02 – Bourbon Barrel Porter

This post will keep track of the second beer homebrewing recipe i’m working on ever, one week behind the first ever batch. Both are fermenting at the same time underneath our dining room table in our 1 bedroom apartment. It’s working out well so far though. Here’s to having a great holiday porter to give out to family and friends in time for the holidays…

The recipe is from NorthernBrewer.com, and is called “Bourbon Barrel Porter” on their site. It is a porter with bourbon-infused wood chips and it sounds awesome. The URL to the recipe is: http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/allgrain/AG-BourbonBarrelPorter.pdf

For the grain bill, I ended up going with the following (recipe original item in parentheses)…

percentage lbs ingredient
82.61% 9.5 english marris otter
8.70% 1 white wheat (weyermann pale wheat)
4.35% 0.5 350 briess chocolate malt(english chocolate malt)
4.35% 0.5 80L briess caramel malt (english dark crystal)
100.00% 11.5


For the hops/additions schedule, ended up going with the following (recipe original item in parentheses)…

timing amount type
60 mins 1oz chinook hops
15 mins 0.5oz us goldings hops
5 mins% 0.5oz us goldings hops
yeast 1 packet safale s04 (danstar windsor ale / wyeast 1728 scottish)
additions 4 weeks in 16oz makers mark bourbon
additions 4 weeks in 2oz american oak chips (medium plus toast american oak cubes)


The batch is currently in the fermentation bucket with the wood chips soaking in maker’s mark right now.

OK, so the batch is now bottled as of this past Saturday (NOV 8th), and got together some of this batch’s photos…

Here is the batch about 3 to 4 weeks into primary fermentation, opened it to dry-hop (by mistake) but within 12 hours realized and opened it again and transferred to secondary fermentation to prevent any hops from settling in. Luckily they all looked like they were still on top so not much really had time to touch the beer. Phew!

Lesson learned from the first batch. Get the priming sugar ready first, as it takes a while to cool back down, even with cold water flowing past the pot in the sink. Here is 4-4.5 ounces of dextrose with just over 2 cups of water. Boil the water, stir in the dextrose, cover to sanitize the lid, boil it down for five minutes, then let it cool on the side.

Cleaned and dried the night prior, now it’s time to star-san the bottles using this handy Vinator bottle rinser and letting them drain out in the FastRack trays.

Here is the bourbon barrel porter wort, after primary fermentation of 3+ weeks, then another 2 weeks of fermentation with the bourbon and bourbon-soaked oak chips added.

Once the priming sugar solution is cooled to room temperature), we add it to the bottling bucket and then siphon the wort out from the fermentation bucket to join it. The siphon hose is placed so the wort doesn’t splash, but gently swirls into the sugar solution.

Right before bottling, the first pour is to get some wort into our test flask. This lets us take a hydrometer measurement of how much sugars are left in the wort. This is the FG or final gravity reading, which when calculated with the OG or original gravity reading can help identify the actual ABV or alcohol by volume of the beer.

After a two-person task of filling and capping the wort into the 22 ounce bottles, we took a small sample to sip on to preview the beer. The 5 gallon recipe netted us exactly 26 bottles of beer ready to be bottle conditioned.

Now, to try and let as many of these bad boys age for as long as possible. Many will be holiday gifts to friends and family, but will be saving a bunch to sample every three months and for sure one or two for a year or more out. 🙂


One thought on “02 – Bourbon Barrel Porter

  1. Just an update, we had one last night 4 months into bottle conditioning…. and it was awesome! Totally mellowed out since last time I tasted in in December, it is now a very addicting “wish i had a lot more saved” batch of beer. I have a couple which will hold onto for a bit longer, but next time might have to brew a double batch of this one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s