our storage is a little on the chilly side of the temperature range for our yeast (leading to a little slower activity) and it was only an extra two weeks, we should be absolutely fine.
 
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize...



...and it's fun too!!!

Then we transfer to the secondary...



Now, you may be wondering about our “additions” to the secondary fermenter… or maybe even what I’m talking about? Well, for a typical Bourbon Barrel aged brew like the big boys do… they would take their fairly young porter and place it in a used oak barrel of bourbon… and store it for anywhere from about six months to over a year or more. This lets the brew within absorb some of the bourbon that has soaked into the charred oak barrels… as well as some of those roasted oaky smokey notes from the wood and give the brew that bit of a distinct flavor on top of the already delicious brew. Also, the extra time can help mellow out a lot of the flavors overall since you’ll have a lot of competition in there now, making a complex flavor. Now… those oak barrels typically hold 50+ gallons of liquid… and we’re only dealing with 5 gallons. Also, we’re extremely impatient for this first porter and/or “barrel-aging” adventure… so there’s a little bit of a short cut for these small batches. Basically, you just add a pint of Maker’s Mark whiskey… and some charred bits of an oak barrel into the secondary… and we’re going to leave it for about 3-4 weeks so that it gets in there good.
 

Check out these oak chips...


 
Don’t worry, you won’t be drinking the wood. We filter it out before it gets to the bottles… so your tongue doesn’t get slivers. Anyway, after doing that… now we just sit and wait a few weeks… and of course clean up the dirty carboy.
 
Here's a bad picture of what's left over...

Add cleaning solution & water...

Scrub & dump...


Don't worry... it's supposed to look delicious...
Now for our next batch, we didn’t have time to do it on Sunday… but we’re deciding between an Oktoberfest Maerzen… or our Winter Warmer spiced ale. Any suggestions on which we should do first? Or another suggestion for a future batch that you’d like to see us make?
 
Have a great day everybody!!!

1 comment:

Izzy Gerbil Tamer said...

winter warmer! :D Then oktoberfest for a certain giants birthday....

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