2022 Bourbon Barrel Second Fill

Continuing the discussion from 2022 Barrel aged beer - Members Collab:

So far the barrel has had a beautiful Imperial stout in it for a couple weeks. We want new beer ready to fill it when that beer is ready to come out. We are hoping/presuming it will still be a “clean” barrel in the sense that only finished beer with sacch yeast has gone into it (e.g. no brett/lacto/other bugs). So we need to decide who wants in on filling it after it has been emptied AND what should the next beer be?

Jusqu’à présent, le tonneau a contenu une belle Imperial stout pendant deux semaines. Nous voulons qu’une nouvelle bière soit prête à le remplir lorsque cette bière sera prête à sortir. Nous espérons/présumons qu’il s’agira toujours d’un tonneau “propre” dans le sens où seule de la bière finie avec de la levure sacch est entrée dedans (par exemple, pas de brett/lacto/autres insectes). Nous devons donc décider qui veut le remplir après qu’il ait été vidé et quelle sera la prochaine bière ?

What should the next fill of the bourbon (imperial stout) barrel be? Quel devrait être le prochain remplissage du tonneau de bourbon (stout impérial) ?

  • Barleywine
  • Wheatwine
  • Munichwine
  • Belgian Dark Strong
  • Old Ale/British Strong Ale
  • Dark Lager
  • Kveik Pseudo-Lager
  • hazy ipa (explain yourself below)
  • Other (comment below)

0 voters

I’m all for dark strong but keep in mind the yeast is typically diastaticus meaning it will contaminate other beers with diastaticus yeast and dry them out or worse case fermenting after we take the third beer out of the barrel. Just something to keep in mind.

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Agreed, this could be an issue, but there are options that aren’t aren’t diastatic. T-58 for instance. It’s dry, cheap and easy to come by.
Once we’ve agreed on a style, we’ll sort out all these details. There will be plenty of discussion around the recipe to look forward to!

Belgian Dark strong : one of my favorite beer, could be interesting with second round of a barrel.
Wheatwine : to learn about this style
Other : Something light like a Dark Mild, Scottish Light

I would be in for Dark Lager, during winter.

Garage could go up to 21 degC during summer with AC to help.
During winter it’s around 10 to 15 degC

@PatLalonde looks like you have accepted a barrel taking up space in your garage for a while. :slight_smile:

haha yeah! one barrel is fine, it add a little cachet to the garage.

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Je ne dirais pas non pour une bière low ABV comme une Dark Mild ou Scottish light! :grimacing:

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Was disappointed not to see a Scottish ale in the options.


Looks like we’re going with Belgian Dark Strong? Anyone have a favorite recipe? I haven’t tried it (and don’t want to overuse the source), but there’s a BSA in the Brewing Classic Styles book that seems pretty straight forward.
If we brew soon enough, the fermentation temperature shouldn’t be an issue for those that don’t have a way to control temps.

My understanding is that the oak flavour diminishes with use but I’m not sure how quickly - what degree of oak character is expected for the 2nd fill? Will the roastiness from the RIS carry over?

Good question. I don’t really know the answe, but I would assume the 2nd fill will stay in the barrel at least twice as long as the 1st. I don’t know how apparent the RIS character will be in another dark beer. If we filled it with a strong blonde ale, maybe it would show?

I can’t say i have made one I’d recommend.

For the sake of variety, I think the recipes on candi syrup are pretty good. They are done to try to clone commercial examples. I know you can’t clone a beer but they did their best to craft each one to be in the spirit of each one.

There are:
westvleteren 12
La Trappe Quad
Chimay blue
St. Bernardus Abt 12
Pannepot - Gran Reserva
Achel Bruin Extra clone

Found this also : https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/gouden-carolus-classic-clone.643526/

I am a big fan of la Trappe Quad, so if we lean towards something similar, I am all in!

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Has anyone tried making their own candi sugar for Belgian beers? I think I’d like to try Sui Generis’ recipe for candi for the dark strong. Belgian Candi Sugar Part III - Sui Generis Brewing

I’ve made Candi Sugar several times. All you’re basically doing is inverting the sugar molecules to make it easier for the yeast to break down. (Converting Sucrose into Glucose and Fructose.)

Most yeast will produce “invertase” which is an enzyme that will invert the sugar before “digesting it”.

For instance, when Unibroue started, they only used white table sugar since their yeast would digest properly. Traditional use of candi sugar was for adding colour and more fermentables.

The recipe I used was just as simple as “cooking” table sugar into a syrup, heating it to a certain temperature and keeping it there until I achieved the colour I wanted (amber to dark). Then cooling it.

I’m pasting the article I used below with an addendum to my process I incorporated back in 2017:

Making Belgian Candi Sugar

Belgian brewers often use sugar in beer making to produce high alcohol beers without a thick body. They normally will use what is called Candi Sugar, but this stuff is pretty expensive, costing homebrewers around $4-5 per pound. Basically, candi sugar is ordinary white cane/beet sugar (sucrose) that has been modified by an ‘inversion’ process, producing ‘invert sugar’.

You can make your own ‘invert sugar’ from ordinary table sugar with just a few simple items. Sucrose is made up of two simpler sugars (glucose and fructose) joined together. Yeast must spend time and effort breaking the joining bonds to allow them to get at the simple sugars they need for metabolism. This can be done chemically in an acid environment with heat. You will need a candy thermometer that goes up to about 350°F and a 2 qt saucepan. The ingredients are sugar, water, and citric acid to provide the acidic environment needed.

There are certain temperatures that relate to the process of candy making as shown in the table below. The terms refer to how the sugar will behave on cooling.

Term Used Temperature

Soft Ball 240°F – 155.55°C

Hard Ball 260°F – 126.66°C

Soft Crack 275°F – 135.00°C

Hard Crack 300°F – 148.89°C

To make a pound of Candi Sugar, measure a pound of sugar into the 2 qt saucepan. Add just enough water to make a thick syrup, and mix in a pinch of citric acid. Now bring to a boil and keep the temperature between hard ball and soft crack (260°-275°F). As you boil, evaporation will cause the temperature to begin rising, so have a small amount of water on hand and add a tablespoon whenever the temperature gets above 275°F.

The color will gradually change from clear to light amber to deep red as the boil proceeds. Light candi sugar is a very light amber-yellow. This can take as little as 15 minutes. Dark candi sugar is very deep red. This can take several hours. Once you are at the color you desire, you stop adding water and let the temperature rise to hard crack (300°F). Once it hits hard crack, turn off the heat and pour it into a shallow pan (like a cake pan) lined with a sheet of waxed paper. As it cools it will go rock hard, and you can break it into ‘rocks’, bag in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to use it.

Update 2017-12

1 lb sugar to ½ cup of water and 1/8 tsp of Cream of Tartar

Boil to 260F-275F until desired colour

Bring to 300F and pour into pan lined with parchment paper

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Interesting, Sui Generis makes the argument that this traditional candi making process does not help with flavor production like maillard reaction:

So what exactly is wrong with this process? The answer is not very obvious – its the acid. The acid lowers the pH of the sugar, which brings the Maillard reactions to a near stop. In my first attempt I added well over double the amount of cream of tartar I was supposed to – meaning after nearly two hours of heating I was left with a light/medium-amber product, with a mild caramel-like flavour (a sign it was beginning to burn).

Source: Making Belgian Candi Sugar - Sui Generis Brewing

I’m just reporting what I’ve done (with success) in the past. Also, if all you want to do is increase alcohol content with any flavour or colour, you can just use white sugar as Uniboue does. :slight_smile:

Maybe adding twice the amount of cream of tartar was not a good idea?


Thanks Denis for sharing what’s worked. I have not experimented much. I love this style so I like to research.

I think I would want to use dark candi sugar to flavour and alcohol is a secondary affect but I’m flexible. From what i understand candi sugar is in most dark strongs and some use caramelized (dark) candi sugars.

I don’t have brewing classic styles, can someone link classic styles? Is this it? Belgian Dark Strong | Belgian Dark Strong Ale All Grain Beer Recipe | Brewer's Friend
It seems it uses a small amount of uncaramelized sugar to dry it out.

Yes, that’s the correct recipe. The IBUs are a little lower than the original (31.4IBU) at 60min, not first wort hop like the Brewer’s Friend author proposes. And yes, the recipe calls for white sugar, not candi sugar.

I’m not attached to any particular recipe, this isn’t a style I have much experience with so I’ll follow the lead of others.