Bourbon Barrel Porter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains

SKU# U1600

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Bourbon barrel-aged beers have been a hugely popular style ever since their inception in the early '90s by American craft brewers. By starting with a stronger-than-average robust porter, then infusing it with Bourbon-soaked oak (we recommend Maker's Mark), the end result is quite possibly the best beer ever.

Recommended: 2-stage fermentation and yeast starter.

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Bourbon Barrel Porter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains

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  • Bourbon Barrel Porter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains
Product Details
Bourbon barrel-aged beers have been a hugely popular style ever since their inception in the early '90s by American craft brewers. By starting with a stronger-than-average robust porter, then infusing it with Bourbon-soaked oak (we recommend Maker's Mark), the end result is quite possibly the best beer ever. You'll have to supply your own bourbon - save a little to sip on brew day to really capture the spirit. The intense aroma and flavor of toasted American oak and the sweet graininess of good bourbon meld with the bittersweet roastiness of porter to make for a very characterful beer. Recommended: 2-stage fermentation and yeast starter.
Additional Information
Beer Kit Yield5 Gallons
Recipe and InstructionsClick Here for Bourbon Barrel Porter Extract Kit Brewing Instructions
Regional StyleUSA
Original Gravity1065
Total Time to Make2 months
Reviews
4.7 / 5.0
189 Reviews
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a five star brew
great kit but dose take several weeks to carbinate. mine spent 2 weeks in primary, 4 weeks in secondary and then 4 more weeks to bottle condition. a very smooth dark beer. second batch in secondary but this time I added cherry puree in the secondary doubled the oak chips and 20 oz of makers mark 46
December 21, 2013
honestly smelled the empty glass after every pint!
i am an extract brewer, and this was only my third kit. i used the makers mark for the bourbon. 10 days primary, 30 days secondary with the oak and bourbon addition at 15 days. bottle conditioned for four weeks. the first two i opened didnt seem to carbonate completely so i let them sit for another 2 weeks.in the nose it is a distinct wood smell with the presence of the bourbon. when the pint that hit my lips, it was bliss. a nice earthy wood taste to start wrapped up with a smoothe malty , almost chocolate feel. goes down and you get the bourbon. no burn! just the good part of bourbon, the taste! the empty glass swirls with the remnant smell of the toasted oak. i honestly sat there and sniffed my empty glass for a few minutes, its that good!i handed a few bottles out to friends and co-workers. this one was a big hit. i am definately going to be doing two batches of this for next winter. it goes all too quickly!Cheers!
January 29, 2013
WOW!!!!
great taste, like Maker's Mark by itself but this really tops it off.
February 25, 2014
Online Review by Mike
http://mikesbrewreview.com/review-of-northern-brewer-bourbon-barrel-porter/
March 23, 2010
Outstanding Bourbon Porter!
I am not a Porter guy, but in the Fall my son convinced me that we should brew something hearty for the holidays. We made this extract kit using the Danstar yeast in a 2000 ml starter for a few days. After primary, we did about three weeks in secondary with the wood chips soaked in Jim Beam Black (aged 8 years - not the regular Jim Beam) - I added a little extra Bourbon - between soaking and the straight addition, all in all about 3/4 of a 750 ml bottle. Man this beer is good - after aging (and carbonating) in the bottle for a week it was good, and it has continued to get better now after about 7 weeks in the bottle. A great kit! Make it! One bit of advice, I would not add more Bourbon than I did - I think it would be possible to overdo the Bourbon, but 1/2 to 3/4 bottle seems to work great.
February 12, 2013
Outstanding!
I am not much of a Porter guy, but with winter coming up my son encouraged me to give it a try, so I bought this kit. I use the dry Windsor yeast to make a 2 liter starter. I did the specialty grains and boils per the instructions. I oxygenated with an 02 tank and diffuser stone for one minute before pitching. Also added Wyeast nutrient and a Whirlfloc tablet in the last 15 minutes of the boil.Racked to secondary after about 10 days, and let it sit in secondary for two weeks before adding the oak chips. I soaked the oak chips in Jim Beam Double Black for two days before adding them, and I used about 600ml of the 750 ml bottle of Bourbon, which all was added to secondary. After the whiskey and oak was added, it sat in secondary for about 10 more days before bottling, and I waited only one week in the bottle to try the beer out on Thanksgiving Day.The beer was lightly carbonated, like an Irish Stout, and the flavor was balanced, full, and just outstanding. It can only get better as it ages in the bottle, but I must say I am extremely impressed with the balance and deep character of this marvelous beer? Highly reccomend end!
November 24, 2012
Awesome Porter
I am not usually a Porter fan. I am more of an IPA and Stout guy but this recipe sounded so interesting that I had to try it. I originally brewed it as a Christmas present to friends and family. But now that it is done, my wife and I are wondering if anyone else will actually see any of this stuff.I read an earlier review where it was recommended to use half again as much bourbon. I used an entire 750ml bottle of Makers Mark (less the shot I poured for myself) and if you like a strong bourbon flavor that is the ticket. However, that much bourbon tends to overpower the oak. Will probably use a little less next time.Your house will smell amazing on brew day with this kit. :)
November 21, 2009
it will be hard, but you must wait
I brewed it as directed and planned on giving it out at Christmas after 2.5 months in the bottle, but it tasted bad. I just had a bottle this weekend after ~5.5 months and it is fantastic. I am upset that I sampled so many along the way, because they were flat and had a harsh oak and booziness that were nasty. Now it has come together and is still bold yet very smooth and has a dark brown head that lasts longer than the beer itself...patience is a virtue.
March 19, 2012
MUST BREW -- Slight variation
I brewed this a few months ago. I upped the Bourbon to about 20oz and threw in a growler with my oak cubes, some organic Maple extract and some pure Vanilla extract. I let it sit for a about a two weeks waiting in my primary. Racked over to my secondary and dumped in the entire growler, oak and all. The bourbon was a little strong out of the gate but about 4 months in this brew is PERFECT. I have had many requests from family and friends to brew another batch. What they don't know if I keep a special reserve hidden for myself ;)
April 16, 2011
Fantastic..... But add a few things.
I brewed this about 5 weeks ago. I let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks and just sampled the first bottle two weeks into bottle conditioning. Very satisfied. I used Makers Mark (about half of a 750 ml bottle) and added an additional 6 oz of toasted oak chips for a total of of 8 oz. I highly recommended adding the "extra" oak chips and bourbon. I brewed this same beer several months before without the extra oak and bourbon and was not completely satisfied. Buy this kit and go crazy with it. You won't regret it.
April 8, 2011
Q&A
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Browse 14 questions Browse 14 questions and 26 answers
I've made this before and loved it. I agree with the majority of y'all the longer it ages the better it is. My question is this has anyone tried a coffee addition to this? If so how much coffee did you use and was it during the book or secondary fermentation? I figured combining the three greatest beverages beer, coffee, and bourbon you can't really go wrong
C L on Jan 10, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I haven't tried this, but I have sure thought about it! A buddy of mine recently did a coffee stout, and did it a little different than I had ever heard or seen: He just brewed 1 full pot of REALLY strong dark coffee (Star Bucks something - said it was their darkest version). He took the whole pot, boiled his priming sugar in it, added that to the bottling bucket, and that was it. Super simple, and turned out GREAT! Either way, can you post to NB what you try, and how it turns out? Good luck!
I brewed two weeks ago. Fermentation seemed very slow. Temp of my wort when I pitched was 70 degrees (dropped really quick). I placed my primary in the same location I do for all my brews, typically around 60 to 66 degrees. After a week, I moved to my boiler room. Temp there averages 64 to 68 degrees. Absolutely no more CO2. I even cracked the lid to stir up (very carefully) the yeast back into suspension. Worried I brewed a non-alcoholic brew. Anyone else have similar experience with this?
K E on Feb 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Have you taken a SG? My final on that brew was 1.020, IG was 1.07 vs. the target of 1.065 (I had less than 5 gal in the fermenter). You might have to pitch additional yeast, not uncommon with high alcohol brews.
On a side note, I'm somewhat disappointed in the brew but think it is the fault of my water. I cannot taste the bourbon - but found after brewing that our water system had increased the chlorine content quite a bit. I think that screwed up a chocolate milk stout, too.
Just put mine to keg after a flawless brew/fermentation -- times/temps/numbers all rang in where they should be. Prepped a yeast starter and had a strong fermentation through out the primary, subtle activity in the secondary. I used Bulliet Bourbon for the soak/addition. Surprised my ABV is only right around 5%.... would have anticipated higher. Is this within an expected range?
J K on Nov 25, 2015
BEST ANSWER: I ended up at 6.4% after adding a pint & a half of Wild Turkey 101 with the chips and a couple vanilla beans. It came out of the secondary at 5.9% before the bourbon. You could have had some temperature issues during fermentation. I was able to keep mine between 66-68� throughout.Your starter could�?ve been too young or small. I now use a 1600ml starter at 48+ hours. For this brew I only used a vail of Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast, not a starter. 5% is not too far off. I will be brewing this again and will add a pound of Golden Light DME and a pound of corn sugar to up the ABV. I have better luck with dry yeast in a starter of 4 1/2 pints water, 8 ounces of Golden Light DME and 1/4 tsp Wyeast yeast nutrient. After a 20 minute boil I end up with 1600ml. This should give substantially more ABV. Also, instead of using the chips I will age mine in a used bourbon barrel for the secondary.
What is the sanitation process when prepping/adding the wood cubes and bourbon?
W I on Nov 25, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The instructions, available on the website: "Soak 2 oz of Medium Plus Oak Cubes in 16 oz of bourbon for 24-48 hours. Then add the oak cubes and bourbon to the secondary fermenter and wait an additional 1 - 2 weeks before bottling."

I assume the high alcohol content of the bourbon provides all the sanitation needed. I am just tomorrow transferring to the secondary, so still have a long wait before tasting.
How can I tell a beers alcohol content when ordering from your website? Thanks
T M on Jul 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I don't think you can. Alcohol content is determined by the difference in original and final gravities. You will find a calculator here: www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator. My OG was 1.07, FG was 1.02, which gives an abv of 6.6%. However, adding the 16 oz of 90 proof bourbon increases the abv to 7.5%.

I was initially disappointed in this brew, but it matured wonderfully. I think it needs to be in the bottle at least 4 months before it really is outstanding.

I will be brewing it again soon for the coming winter. And I will not use Maker's again - that was likely a waste of excellent sour mash!
How how do I leave the bottles aging at room temperature before I put them in a fridge to age? Also, is it bad to let it age in the second fermenter for 2-3 weeks and then add the bourbon chips for another 3 weeks and then bottle after that?
Matthew W on May 30, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I followed the instruction sheet and conditioned at room temp for 2 weeks before chilling a few bottles and tasting. Most of my bottles are still at room temp; I chill only when I'm ready for some cool ones. I don't have a spare refrig, or would put them all in.
Steps 18 and 19 on the recipe call for 2-3 weeks in secondary; once there it can stay as long as you want. Mine was in secondary on 11/25, and I did not add the bourbon soaked chips until 1/2. Then bottled two weeks later on 1/16.
One problem I have with this brew, and with several others, is under-carbonation. There is a video on NB about using their priming sugar calculator (https://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator), which I was unaware of at the time. I will certainly do that on my next brew.
Will this yield 5 gallons
M I on Feb 29, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I think I recall getting just short of that. I filled about 45 beer bottles.
What's everyone getting for Attenuation? I finished really high (before adding bourbon).

OG 1.066
FG 1.030

That's only about 54%... Making 4.7% abv

I pitched some rehydrated dry yeast yesterday and have no activity. Does this really finish this high?
A M on Jan 23, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Greeting!

If you are still having trouble with your fermentation you can give us a call anytime!
What is the ABV of this beer?
B Z on Jan 9, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Using this calculator (http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/) and my OG of 1.07 and FG of 1.02, I get 6.56% - BEFORE adding the 16 oz of Makers Mark. The Makers is 45% ABV, so I replaced 16 oz of 6.6% ABV with the Makers. The net addition of alcohol was 16x.45 - 16x.066, or 6.1 oz.

Alcohol content in the 5 gal batch was 640x.066=42.2oz.
With the Makers, it is now 48.3 oz.

Thus the new ABV = 48.3/640=7.5%
Put into primary fermentor a day in a half ago. Sitting a cool spot (about 70 degrees). Seeing no activity from the airlock. Should I be concerned or be patient? Can i repitch yeast?
M C on Jun 21, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Greetings,

Thank you for brewing with us. If only 36 hours in, I would give it a bit more time for signs of fermentation to manifest themselves. Some quick things, it is important to check for signs of fermentation activity besides a bubbling airlock, like foam on the surface. Also, you could try checking the gravity with a hydrometer. You'll want to see a lower number. That reading can provide valuable information like if the yeast is doing anything at all. If the yeast have started you will want to try and get those going. Raise the temperature and rouse the yeast by stirring or shaking and this usually jump starts the yeast. You may also try adding a yeast energizer, not nutrient. I would check for signs of foam and the gravity first. If there has not been any activity I would recommend adding new yeast, but only after checking the gravity. Give us a call and we may be able to better help troubleshoot

Cheers,

Lance F.
I have both the dry ale yeast and the liquid Scottish ale yeast. Any downside is using both?
M C on Jun 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Pitching two strains into the same often yields unpredictable results. Sometimes one yeast will dominate the fermentation, other there will be flavor characteristics of both, and other times they can combine to create a third kind of thing. As far as fermentation goes, the wort will turn into beer, but it would be an experiment as far as flavor is concerned.
I'm in the last stage, 10 days with the bourbon and chips, and the beer is still fermenting, about one bubble per 30 secs. Should I let it go and wait till fermentation stops before bottling?
H O on Mar 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hi Ed,

That is probably just residual co2 coming out of solution. Typically there is very little or no actual fermentation that occurs in secondary. If you want to be sure, take a gravity reading. When the SG holds steady for 3 days, you can bottle safely.

Cheers!

Charles
I'm buying this for my boyfriend as a gift. He's never done at at home brew. Is there anything else I need to buy with this kit ? TIA
Paige K on Nov 28, 2016
Does this kit come with everything I need ? I'm buying this as a gift for my boyfriend. It will be his first time doing an at home brew. Do I need anything else with this kit ? TIA
A shopper on Nov 28, 2016

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