Getting Toasty

I’m 4 days away from transferring my Bourbon Barrel Porter into a secondary fermenter.  The recipe calls for 8oz of bourbon and 1 oz of medium roast oak cubes to also be added to the secondary. When I was purchasing my ingredients at the LHBS, I had selected American Oak chips, but accidently purchased them untoasted.  So I decided I needed to toast them myself.  I put my oven on high broil with the wire rack on the top position.  I covered a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, weighed out an ounce of oak chips and spread them out on the  sheet.  Then I placed them in the oven and left the oven door ajar so I could keep an eye on them.  After thirty seconds, I took them out and flipped them and put them back in for another 30 seconds.  Then I repeated another round.  They were smoking (smelled good), but no fire.  They darkened pretty good but weren’t burnt.  So I was happy with how they turned out.  Then I measured 8oz of Jim Beam Black and dumped the chips in there and covered.  The bourbon will act to sanitize the chips and soak up that good bourbon flavor for the next 4 days until I’m ready to start the secondary fermenter.  Chips will have more exposed surface area than cubes and hopefully won’t have to sit in secondary for as long (recipe calls for 4 weeks) in order to get the oaky flavor I want.

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2 comments on “Getting Toasty

  1. Bang on, the oak chips should need about half as long, and to be honest you wouldn’t want to leave them much longer or it could get a bit tannic over a month. The cubes are designed for longer secondaries, and people say they give more depth of flavour (I haven’t tried it myself).

    As for the bourbon, with my Oak Whisky Stout I threw the whisky in as well as the chips, and that’s given a really nice mellow whisky flavour, with more of an oak character than the original whisky had.

    Overall I’m very pleased with it. Has added much more body to the beer. Looking forward to hearing how yours comes out!

    • FrugalBrewer says:

      Thanks. I’m going to have to do some periodic taste tests once I get into the second week or so just to make sure it doesn’t get overdone. I do plan on throwing the bourbon in there also. Glad to hear yours came out well.

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