Whiskey Barrel Oak Aged Imperial Stout

Last month we brewed our Imperial Stout recipe.  It has been in the fermenter for nearly 4 weeks now.   We decided on this batch that we wanted to age a portion of it in a whiskey oak barrel.  So we got ourselves a 5 Gallon Oak barrel to put our homebrew in!

This oak barrel was brand new, so we filled it with hot water for a night to let the wood expand and seal well.  Got it nice and cleaned out, them dumped a handle of Jack Daniels Whiskey in it!  We will have the whiskey in it for about 1 week prior to transferring our stout into it.

Being our first time aging beer in an whiskey soaked oak barrel, we are not sure if putting the whiskey in the barrel for only 1 week prior to adding the beer to it will help infuse any flavor into the beer.

Our plan is to let the beer age in this barrel indefinitely;  We plan to brew the same beer every 6 months.  At that time, we will pull off half of the beer from the oak barrel to bottle or keg.  Then we replace what we pulled off of the oak barrel with the freshly brewed/fermented batch.

This way we will have a ongoing nicely oak aged stout in the barrel at all times!

Has anyone done anything like this before?  Feel free to comment below!

About Cary

Cary is an avid homebrewer and a proud father. When he's not blogging, he unwinds by mountain biking, snowboarding, playing basketball and volleyball. You can connect with Cary on Google+.

  • I was going to dump Bourbon soaked oak chips into the secondary for an Imperial Stout last year but in the end chickened out. I was thinking of buying one of these Deep South barrels and trying again. Did you dump out the whiskey before pouring in the stout or did the wood soak it it all in?

    • We still got the whiskey in the barrel. We will dump it back into the Jack Daniels bottle so we have some nice Oaky Whisky to sip, then transfer the stout into the barrel.

      I am not sure how much the wood will soak in. I would assume not too much since we had soaked the wood with water to help it expand and seal up for a day prior to adding the Jack. But will follow up with you on that when we take the jack out!

  • Patrick

    This sounds like a great idea. I too wonder about the infusion of the whiskey into the stout after being in the barrel for such a short time. Please update this blog to let us know how it turned out. I am very curious as this is one of favorite beer styles. So I would love to be able to reproduce something close to store bought quality.