Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
13.8 lb (6.3 kg) pilsner
8.6 lb (3.9 kg) Munich
11.5 oz (326 g) Simpsons Crystal T50
4.5 oz (128 g) Weyermann Carafoam
4.5 oz (128 g) Viking Caramel 300
2.3 oz (65 g) chocolate malt
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
0.65 oz (18 g) Chinook at 60 minutes [16 IBUs]
0.9 oz (26 g) Cascade at 60 minutes [9 IBUs]
0.5 oz (14 g) Saaz at 15 minutes [2 IBUs]
1 tsp (5 ml) FAN-rich yeast nutrient at 10 minutes
0.6 oz (17 g) Cascade at 5 minutes [1 IBU]
Fermentis SafAle US-05, Wyeast 1056 American Ale, White Labs WLP001 California Ale, or other Chico strain
Mill the grains and mash at 145°F (63°C) for 20 minutes; raise the temperature to 154°F (68°C) and rest 20 minutes; then raise to 162°F (72°C) and rest 20 more minutes. (If you can’t step-mash or prefer not to, try mashing for 75 minutes at 149°F/65°C.) Recirculate until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to get about 6.5 gallons (25 liters), depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 90 minutes or longer—the longer the better for caramelization—adding hops and nutrient according to the schedule once you have 60 minutes left to boil. After the boil, chill to 68°F (20°C), aerate thoroughly, and pitch plenty of healthy yeast. Ferment at 70°F (21°C) for 5–6 weeks. Optionally, age on oak (see below). Otherwise, crash, package, and carbonate to about 1.5–2.0 volumes of CO2—lower carb to almost none, depending on your taste.
Yeast: Make a big, healthy starter, going for about double the cells you’d pitch for a normal beer. (We target 1.5 x 106 per °P per ml.)
Fermentation: Allow a few weeks to ferment all the way and then a few weeks more for conditioning. We usually centrifuge the beer after 5 weeks before moving it into the barrels.
Oak-Aging: Rack off the yeast into a secondary with low head space, adding bourbon-soaked charred oak cubes or chips, possibly in a mesh bag to ensure easy removal. Taste occasionally to ensure the oak and bourbon flavors are where you want them. Ours rest at least a year on wood, but I think 3 to 6 months on cubes could be enough. The important thing is that the beer develops and mellows with aging.