Homebrew: Whiskey Barrel Porter

We brewed a whiskey barrel porter in January 2013. It was a Austin Homebrew extract kit. This brew sounded really good; however, it did not turn out as well as we had hoped.

Whiskey Barrel Porter {Homebrew} | rainerlife.com

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5 gallons
IBU: 33
OG: 1.063
FG: 1.015
ABV: 6.3%

Grains used for this recipe were 34 pound of chocolate malt, 12 pound of crystal 75L malt, 12 pound de-bittered black malt, and 12 pound Maris Otter malt. After we heated two gallons of water to 155°F, we steeped the grains for 25 minutes. We placed the grain bag in a strainer over the pot after steeping to drain. When it was finished draining, we discarded the grains, added one gallon of water to the pot, and brought the mixture to boiling.

Once boiling, we turned off the heat and added 3 pounds of amber extract and 6 pounds dark extract. We continuously stirred the malt to prevent boil over. After the malt was dissolved, we returned the wort to a boil. Once a good rolling boil was established, we added 1 ounce of Galena hops to boil for 60 minutes for bittering. After 45 minutes of boiling, we added 12 ounce of Kent Golding hops for flavor. With 5 minutes of boil time left, we added another 12 ounce of Kent Golding for aroma.

When the boil time finished, we removed the pot from the heat and placed it in an ice bath to cool down to 80°F. This took about 30 minutes. The cooled wort was poured into a 6 gallon carboy and cool water was added to bring the volume to 5 gallons. We poured the wort through a strainer to help prevent sludge from entering the carboy. We stirred the wort to mix well with the added water, and then checked the specific gravity.

We pitched a wet yeast (White Labs Edinburgh 028) directly into the carboy and stirred the wort so it was well mixed. Our brew was stored in a temperature controlled (72°F) chest freezer.

We used primary and secondary fermentation for this brew. We left the beer in the primary fermentor for nine days, and then racked to a secondary. When racking to the secondary, we added 212 ounces of whiskey barrel oak chips. The beer was in the secondary for three weeks before bottling. Before bottling the beer, we moved the beer to a bottling bucket and added 112 cups of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. We bottled 53 12-ounce bottles of beer.

Our biggest problem with this homebrew was diacetyl. We tried to solve this problem over the summer by pouring the bottled beer back into a carboy, adding yeast, and letting it ferment for 40 days. We rebottled the beer and tried it again after a few months. This did help tremendously with the diacetyl, but the beer still seems off. We have left the bottles set aside and will continue to try a beer every so often to see if it starts to taste better.


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