Batch# 26 – Bourbon Brown Ale
Nut Brown Ale extract kit from Northern Brewer promo, with oaked bourbon added.
Jack up a simple extract kit with some booze and oak.
This beer was brewed in Ross’s awesome dual-element electric kettle on his back porch. To start, we basically just followed the kit instructions , which included some liquid extract and specialty grains for steeping. The only significant difference may have been that we did a full boil instead of following the standard partial boil approach per instructions. The reason for this is too avoid having high gravity boil (a lot of malt extract in a little amount of water), which could potentially result in scalding/scorching/buildup on the heating elements.
Nothing too notable about the brew up to this point, other than the fact that Ross’s electric kettle is a beast, and can bring water up to temp like you read about. We nearly had a boil-over with both elements on and just needed one to keep things at a nice bubbling boil.
Bottling time is where we mixed things up a bit. We soaked an arbitrary amount of oak chips in about a cup or two of bourbon for a week or so before bottling:
The idea here was to extract some oaky-ness from the chips, then toss the bourbon in with the fermented beer before bottling it. In sampling the beer post-fermentation, pre-bourbon addition, I was pleased with the clean character and the hint of nutty and toasty found in a typical nut brown ale. So, starting with a decent beer was a good sign.
The first thing we noticed about this beer is that while the bourbon flavor is there, the oak flavor itself does not come through strongly. Otherwise, it has a pretty nice round flavor with the hint of bourbon. Nice carb, slightly creamy. We are noticing a little banana-like flavor more recently as well.