BBA Imperial Stout – 2nd Use Bourbon Barrel

Round two of our little barrel is finally finished and we’ve bottled up 10 – 16oz bottles and kegged about 4 gallons worth of this Imperial Stout.

Some background, round one was Time Lost – a barleywine that turned out to be a real treat. We named that beer in honor of my brew-buddy’s dog who had passed away right around the time we brewed it.

Round two… we named in honor of my dog who passed away last July. He’s who my whole Homebrewery is named after… my good old pup Mack. Mackerton Brewing sure does miss it’s mascot.

The beer is called Grilled Cheese Slap! BBA Imperial Stout. Don’t worry it’s not made with real Grilled Cheese. It’s just one of my favorite memories of him… trying to swallow a half a grilled cheese without chewing it that our kid gave him. Which turned into 3 loud coughs… and a grilled cheese launch 3 feet onto the hardwood floor, accompanied by a solid SLAP as it stuck to the floor.

Of course he finished it off properly after that.

Here’s my favorite pictures of the old guy the day before we let him go off to the pearly gates.

He was our best buddy who we miss terribly every day. What better way to honor him than to drink a beer named after him!

So here we go…This recipe actually was sourced from Brad Clark of Private Press…Formerly of Jackie O’s. He says it’s a basic recipe he uses for lots of blending at Private Press.

Note: It may have minor changes from the recipe publish at due to what I had on hand.

BasicsGrilled Cheese Slap!
Batch Size (fermentor):7 gallons
Boil Length:240 minutes
Mash Temp:152F / Mash out 168F60 min Single Infusion
OG:1.136 (estimated)1.124 (actual)
FG:1.038 (estimated)1.034 (actual)
ABU:12.86% (estimated) 11.55% (actual)
Pale 2 Row51.8%
Munich 10L13%
Carafa II5.9%
Flaked Oats5.9%
Honey Malt2.5%
Carafa III1.7%
DME – Dark15.3%Late boil addition
CO2 Hop Extract (60%AA)2.1 ml240 min
East Kent Goldings3.08 oz60 min
Total3.08oz + 2.1 ml
US-053 packsPitch at 68, bring to 72 after a week
WaterBru n Water Black Full

Brew Day 6/19/21

Brew day was as anticipated. We have it pretty dialed in that we make jokes about not telling our wives that mostly we just sit around in the garage drinking and bullshitting. Gotta make ’em think we’re actually working!

The OG sample tasted sweet and roasty.

Transfer to Barrel Day 7/10/21

With the FG at 1.038, we have a delicious, chocolatey, rich and slightly roasty stout on our hands that I’d be stoked to be drinking straight up.

I didn’t take any pictures as this same day we were packaging our barleywine and we had our hands full stuff, especially since we rarely bottle things.

Barrel Sample #1 – Probably a month or so after packaging.

We did add a Vinnie nail to the barrel. Super handy.

This taster didn’t change too much from when we packaged it.

Deep black color with a very thick looking viscosity. Happy with it so far!

Barrel Sample #2 – Around Christmas 2021-ish

Still pretty similar to our last sample. Thick, rich, loads of chocolate, delicate roast. Overall very good.

Barrel Sample #3 – 3/12/22

Now this was a DRASTIC change since the last one. All of the sudden, it had taken on TONS of flavor from the first barleywine that wasn’t present in the first few samples.

A good bit of bourbon and honey, with some raisins going on now. Slight oak.

At this point, we figured it was probably a good time to start up the next (and likely final) beer going into this barrel. It will be a Munichwine, recipe also courtesy of Brad Clark… but he gave that recipe to us in person.

Packaging – 4/3/22

I didn’t take any pictures here, either. But we filled the empty barrel with a handle of Four Roses Bourbon to give a little extra bourbon back.

Final yield: 4-ish gallons into a 5 gallon corny keg filled, and 10 quantity 16 oz flip top bottles filled and primed individually with dextrose and CBC-1 yeast.

Shooting for 1.6 volumes of co2 for carbonation.

Keg Pour – 4/23/22

Appearance: Well, you can see for yourself. A thick looking black. Depending on the light, the foam is light brown or slightly darker brown. Leaves some decent foam lacing for a big beer, and when swirling it you can visually tell it’s got more body than your average beer.

Aroma: On the nose we get chocolate, bourbon, and toffee.

Taste: The taste is much richer in chocolate with a vanilla background and a punch of caramel on the back end. Mouthfeel doesn’t overwhelm but it does finish like a smooth bourbon without the booze burn.


In conclusion, I miss my dog.

Also, the beer is great. We’re very happy with our second use on this barrel. I this is the perfect beer to sit down on the couch with 4-5 ounce and sip on it as you doze off to sleep. These beers may take a long time, but it’s fun having a pipeline of stuff aging all at once. It’s fun tasting things as they develop, and seeing how the blend from the first use crept into the second use of the barrel.

Looking Forward

We’ve already filled the barrel up for it’s third and final use…a Munichwine. I tossed in oak stave into the barrel to get some extra oakiness since the barrel seems to not have given off too much oak in this last round. I’ll make a post about that one when the time comes.




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