By Paul Lawson
Barrel aging beer has become popular over the past several years. We are seeing more bourbon, rum, tequila, and wine barrel-aged stouts, sours, and all other varieties in taprooms, bars, and bottle shops.
Beer aged in this manner takes on unique and flavorful characteristics. Brewers create heartier versions of their core beers or unique styles when using alcohol-infused barrels. Bourbon barrel beers like Founders Brewing’s KBS and the granddaddy of them all, Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, are highly sought after.
Homebrewers have access to wood barrels but size and cost usually dictates alternative measures. Soaking wood chips or spirals in bourbon, whiskey or rum and then adding to your batch is one way to achieve a barrel-aged effect. Homebrew stores and craft distillers can also help you find smaller wood barrels as well.
Bodie Island Barrel Aged Triple
By Andy Tucker
Head brewer of Weeping Radish Farm Brewery, Outer Banks, N.C.
OG: 1.080; FG: 1.010; ABV: 9.4 %; IBU: 36; SRM: 4
15 lbs Belgian pils malt
1.5 oz Sterling hops, 60 min
4 lbs white beet sugar or white cane sugar, 15 min
1 oz Sterling hops, 15 min
1 oz Styrian goldings, 2 min
Mash at 145 F for 60 minutes, then at 168 F for 15 minutes. Boil for 75 minutes. Ferment at 68 F for three weeks with Wyeast 3787 Trappist Ale yeast. Rack to 5-gallon whiskey barrel and age to taste. Bottle or keg and enjoy.