bottle aging in whiskey bottles?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    my roommate drinks whiskey, and i was looking at an empty bottle with a swing top and had the idea to bottle age a home-brew in it? Please tell me if this isn't a good idea. BUT, if it is a potentially good idea, what are some good beer styles that would compliment a taste of whiskey?
     
  2. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

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    I'm assuming you're talking about a glass bottle....? It won't impart any flavor at all, not that I'm aware of, to a beer that's aged in it. Especially if you've cleaned and sanitized it per usual protocol for beer bottling. Now an oak barrel used to age whiskey that still has whiskey imbued into the wood...that's a different story. I believe some companies still sell barrels of varying sizes that have had whiskey stored in them that some homebrewers use to give their beers a whiskey flavor...

    Much easier just to use bourbon-flavored wood chips (oak is popular) to give your beers that flavor. Just do a google search for bourbon wood chips for brewing, lots of places sell those. Easy to manage how much flavor your beer is getting as well, with a few guidelines..

    Some sites like northernbrewer.com and I'm sure many others sell a kit with everything you need in it to do just that. I've actually tasted NB's called "Bourbon Barrel Porter Kit" that a friend of mine let me try. It was better than I expected. I'd imagine certain (darker) beers would generally pair okay with a bourbon flavor, but (to me) lighter and more citrusy ones wouldn't. Tastes vary, of course.

    So, for me, I'd say porters, bocks, stouts and such would be better choices. Take you some of your homebrew (if you have some), order you some bourbon oak chips, and taste test it for us and tell us which ones taste better in your opinion. :) Might have to wait awhile for the flavor to get released though. Probably takes days, or weeks, too long to do a good experiment unless you are in the process of making a batch right now..
     
  3. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    My concern would be the thickness of the glass. Most whiskey bottles rant designed for the pressure. Could explode.
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    For the oak chips, my LHBS said to toast them in the oven on low for a bit, then wrap them in aluminum foil. The take a blowtorch to the foil. It should char them withou the nasty burnt ash.
    But don't melt the foil!
    This was done for a lighter beer too. There were a lot of other things going on there, so I don't know if the oak flavor was covered up or what. I don't think I'll be doing that recipe again
     
  5. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

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    No, they wouldn't, you're right. If it wasn't designed to hold carbonate beverages, it's usually not a good idea to bottle condition beer in them. Just ask me how I know... :oops:
     
  6. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Good answers. Thanks. Thought I'd ask because there's always a bit left over in the bottles.
     
  7. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    you can definitely use that to soak the chips! fill a jar just enough to cover them, then put in a cabinet for 2 weeks to marinate :D
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You won't get any whiskey flavor from the bottle, period. Glass is impermeable. There's the pressure problem - the glass walls may be too thin to hold the pressure. And here's a proven way to get whiskey flavor into your beer: Add whiskey to your beer. There's no magic in oak that has whiskey aged in it, whether chips or barrels. The flavor you get from whiskey-soaked oak is whiskey, pure and simple. The barrel has another property - it's not completely sealed so allows small quantities of air to dissolve into your beer but the flavor that results is oxidation, not whiskey. Barrels' slow leakage and resultant micro-aeration is valuable in red wine production but may be why I normally don't like barrel-aged beers - I'm pretty sensitive to oxidation flavors. I wouldn't discourage anyone who likes whiskey barrel aged beer from making it but I would encourage them to understand the processes they're employing.
     
  9. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    To further add to the discussion, we recently tried abita''s maple pecan (stout or porter) that was aged in bourbon barrels.
    We both thought the bourbon was overpowering, it literally tasted like you poured a shot or two into the pint. We soldiered on anyway, but I don't think we'll be buying barrel aged from them again.
    Like with everything else, moderation and balance is key
     
  10. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    the bottle in particular that sparked my idea was a Rogue whiskey bottle with a swing type. and there's still some whiskey in it. So by your logic, literally adding whiskey to the beer, is this not a solution?

    The more i think about all of this, the more i don't want to do it, but it's sparked my interest.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If there's whiskey in the bottle, it will add whiskey flavor to your beer. But why not control the experiment: Add measured quantities of whiskey to fixed quantities of beer and discover the amount that tastes good to you. Knowing that, if you like it, you could scale up and add the right amount of whiskey to the entire batch at bottling time.
     
  12. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    There are some vodka bottles that are thick glass with a flip top that work. They are the right size for sharing a special beer with someone I think 750ml. If you want whiskey flavor just add whiskey. And Rogue is a good whiskey for that, it has a distinct flavor.
     
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  13. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

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    The Bourbon Aged Porter I mentioned was very subtle. You'd take a draught, and it would taste like a porter, then the bourbon flavor would subtly peek its head out for a few seconds. It was delicious.

    I'm going to have to try some Rogue. Right after I get a $100 bottle of Lagavulin. Ever since Nick Offerman sold me on it I've been craving it.

    What brand vodka was that, do you remember? And they will hold carbonation right? Have you tried it?
     
  14. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    The vodka brand is 360. They come in different flavors I think. The bottom is like 3/4 inches thick. We use them quite frequently. Flip tops are good finds. Some friends gave these to us. We share beer with them more now!
    Dead Guy Ale Whiskey is smooth enough not to overpower but not really a strong bourbon if ya want it to stand out.
     
  15. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    The only problem is I think they are clear glass so probably not the best for aging.
     
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  16. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    indeed, clear, 750ml.
     

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  17. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Bury them deep in the closet wrapped in a blanket and it won't make any difference
     
  18. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    Interesting bottle. What's if taste like?
     
  19. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    eh, er, i couldn't tell you. I don't have the palette for it, nor any liquor for that matter... but, i've really enjoyed most beers that have the words scotch, bourbon, or whiskey.
     
  20. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Always keep all your beer in the dark. All of it. The clear bottle will enhance presentation on that special occasion. I have some Huckleberry Saison force carbonated in Corona bottles for that reason. It looks like a light colored wine.
     

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