My First Attempt At Barrel Aging A Homebrew (updated tasting)

20130220-195805.jpgGot an awesome Christmas gift from my wife, an 8-gallon Rye Whiskey barrel from Woodenville Whiskey Co.  The first thing that had to be decided, what will the first beer be?  I want to brew a style that would highlight the whiskey flavors and not be masked by heavy hopping or roasted grains.

Old Ale was my choice and since at the time I was only brewing 5-gallon batches, I would need to brew a couple batches to make sure the barrel was filled.

Batch #1

Brewday 12/30/12

All Grain

Style Name: Old Ale
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 7 gallons
Efficiency: 72% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.084
Final Gravity: 1.018
ABV (standard): 8.72%
IBU (tinseth): 31.5
SRM (mosher): 19.66

FERMENTABLES:
14 oz – American – Pale 2-Row (5.5%)
12 lb – United Kingdom – Maris Otter Pale (76%)
0.5 lb – American – Aromatic Malt (3.2%)
9.7 oz – American – Caramel / Crystal 120L (3.8%)
4.8 oz – American – Chocolate (1.9%)
1.5 lb – United Kingdom – Golden Naked Oats (9.5%)

HOPS:
1 oz – East Kent Goldings for 60 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 5.6, IBU: 19.44)
0.5 oz – East Kent Goldings for 15 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 5.6, IBU: 4.82)
1 oz – Fuggles for 15 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 4.2, IBU: 7.24)

MASH STEPS:
1) Temperature, Temp: 155 F, Time: 70 min, Amount: 19.75 qt, Hold
2) Fly Sparge, Temp: 170 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 20 qt

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp – 5.2 Mash Stabilizer, Mash

YEAST:

Wyeast – London Ale 1028 & Wyeast Scottish Ale 1728 Blended

Attenuation (avg): 79%
Flocculation: Med-Low
Optimum Temp: 60 – 72 F
Additional Yeast: Scottish Ale 1728

Batch #2

Brewday 1/12/13

All Grain
Style Name: Old Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 6.5 gallons
Efficiency: 78% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.084
Final Gravity: 1.017
ABV (standard): 8.8%
IBU (tinseth): 31.28
SRM (mosher): 19.32

FERMENTABLES:
13 lb – United Kingdom – Maris Otter Pale (90.8%)
6.6 oz – United Kingdom – Pale Chocolate (2.9%)
6.1 oz – Flaked Barley (2.7%)
4.4 oz – American – Aromatic Malt (1.9%)
4 oz – German – Chocolate Wheat (1.7%)

HOPS:
1 oz – East Kent Goldings for 60 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 5.6, IBU: 18.69)
0.5 oz – East Kent Goldings for 15 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 5.6, IBU: 4.64)
1 oz – Fuggles for 15 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 4.8, IBU: 7.95)

MASH STEPS:
1) Temperature, Temp: 155 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 18 qt, Hold
2) Fly Sparge, Temp: 170 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 20 qt

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp – 5.2 Mash Stabilizer, Mash

YEAST:

Wyeast – London Ale 1028 & Wyeast Scottish Ale 1728 (pitched on batch #1 yeast cake)
Attenuation (custom): 80%
Flocculation: Med-Low
Optimum Temp: 60 – 72 F
Additional Yeast: Scottish Ale 1728

FG 1.017 1/27/13 added to Rye Barrel

Both batches were added to the Rye barrel on 1/27/13.

Beer sat in the barrel until 2/9/13. The beer was pumped out and kegged.

So I have had this beer a few times over the last 3 weeks and a few of my tasting notes.

Tasting Notesphoto-1

Aroma – Sweet Carmel and Rye Whiskey.

Color – Darker side of copper (if that’s a color) not quite a red.

Head – Creamy in texture, light tan in color

Carbonation – Light, on tap

Taste – Rich, malty, with a slight boozy aftertaste. Sweeter than I expected, but smooths out nicely as it warms up. I let a glass sit until it reach about 60 degrees and it drank very nice.

Summary – Not a sit by the pool on a hot day and pound kind of beer. More of an after dinner/dessert beverage, but hey it is an Old Ale. Since the batch was 8 gallons, I do expect the 2nd keg to sit for another 6 months, just in time to break out for the Fall.

Cheers!

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