Friday, April 17, 2009

Whisky in a Jar

I finally grabbed the pictures off my iPhone, which serves as my only camera. It's also a great phone, browser, mail client, and it plays music, but that is fodder for someone else's blog. What I was attempting to retrieve were some of the pictures from casking up day of my Spring seasonal one-off. It seems that some oak chips got accidently crammed into a quart canning jar, which was (accidently as well) filled with a peaty Bowmore single malt whisky.

They lingered in said fashion for a month.

Then one day I was casking up an extra special bitter that I specially brewed for the coming days of sunshine and outdoor recreation, and I got a clever idea - probably the second or third time this has happened to me. Consequently, the whisky was extracted from the chips, revealing a darker color than the original.

The math was easy - as I brew 2 UK BBL, which is eight firkins, I separated up the chips into eight piles. Astute observers might inquire as to the contents of the other containers on my sophisticated brewery desk. The white stuff is isinglass finings being blended. Followers of previous posts will be delighted to know that I've figured out the correct mixture. The amber liquid on the far right in the pitcher is a finings adjunct that works together with the isinglass to produce yummy bright beer.

It will probably be Memorial Day weekend before I tap the first cask of "Whisky in a Jar". I want time for some of the tannins to work their way into the beer, and the end of May will give it about two months. ABV worked out at 5.7%, so it will be the highest gravity ale on for the summer; my IPA's are working out at around 4.0% to 5.5%. It is also time to work on some nice low gravity summer session ales, so I better get busy.


Unknown said...

Ha, but my camera is better than your camera, even if my phone can't browse the internet.

What does the improved whiskey taste like?

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

It tastes like someone soaked a small amount of whisky in a large amount of untoasted oak chips (as opposed to oak fries, which are an American innovation). I think I'll use the runoff down the road for another whisky accented ale of some sort.

Or maybe just drink the whole thing after I get audited by the IRS for being behind on my payroll tax.

Anonymous said...


I enjoy reading your blog. You have a great sense of humor.]

I am overdue for an Oakridge Brewer's Union trip!

I brewed my first batch of all-grain several weeks ago (Haus Pale Ale) and will be bottling it this weekend. I'm guessing I just might have a few bottles for you on my next visit to your fine pub.

Dan Potts