A Home Brewer’s Personal Journey through His Craft – Part 22
Beer for my horses! And whiskey for my stout!
With full apologies to Willie Nelson and Toby Keith we are going to tackle a couple of whiskey stouts in this leg of our journey. The first made with probably the most famous southern whiskey; the venerable, iconic, Tennessee whiskey, Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Sour Mash. The second is made with my favorite Irish whiskey, Bushmills.
The first I called Black Jack Stout and was inspired by a whiskey stout I had tried at the GABF. It is an original recipe I came up with after researching several recipes on the internet. This is a three gallon recipe.
3 lbs M&F Plain Dark DME
1 lb M&F Plain Wheat DME (55/45)
4 oz Roasted barley
4 oz 150L crystal malt
4 oz Black Patent malt
1 oz Peat Smoked malt
¼ cup Blackstrap molasses
½ oz Challenger hop pellets (60 min)
½ oz Styrian Goldings hop pellets (15 min)
¼ tsp Irish Moss (15 min)
½ oz Styrian Goldings hop pellets (5 min)
1 cup toasted oak chips
1 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
10g Doric Ale yeast
Priming: 1/3 cup corn sugar & 1/3 cup DME
Start by soaking the oak chips in the whiskey in a sealed container. This will be added in the secondary.
Heat the milled grains in one gallon cold water. Remove from heat just as boil commences, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain this into brew kettle containing one gallon cold water and sparge grains with one liter boiling water. Add the DME and molasses and bring to boil adding the hops and Irish Moss at times indicated for a total 60 minute boil.
Remove from heat and add cold water to bring to the 12 quart mark. Finish cooling with the immersion chiller. Pitch the yeast which has been re-hydrated in 1 pint water and 2 tablespoons cooled wort. Pour into 5 gallon carboy.
The brew showed signs of activity in only about two hours and became very strong over the next six days when it settled down and I racked it the secondary. Pour the whiskey and oak chips into the secondary before adding the brew. I bottled after seven days in the secondary.
This stuff was black as night with a thin but adequate chocolate brown head and a smooth creamy taste and mouthfeel. What was odd was it had no hop bitterness, no real roasted malt flavor, and no obvious whiskey taste but, even with no anything, it was very, very good; smooth, creamy, and mellow. WOW!
Over time, the malt and roasted barley began to assert themselves a bit more and by the time I finished the last bottle about 6 months later it was still very good.
After the success of my first whiskey stout I decided I should make another. I bumped it up a bit to a more ambitious brew, going all grain on this one and using Bushmills Irish Whiskey. This is a completely original recipe.
8 lbs Maris Otter pale malt
8 oz Roasted rye
8 oz Roasted barley
8 oz 150L Crystal malt
8 oz Black Patent malt
8 oz Peat Smoked malt
½ cup Blackstrap molasses
2 oz Northern Brewer whole cone hops (90 min)
1 oz Willamette whole cone hops (60 min)
1 oz Willamette whole cone hops (15 min)
1 tsp Irish Moss (15 min)
1 tbs Burton water salts
2 cups oak chips
2 cups Bushmills Irish whiskey
White Labs WLP004 Irish Ale yeast
Priming: ¾ cup corn sugar & ¼ cup DME
Like the Black Jack Stout, start by soaking the oak chips in the whiskey in a sealed container. I had to first sift the oak through a strainer to remove most of the finer sawdust like bits.
I did a single step infusion mash for this one. Heat 10 quarts water treated with water salts to 170°F. Add the water to the milled grains, stir well, stabilize the temperature at 153°F, cover and let mash for 60 minutes. At mash out increase the temperature to 167°F, lauter and sparge with 5 gallons 170°F water collecting 6 ½ gallons of wort. Add the molasses, bring to boil, and add hops and Irish Moss at times indicated for a total 90 minute boil.
Remove the kettle from heat, remove the hop bags and let drain back into kettle. Cool the wort with immersion chiller and pour into carboy, topping to 5 ½ gallons with cold water and then pitch the yeast.
After four days in the primary, rack to secondary with the whiskey and oak chips. The oak and whiskey smelled wonderfully like sweet caramel.
Bottle the beer after 21 days in the secondary.
This was an excellent stout, no hop bitterness, a definite smokiness from the peat malt and a bit of a bite from the roasted rye and barley. The Bushmills and oak were making themselves very apparent as well. It aged very well with the dark malts and smoked malt asserting themselves along with the whiskey. Excellent stuff!
OK, that is two more down and we still have 22 bottles to pass around. Next time around I will tell the tale of three bastards. And you thought there was only one!
Keep on Brewin’
To be continued…