Batch 25: Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter
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By Volume
Primary Secondary Bottles
1.075 1.018 7.5 % 65 % 15 days 10 days 39 days


rewed on Saturday, October 8th, 2005
A yeast cake of the White Labs California Ale yeast was used from the previous batch of Pacific Pale Ale. It will be great for fermenting this high gravity beer, which is the highest I've ever made. There's nothing like having a brew day party with friends and their dogs. The brew session went really well and I got to teach some folks how easy it is to make great beer in your kitchen. I'm not really sure why my mash temp dropped so much this time though, it's usually only 2 degrees not 4. The fermentation closet is still too warm at around 68-70 F so I used the cold water bath and ice bottles to lower the temp to 60 F. I've got some fresh vanilla beans on their way to being delivered at my house.

Partial Mash
5.00 gal Batch Size
3.53 gal Boil Size


Amount Item Price
6.00 lb Light Liquid Malt Extract (8 L) $9.00
2.50 lb Weyermann Munich Dark Malt (9 L) $2.73
2.00 lb Briess 2-row Pale Malt (2 L) $1.90
1.50 lb Hugh Baird Brown Malt (44 L) $2.17
1.00 lb Briess Caramel Malt (120 L) $1.15
0.50 lb Briess Caramel Malt (40 L) $0.57
0.50 lb Briess Chocolate Malt (375 L) $0.68
1.25 oz Magnum Hops (14.00 %) at 60 min $1.56
0.75 oz Goldings, East Kent Hops (5.00 %) at 10 min $0.89
1.00 tsp Irish Moss at 30.0 min $0.10
2.00 items Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans at 11.0 days $608.64
14.00 oz Jim Beam Black Bourbon at 5.0 min $68.88
1 pkgs White Labs California Ale (WLP001) $0.00


Time Step
3:30 PM Sanitized equipment
  Heated 2.5 gal strike water to 174 F, preheated mash tun
3:45 PM Doughed in at 167 F, mashed at 154 F for 60 min, 152 F for 30 min, 150 F for 0 min
  Heated 2.25 gal sparge water to 184 F, preheated hot liquor tank
4:55 PM Lautered 3.5 gal of wort, 1.038 @ 130 F = 1.051 SG, 65% Mash Efficiency
5:50 PM Boiled, added hops on schedule
6:50 PM Cooled to 68 F
  Fermented for ? days, 1.074 @ 70 F = 1.075 OG (Estimate: 1.079 OG)
8:30 PM Cleaned equipment


acked to Secondary on Sunday, October 23rd, 2005
After two weeks in the primary fermenter the Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter was racked to secondary. Two Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans were split open scraped out and added to the secondary for flavor. The beer initially fermented around 60-65 F then was raised to 70 F after a week.


ottled on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
After 10 days in the secondary fermenter with vanilla beans at 60 F the Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter was bottled in 2 cases of 12 oz bottles. 5 oz of dextrose priming sugar boiled in water along with 14 oz of Jim Beam Black bourbon were added to the bottling bucket. This is the first time I've bottled a batch in almost a year, I can definately see why I gave it up. I purchased a new bottle washer though which made the process a little easier. The final gravity is a little higher then normal but is to be expected for a big beer such as this, Denny reported 1.077 OG and 1.016 FG. The beer will condition around 60 F for two weeks then I'll check the carbonation. Now I've got nothing in the fermenters, time to brew!

1.018 @ 60 F = 1.018 FG
7.5% ABV


asted on Sunday, December 11th, 2005
At 4 weeks the bottles still weren't carbonated completly. Now at five and a half weeks they are good to go. At first I thought the bourbon flavor was overpowering but as the beer warmed up I found it complements the vanilla and porter very well. If this beer is too cold the vanilla flavor disappears because it's so subtle. It's a great winter warmer to sip beside the fireplace. Some of the bottles I will give to family as gifts for the holidays with a piece of dark chocolate.