Used Medium Char Oak Spirals

My first attempt at a stout which received a coffee infusion came out great. It was so popular that most of it was consumed by friends so I only have a few bottles remaining. It is a very delicious stout that I’ll rebrew many times again. The second attempt is a very big stout and I am trying to simulate a bourbon barrel in this one and hope that I’ve had some success.


Today is the 2 week mark of oak and it’s time to sample how things are coming along. Today is about 2 months and a week after the beer was brewed. I intend on letting it age longer in the cellar at around 55-60 Degrees F. I probably could mature it better at room temperature but really the plan is to ignore this keg for as long as possible. This is a big beer and the keg is light and air tight with the O2 purged. Hopefully it can sit for a while.

Top of the keg sample (prior to removing the mesh bag and stirring the contents of the keg):

A – Flat, sort of a mahogany edged appearance on the edges of the glass. Nearly pitch black

S – Some Burnt / Smoked oak followed by vanilla and bourbon with a touch of molasses

T – Lots of oak, very dominant and aggressive oak that’s a big turn off. Followed by some chocolate and espresso beans with a finish of vanilla bean that sticks around

Sample from keg after removing mesh bag and stirring the beer gently:

A – Much darker, a hint of carbonation, pitch black

S – Move vanilla and chocolate and just a hint of oak

T – Still a dominating oak character, move vanilla, less coffee bean and slightly less bourbon than I was hoping for


Testing Oaked Imperial Stout

One thing I was expecting was that the oak was entirely too aggressive. This should fade as the beer matures a bit and sits around a tiny big longer. The vanilla is right where I want it but I’m going to add 4 more ounces of bourbon bringing the total to around 14-15 ounces total of Blanton’s.

Then purge O2 again and stick this sucker in the basement.

Testing Oaked Imperial Stout

Testing Oaked Imperial Stout