Looking over some old recipes got the original Beerskey, our second beer ever, stuck in my head. I really enjoyed that beer and how well the mix of dark malts, oak chips, and whiskey worked together. I decided to put together a similar recipe for this brew. I used several suggestions I found from a forum on HomeBrewTalk discussing NorthernBrewer’s Bourbon Barrel Porter recipe, such as a higher OG, higher IBUs, and using more whiskey. I am looking forward to drinking this one when it has had a bit of time to age.
Activated the yeast pack. Heated 1.5 gallons of water to 160 F, then turned off the heat and added my grains to steep for 30 minutes. After steeping, rinsed grains with another 1.5 gallons of warm water and then brought the wort to a boil. As the wort was heating, I added and dissolved the malt extract and rinsed the container out with another half gallon of warm water.
Added an ounce of Magnum hops for bittering at the beginning of the boil. With 15 minutes left, added half an ounce of East Kent Goldings hops for some flavor, and with 5 minutes left I added the 3/4 ounce of Hallertau for aroma. After the boil, I poured the wort through a strainer into my primary bucket, removing the leaf hops. I then added two gallons of ice to the wort to bring the temperature below 80 F, and enough water to bring the total volume up to 5.5 gallons. Measured the OG, then pitched the yeast and attached a blow-off tube to the primary bucket.
3-21-12: Put into primary. OG measured at 1.068 giving a potential strength of 9.0 %ABV (9.7 %ABV if you factor in the whiskey that will be added). Also put oak chips and bourbon together in a Mason jar and set it aside until I need to add it to the beer when racking to secondary.
3-23-12: Very active fermentation. It’s good I used the blow-off tube; the tubing has been filling with foam and the bucket lid has broken it’s seal a couple times, but no beer has escaped. I put some weights on the lid to keep it sealed and it seems to be doing fine now.
4-1-12: Racked onto whiskey and oak chips in secondary carboy. SG was 1.026, giving a strength of 5.5 %ABV, which is bumped up to 6.2 %ABV by the Jack Daniel’s. A taste test revealed that this beer is a bit on the bitter side, not surprising since it has 60.8 IBUs and plenty of roasted malts. I expect the whiskey will add a bit of sweetness, and bottle aging will mellow things out.
4-15-12: Racked and filtered into a bottling bucket. Measured FG at 1.026 giving a strength of 5.8% ABV, or 6.5% when the whiskey is taken into account. Boiled my priming sugar in 1 pint of water, then added it to the bottling bucket. Bottled into 58 12-ounce bottles.