Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scotch Ale into the secondary

Last night I transferred the scotch ale into the secondary fermenter where it will finish out its fermentation and clear up hopefully a bit more. I added the oak chips to the bottom of the femermender where they should add the character of aging the beer in an old whiskey barrel, and here is why. Normally when using oak chips in this way you risk imparting far too much oak character to the beer, toasted oak is not subtle when it has never been exposed to alcohol before and really the character is quite different, so here is what I did. on the advice of the smart folks at my home brew supply I was soaking the oak chips in un-aged whiskey, this had the added bennifit of smoothing out the otherwise very harsh whiskey, adding color and flavor that would have never been there otherwise, just like if the whiskey had been in an oak barrel. this gave me an idea, I poured the oak and whiskey through a coffee strainer and then added the oak to the bottom of the secondary, in the hopes that a lot of the character had been taken on by the whiskey, and the chips would work more like a used whiskey barrel, and less like chunks of slightly burned wood.

here is where we stand

Temp CorrectedScaleUnCorrected
Original:1.08Specific Gravity1.08
Final:1.031Specific Gravity1.031
Alcohol By Weight:5.2 %
Alcohol By Volume:6.5 %

at this point a lot of the sugar has been converted into alcohol but there is still a long way to go, I suspect this will be at least two weeks in the secondary, if not a month.

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