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 Questions about beer for Brewdude

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Bub

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Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Questions about beer for Brewdude   Mon May 28, 2018 9:25 pm

After working in the yard I decided to get some beer. After scanning a lot of labels I selected
Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad Barrel-Aged Ale with 11.2% alcohol because it was along exhausting day.
These are my questions:
1) Is beer aged in barrels...bourbon barrels? How long does it take to make a good beer?
2) My understanding is that wine can get up to around 15% alcohol before the yeast dies. Is this true for beer also or does it depend on the sugar content?
3) How is this ale different from an IPA?
Thanks,
Bub


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kitobi

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Age : 48
Location : uk, plymouth
Registration date : 2015-05-30

PostSubject: Re: Questions about beer for Brewdude   Wed May 30, 2018 4:22 pm

dunno if my info is on target or not, but I have rekindled my love of home brew but my info is old school from books a few years old....

craft beer indeed is aged in barrels, they can be whisky barrels or many other types, the oak gives a sweet toasty and nutty flavor with hints of vanilla, and the char on the inside gives a warm smoky flavour, they will tell you on the label if so as its a deffo sale point, each have their own character and clientele.

its the type of yeast that's used that helps get to the percentage with the correct amount of fermentable sugars, 4% is standard European, 6% for export etc, 11.2 is quite high for a beer and a few pints of that on a empty stomach will make you feel strange lol.
I have a yeast going at the moment that has a tolerance of up to 23% alcohol but that would be too strong for a beer that's meant to be quaffed.

ale is normally a darker Bitter/beer than a larger made with more pale malts, IPA was originally ( accidently) made for the UK sending beer to India.
it kept going off on the journey, and one day a brewer accidently put in twice the amount of hops.. that beer did not go off en-route to India and was loved when it arrived.
it was originally known as Imperial pale ale back then but changed to India pale Ale (IPA) much later around 1840, generally a much Hoppier beer with a stronger percentage around 7.5 to 9% ABV

I'm sure brewdude will help with the bits I got wrong Smile
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Brewdude
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Age : 65
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Questions about beer for Brewdude   Wed May 30, 2018 9:26 pm

kitobi wrote:
dunno if my info is on target or not, but I have rekindled my love of home brew but my info is old school from books a few years old....

craft beer indeed is aged in barrels, they can be whisky barrels or many other types, the oak gives a sweet toasty and nutty flavor with hints of vanilla, and the char on the inside gives a warm smoky flavour, they will tell you on the label if so as its a deffo sale point, each have their own character and clientele.

its the type of yeast that's used that helps get to the percentage with the correct amount of fermentable sugars, 4% is standard European, 6% for export etc, 11.2 is quite high for a beer and a few pints of that on a empty stomach will make you feel strange lol.
I have a yeast going at the moment that has a tolerance of up to 23% alcohol but that would be too strong for a beer that's meant to be quaffed.

ale is normally a darker Bitter/beer than a larger made with more pale malts, IPA was originally ( accidently) made for the UK sending beer to India.
it kept going off on the journey, and one day a brewer accidently put in twice the amount of hops.. that beer did not go off en-route to India and was loved when it arrived.
it was originally known as Imperial pale ale back then but changed to India pale Ale (IPA) much later around 1840, generally a much Hoppier beer with a stronger percentage around 7.5 to 9% ABV

I'm sure brewdude will help with the bits I got wrong Smile

Andy, your info is pretty much spot on. Kudos for the timely info. Now, to expand on Bub's queries-

Bub wrote:
These are my questions:
1) Is beer aged in barrels...bourbon barrels? How long does it take to make a good beer?
2) My understanding is that wine can get up to around 15% alcohol before the yeast dies. Is this true for beer also or does it depend on the sugar content?
3) How is this ale different from an IPA?
.

1) This really depends on the type of barrel, what has been previously in it, how many fills it has had, the condition of the surface exposed to the beer, the time in the cask and ambient conditions, the type of beer, and much else.

In short, all barrels will produce something a bit different according to the protocols of the brewery and in the end, it will no doubt be blended in order to achieve the vision of the barrel master.

It's a crap shoot under the best of circumstances and nothing is guaranteed. In fact some barrels can produce something like magic and others can be rife with undesirable characteristics. In some cases they can yield an oxidized character and/or sourness which is not condusive to blending.

And while sours are a part and parcel of the barrel aged programs in many breweries, they can sometimes produce a product that is only suitable for the sewer!

My brewery has successfully produced several Bourbon aged tipples. But there's no guarantee as I've said. And it takes a very long time before one knows what the outcome will be.

Very labour intensive as well, and at the end of the day we don't really know if it was worth it in terms of the do-re-mi!


2) The barrel has essentially nothing to do with the final ABV. It's all down to the yeast and its ability to ferment the sugars. That said, there are other organisms (such as bacteria) that will continue to ferment the complex sugars beyond the yeast's ability. But these will normally not contribute significantly to the overall ABV.

3) IPA as Andy stated is a highly hopped ale. The anti-bacterial actions of the hops inhibit the spoilage normally associated with the degradation due to souring. But even they have a limit, and can result in premature spoiling over time. It all depends on conditions!

Clear as mud?

Frankly, I'm not a fan of Bourbon aged ales. I've had a long aversion to Bourbon, going waaaay back to some negative experiences with Bourbon in my misspent youth. Bit that's just down to my personal tastes!

Wink



Cheers.

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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kitobi

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Age : 48
Location : uk, plymouth
Registration date : 2015-05-30

PostSubject: Re: Questions about beer for Brewdude   Thu May 31, 2018 3:01 am

thank you for the elaoboration Sir

phew I am glad I didn't throw an off ball there lol, still learning. I love the science and chemistry associated to brewing.

I have also been following a very good bloke called George on you tube who runs a shop in Texas called "barley and Hops"
wonderful source of info, broken down into manageable segments that anyone can understand.

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Brewdude
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about beer for Brewdude   Thu May 31, 2018 8:10 pm

Bub, in re-reading my prior post I may not have answered your query sufficiently on this -

1) Is beer aged in barrels...bourbon barrels?

In my experience the answer is yes, usually. At least that's what you see most brewers are using as a general rule. But not exclusively. Many are also experimenting with other wood finishes that can run from Chardonnay to Port.

Yes, most of the barrel aged offerings are Bourbon, and that probably speaks to the forthright character Bourbon has rather than anything else. Take a bold Barley Wine or other high octane ale, age it in a Bourbon cask, and hey-presto we have magic! Well, not always as I've described above.

And given that the availability of Bourbon casks are what they are (by law, they can only be used once in the Bourbon Distilling industry, after which they have to be discarded - or sold), they are fodder for the crafty brewers, and of course the Scotch Whisky Distillers. And in fact there's something of a competition to see which camp gets these, as the price point seems to be going ever higher.

Right, so at this point the question could be - what exactly does ageing in a Bourbon cask actually do and is it worth the price?

To the first part of the question, again it depends on the base beer, the type of cask, how long it spent in the wood, and what the brewery intended. At the end of the day, taste is subjective and we all have our own views on what we like. One man's meat, and all that.

How long does it take to make a good beer?

And again, it varies tremendously. And then what does one define as a "good beer" in technical terms? Palatable to you? Palatable to others? And by what criteria? One has to have a wide view of what may be commercial and what might be considered "niche", and their respective margins. This is a business, after all.

Don't mean to be so evasive on that one Bub. But there is no clear answer afaic.




Cheers,

RR

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"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about beer for Brewdude   Thu May 31, 2018 8:26 pm

Thanks guys this is really interesting information.
Now for Part two of my question.
Now that we have a really great beer, how can we enjoy it?
I know its great on a hot day or drinking with a hot dog, brat or hamburger, but what else can we do with it?
I see that there is a cookbook on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Craft-Beer-Cookbook-Pilsners-Artisanal/dp/1440564914/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527812470&sr=8-1&keywords=cooking+with+beer+cookbook
What are your favorites?
I am going to try my bourbon beer with chicken thighs to see what happens.
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