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Bourbon Barrel Porter Yeast Question

Hello All,
I am going to brew the BBP in a few days t a little clarification on the yeast situation. I have a packet of Windsor Ale Yeast that I intend to use and rehydrate per the instructions. On the brew sheet it calls for a yeast starter (liquid yeast), and no further action required for the dry yeast. My question, knowing that a dry yeast packet has more cells than it’s liquid counter part, will one packet of dry yeast be sufficient for this beer? Any first hand knowledge of this beer and using one packet vs. two of dry yeast would be greatly appreciated! Thank you and I appologize for the long winded :blah:

I assume this is a 1 gal. batch.If so, just pitch 1/2 pkg. of the dry yeast (no need to rehydrate). Pitch the yeast with ambient temps. in the low 60’s. This is a very vigorous fermentation.

Be sure to use a blowoff hose (you will lose some of the batch even with one). Highly recommend using a larger fermenter if you can (2,3 gallon or even a 5,6 gal. bucket).

This will be a 5 gallon batch in a 6 gallon carboy w/ blowoff and the low 60’s won’t be a problem in my basement. I apologize for not including that information.

No prob. Unfortunately, I’m still doing 1 gal. batches and have yet to move up to 5 gal. batches.

I know most would recommend using a starter for 5 gal. batches. Might want to confirm this with others with more experience, but I believe you’d be fine using 2 pkgs. of the dry yeast. In that case, it might be easier to distribute the yeast throughout the wort by rehydrating it.

I’d like to hear some advice from others myself on this though.

One pack of the dry yeast should be fine with this beer. I would rehydrate if I were you, although you don’t have to. You should never make a “starter” with dry yeast. When using dry, you start with many more yeast cells than with the liquid packs.

I brewed this one about a year ago and used the dry yeast. Violent fermentation but my temps were warm. Try to keep your beer temp at the low range recommended for the yeast(probably low 60’s) for at least 4 or 5 days(or until the krausen falls) then let it warm up to around room temp to finish. This is a great beer. Good luck.

Ron

This was the second beer I ever made and I pitched 2 packs just because I had them. Knowing then what I know now, I would have only pitched one pack. You should be fine with just one.

Windsor yeast has a pretty low relative attenuation so expect it to finish around 1.024ish. Keep your temps in the mid 60’s for the first 3-4 days and crank them up to the high 60’s to finish it off and hopefully squeeze a few more points of gravity out of it. If you don’t have that kind of control over temps then just keep it in the low 60’s. This is a great beer that I plan to make again soon.

Thank you for your responses, certainly puts my mind at ease on the yeast issue. I will have no trouble fermenting at your recommended temps. My basement is a chilly bastard (low low 60’s) and my closet upstairs has had a batch of Caribou Slobber sitting anywhere between 64-70 the entire fermentation.
I would like to get your input on my additions and timing as well if possible. I will ferment the BBP for two weeks in the primary and then transfer to the secondary. I was going to start soaking oak cubes and three Madagascar Vanilla beans in 18oz of bourbon at the time of transfer to the secondary. After letting that soak for two weeks I was going to add the entire mixture to the secondary and let that all sit for another two weeks before bottling. I was trying to find some middle ground on all the changes people have made in the reviews and forums I have read. How does that sound?

[quote=“beer101”]Thank you for your responses, certainly puts my mind at ease on the yeast issue. I will have no trouble fermenting at your recommended temps. My basement is a chilly bastard (low low 60’s) and my closet upstairs has had a batch of Caribou Slobber sitting anywhere between 64-70 the entire fermentation.
I would like to get your input on my additions and timing as well if possible. I will ferment the BBP for two weeks in the primary and then transfer to the secondary. I was going to start soaking oak cubes and three Madagascar Vanilla beans in 18oz of bourbon at the time of transfer to the secondary. After letting that soak for two weeks I was going to add the entire mixture to the secondary and let that all sit for another two weeks before bottling. I was trying to find some middle ground on all the changes people have made in the reviews and forums I have read. How does that sound?[/quote]

I started soaking the oak in bourbon the day after i brewed and let it sit for 2 weeks. I then poured the oak and bourbon into the secondary and racked on top of them. I let it sit another 2 weeks in secondary and then bottled and let it age 3-4 weeks in bottles. Your method would work but I would personally rather get the bourbon in sooner and let it age so the flavors start melding sooner. They really peak flavor-wise around the 4 month mark. I still have a couple bottles left that I plan on aging a full year.

I just brewed this Sunday and used one pack of the windsor yeast that I rehydrated based on the instructions on the package. This morning I checked it on the way to work and it was violently fermenting at 60 degrees (according to the fermometer on the carboy) in my cellar. Foam was practically pouring out of my blowoff tube into my bucket and I literally had an inch of foam on top of the water in the blowoff bucket. :lol: I’d say one pack is perfectly fine for a 5 gallon batch.

I was planning to use the same Bourbon schedule as you posted. I have never used Vanilla beans before but read a lot of reviews that recommended it so I’m considering adding one or two as well.

:cheers:
Rad

Well my impatience got the best of me and ended up brewing tonight. I probably should have waited though, it seemed like only half of the entire process went right. I was putting the crushed grains in the bag for crying out loud and accidently let the bag slide off and lost about half a cup of grains down the drain :roll: . Ended up pitching slightly to warm at 68F. The bright side is after accounting for the temperature I hit the O.G. @ 1.065-1.066. Its been about 2 1/2 hours since pitching and the temp is down to 64-66F with 2 bubbles a minute from the blow off tube. We Shall See!!!

Update/New Question: This has been in the secondary for two weeks today. I was going to add my bourbon mix today until the activity in the photo started two days ago. My S.G. readings were steady at 1.030 four days apart before transfer to the secondary. Has this started to ferment again after little to no activity for over two weeks? I was hoping the gravity would drop more but also understand that this beer has stopped at around this point for other people as well. Would it be logical to think I should wait these bubbles out and take another reading after they subside, then add the bourbon mix? Thank you for your input!

EDIT: the surface of the beer was previously smooth with no bubbles whatsoever.

1.030 seems a little high so it’s possible you had a stuck fermentation. Though those bubbles look more like C02 escaping than yeast. Did you rock or move the carboy at all before you saw those bubbles? Just to be safe, I would wait another couple days and take a gravity reading. If you’re still at 1.030 you’re done fermenting.

I did lightly swirl the primary after my initial gravity check on 2/22. There was no change in the gravity or appearance of the beer, other than a minor increase in airlock bubbles, when I did another hydrometer reading on the 26th. The only movement the secondary has had was moving it back to my closet after the racking two weeks ago.

Just another update for annyone else that may have the same issues in the future. I pulled a gravity sample today and the result are 1.026 (temp adjusted). There is still bubbles on top but they appear to possibly be subsiding slowly. At this point my plan is just to let it ride as is for another week or until the bubbles disappear before adding my bourbon mix.

Here is the most recent information on this beer journey for others to use in the future.
On 3-18-14 I pulled another gravity sample that registered in @1.024. My bourbon, oak and vanilla bean mix was added at this time. I topped up the Makers Mark to 18oz. to compensate for the oak absorbtion. On 4-3-14 it was time to bottle (used 3.3oz of corn sugar for 4.75 gallons of beer) and the gravity made its way down to 1.020. As of bottling my thoughts are next time I will increase the bourbon to 24-26oz and add 5 vanilla beans instead of 3. I will try to remember to update this in 3-6 months when I try the first bottle.

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