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Bourbon Barrel Porter

So I brewed this recipe earlier today (and then watched the Bears D own the Lions…) and hit my OG right on at 1.065. Got me thinking…with the addition of the 16oz. of bourbon to the secondary how will I know my ABV when it’s all said and done? I know that it should be in the 6% neighborhood, but wasn’t sure what effect the bourbon will have on the end result. Anyone?


80 proof = 40% ABV, so assuming you have five gallons of beer, a pint of bourbon will add (1640)/(5128+16) = about a 1% boost.

Great - Thanks!

by the way, don’t add all 16 oz., at least that’s been my experience, I added 10 oz to my recipe and it seemed like too much even still. If I had to do it over again I would say 6-8 oz in 5 gallons? I thought this recipe was terrible by the way, at least at first, mine is 20 months old now, fantastic, and it is one of the most complex beers I have ever made.

I wish this would have been posted prior to me making this beer (extract.) I’m not complaining, as the beer tastes good, but after about 6 months in the bottle, there seems to be an overwhelming bourbon flavor to this beer, that wasn’t necessarily there during the first 3 or 4 months. It seems as though the malt and hop flavors have been diminished due to the bourbon. I used Maker’s Mark (325 ml bottle), soaked the oak cubes, and tossed it all into secondary for about a week or so.

Like I said, the beer tastes good, but I think it would taste better without as much bourbon. Sounds crazy, I know, but that’s how I feel right now.

Update: the beer turned out awesome! I’m getting concerned because my wife loves it and she’s trying to give it away to all of our friends!!

I did 14 days Primary, 16 days secondary, 7 days on oak/bourbon and primed with 3oz table sugar. Calculated right at 6.5% after bourbon.

The beer is smooooth. Good oak up front but not crazy (my wife doesn’t like oakey wines, but loves this brew…balance with the roastier flavors?)…the bourbon is there, but not as strong as I thought it’d be. I soaked the oak in 12oz and added them together, I tasted it before bottling it and decided to use the full 16oz so I added an extra 4oz to the bottling bucket with the priming sugar. Makers Mark. One thing that I haven’t seen anyone mention is the head…awesome. Super creamy, and it holds a peak when I dip a finger. Not a huge deal overall, but it adds to the crowd appeal. I had planned to save a few bombers to age a bit…that’s going to be a challenge!

Definitely recommend, 5 pints.

Thanks to all who offered advice.


By far my favorite/best beer to brew. I use about 12-14 oz. of makers mark. I brew one 5 gallon batch every january and try to sit on almost all of it until it is 2 years old. I think it is always a little rough for the first year - but that second winter - out of this world and gets even better between 2-3 years. Never had any make it longer than that.

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