Wharf Rat Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale

Source: Chris Ungvarsky
Recipe added: 06/28/05
Email: Ungabomber@aol.com

Last fall a friend invited me to attend a private “mug club” party at a local brewpub. Lots of free food, free beer, and a table right in front of a plasma screen showing of the Steelers game. They broke out a batch of special reserve bourbon barrel aged brown ale for the event. I had never experienced such flavors in an ale. I fell in love with the beer. But, it’s only available once a year, and that just doesn’t cut it for me. So…this is my take on that wonderful ale.


Recipe type: Partial Mash
Batch Size: 5 US Gallons
Starting Gravity: 1.058
Finishing Gravity: 1.020
Time in Boil: 60 minutes
Primary Fermentation: 7 to 10 days
Secondary Fermentation: 7 days



Two weeks prior to brewing, steam oak chips for 10 minutes (to sanitize) and place in airtight container with a few ounces of Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon. 2 days before brewing, make a 1 quart yeast starter with ¼ lb of the light extract and a few hops pellets. Brew Day... Toast ½ lb 2 row malted barley at 350F on a baking sheet for 10 minutes or until malty aroma and a reddish hue appears. Place all grains in muslin bag then add to brew pot containing 1 gal cold water. Heat slowly to 160F and hold for 30 minutes. Sparge with 1½ gal. at 170F. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat. Add gypsum, DME, brown sugar, 1 oz Fuggles hops and 1 oz Northern Brewer hops, and return to heat. Boil for 45 minutes. Add ½ oz Fuggles hops and 1 tsp Irish moss then boil additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add ½ lb wildflower honey and ½ oz Fuggles hops for aroma. Let stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool wort to 80F with wort chiller. Strain wort into primary fermenter. Add 70 – 80F water and bring to 5 gallons. Pitch yeast starter. Allow 7 to 12 days primary fermentation at 70F. When yeast activity slows, rack to secondary fermentation vessel, placing oak chips and bourbon in first. Allow 7 days secondary fermentation. Bottle with 4 oz corn sugar, or krausen with 1 qt reserved wort (refrigerated in sanitized, airlocked container). Keep at 70F for 2 weeks, and then age at cellar temperature for at least 2 months.
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