Adding Bourbon

General brewing ingredients discussion

Moderator: rsc3da

Adding Bourbon

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:20 pm

I've got a few questions about adding bourbon to a beer that I'm hoping some of you with experience can answer.

1. I'm assuming I need to mash at a higher temp since when I add the whiskey, it's going to thin the beer out.
2. Does anyone have a formula for calculating the change in alcohol content when adding liquor? I'm sure if I sat around for an hour racking my brain I could figure it out, but I'd rather have someone else just give one to me.
3. What's a good jumping off point for a 5.5 gallon batch? I'm going to be soaking some oak in the whiskey and then dumping it all in, and I've read in a few places that 6 oz is a good starting point. Obviously I can add more if I want later one, but I don't want to start off with too much since I can't take it back out.
-Brian

On Tap: Sour Belgian Brown, Amber Ale, Milk Stout, English Dark Mild, American Brown, Vienna Lager

Fermenting: Roggenbier, Pumpkin Ale
Kegged: Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen, Barleywine
Lagering: Märzen, Doppelbock, Düsseldorf Alt
User avatar
turkeyjerky214
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:18 am
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: Adding Bourbon

Postby slarkin712 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:56 pm

The ABV calculation is simple.

ABV_B = abv of beer
Vol_B = volume of beer
ABV_W = abv of whiskey
Vol_W = volume of whiskey

New ABV = (ABV_B*Vol_B + ABV_W*Vol_W)/(Vol_B + Vol_W)

For example, if you had 5 gallons of 6% beer and added 6 oz of 40% whiskey the calculation would be
128 oz/gallon
(.06*5 + .4*6/128)/(5 + 6/128) = 6.32% ABV

As far as mashing higher I don't think that would be necessary. I assume you're adding this to a beer that has considerable body and sweetness? If so, mash as usual. If you're adding this to a helles you're quite innovative. I've made a bourbon porter that I added 6oz to and it seemed pretty good. It's always easier to add more later. You could just start out with 4 oz and work from there.
slarkin712
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:54 pm

Re: Adding Bourbon

Postby JoeHPhil » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:07 am

Personal Experience about 5 years ago - therefore anyone can argue...

Robust Porter - I put med toast oak chips in a ziplock bag with Makers Mark (the airplane bottle size) and 2 Vanilla beans and soaked in the fridge while I finished the primary, so about 3 weeks.

Racked into a clean glass carboy and added the whole mess from the ziplock bag along with about 3-4 oz more Makers Mark. Aged another 3-4 weeks before bottling.

Beer had a relatively sharp bite even after aging. Vanilla did not really come through as much as I desired. I'm not a bourbon guy to be fair, but it seemed like the oak flavor did appear fine but the bourbon flavor never really incorporated into the beer, it simply cohabitated. Strange description, but my perception fogged by 5 years of suppression.
User avatar
JoeHPhil
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Ijamsville, MD

Re: Adding Bourbon

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:49 pm

Thanks for the help, guys. It'll still be a few weeks before I get this one brewed, but I'm really looking forward to it.
-Brian

On Tap: Sour Belgian Brown, Amber Ale, Milk Stout, English Dark Mild, American Brown, Vienna Lager

Fermenting: Roggenbier, Pumpkin Ale
Kegged: Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen, Barleywine
Lagering: Märzen, Doppelbock, Düsseldorf Alt
User avatar
turkeyjerky214
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:18 am
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: Adding Bourbon

Postby Lynux » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:40 pm

Not sure if you brewed this beer already but I added half a fifth (1.5 cups) of Knob Creek to my vanilla imperial porter and that was just right for my tastes. It was already a beer with lots of body so the whiskey did not thin it out at all. I added the bourbon straight to the keg.

This beer won me a gold at the HHHC in 2011 for what it's worth.
A good brew will quench the parched soul

P -
C - Lambic
Tap - Red Lager, Black Lager, Patersbier, Cream Ale
Bottle - Barleywine, Mead, Flanders Red, Wit Wine
User avatar
Lynux
 
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:48 pm
Location: South St. Louis

Re: Adding Bourbon

Postby l1chris » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:31 pm

I recently got into bourbon pretty heavily and have been playing with adding to beer. I have recently added oak chips that were soaked in bourbon but the soaking juices dumped, then add a few shots of the fresh bourbon to a carbonated keg of American stout that i wasnt really fond of and also into a keg of American barleywine. I added, then tasted until i was happy with it. Now i really like the stout and the barleywine is not bad either.
l1chris
 
Posts: 246
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 3:11 pm
Location: Waterloo IL


Return to Ingredients Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests