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Thread: Bourbon flavor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Dakota County, MN
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    41

    Default Bourbon flavor

    Does anyone know if there is a way to make bourbon infused syrup without a barrel? Kind of looking for a way similar to the way I make coffee flavored, by running the syrup over beans, while it is hot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Garrettsville,Ohio
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    542

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    add cheap bourbon warm, set for a bit. then can at 190 and the alcohol boils out
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lancaster NH
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    You can char some oak pieces and soak in bourbon for a few weeks , than add the soaked oak to syrup and bottle I use half gallon mason jars. Age for a month or longer.
    44 27'08/71 27'56
    300 totalish taps 250 on tube and bosworth sap sucker
    50 bucket and bags about 40-50 gallons a season
    on a 2 by 7 home made evaporator and sugar shack
    1st gen circa 1966 still learning stuff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    N.E.Ohio
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    174

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    Real bourbon takes real time. 4 years at least to get the deep flavor in good bourbon. The same with syrup. Get good barrels and age it properly. Poor input gets a poor product. Time and pay attention to the details, it pays off

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    DeKalb, NY
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    1,702

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    There are ways to add flavor to syrup but.... There are State Regulations as to what Bourbon Barrel aged syrup is. Check with your State Ag and Markets before trying shortcuts.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
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    Some places sell barrel chips that you can add. Much faster because more surface area.

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove; 2 steam tray pans; 6 taps; 1.1 galls
    2017: Same setup. 15 taps; 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season; 2.2 galls
    2019: Very limited time. 7 taps and a short season; 1.8 galls
    2020: New Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season; 9 taps 2 galls
    2021: Same 2x3, 18 taps, 4.5 galls
    2022: 23 taps
    All taps on buckets

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Rock Creek, OH
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    382

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    A few important points to consider:

    Bourbon barrels are made from American white oak. You don't want to use other oak products. Also, the oak used for bourbon barrels are aged outside in the rain to allow tannic acid to dissipate for a year. That is before it is sold to a Cooperage, and formed into a barrel and charred. This is a pretty good series explaining how much work goes into the bourbon process: https://vimeo.com/146417314

    Azeotrope. It is a key word when considering the boiling point of a mixture. The boiling point of alcohol is affected by the boiling point of water. In fact, thanks to the azeotrope - you will not remove all of the alcohol until all of the water is removed. Sure, you'll remove a lot of it. Probably most of it. Heck, I've tasted a lot of fermented maple syrup in my day with a boozy flavor! However, to say there is no alcohol remaining after boiling the maple syrup is patently false.

    Barrels are work, man. You get splinters. They sometimes leak. They cost money. Storage and time are commodities in short supply. Do you have the right to infuse? Absolutely. Will I stop you? Nope. Can you fool some people with ambiguity? Yup. Is it the same thing? Nope. Tannins and vanilla from the charred oak sugar do make a difference in flavor. There is a lot of work and mistakes that go into barrel aging maple syrup.

    I will gladly share my mistakes so you don't have to make them.
    I'll even help you secure quality bourbon barrels. I will even help you sell that used 'mapled barrel' to help offset the cost of the barrel. The story of securing the barrel IS a big part of the value. Contrast that with: "I went to the state store. I bought a fifth of the cheapest bourbon I could find. I mixed the bourbon and maple syrup together and boiled most of the alcohol out. Then I bottled it up." Followed with a story about how the barrels aren't a big deal and not necessary. Or it "tastes the same, but cheaper!" I'm sure this will appeal to some customers. But not the customers I want.

    I love this quote from Warren Buffet regarding subprime lending and the housing market crash in 2008:
    “Should wise people have known better?” Of course, they should have, Buffett replied, but there’s a “natural progression” to how good new ideas go wrong. He called this progression the “three I’s.” First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. And then come the idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich."

    Here's the full article: https://hbr.org/2008/10/wisdom-of-warren-buffet-on-imi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Merrimack, NH
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Excellent response!!

    Quote Originally Posted by OneLegJohn View Post
    A few important points to consider:

    Bourbon barrels are made from American white oak. You don't want to use other oak products. Also, the oak used for bourbon barrels are aged outside in the rain to allow tannic acid to dissipate for a year. That is before it is sold to a Cooperage, and formed into a barrel and charred. This is a pretty good series explaining how much work goes into the bourbon process: https://vimeo.com/146417314

    Azeotrope. It is a key word when considering the boiling point of a mixture. The boiling point of alcohol is affected by the boiling point of water. In fact, thanks to the azeotrope - you will not remove all of the alcohol until all of the water is removed. Sure, you'll remove a lot of it. Probably most of it. Heck, I've tasted a lot of fermented maple syrup in my day with a boozy flavor! However, to say there is no alcohol remaining after boiling the maple syrup is patently false.

    Barrels are work, man. You get splinters. They sometimes leak. They cost money. Storage and time are commodities in short supply. Do you have the right to infuse? Absolutely. Will I stop you? Nope. Can you fool some people with ambiguity? Yup. Is it the same thing? Nope. Tannins and vanilla from the charred oak sugar do make a difference in flavor. There is a lot of work and mistakes that go into barrel aging maple syrup.

    I will gladly share my mistakes so you don't have to make them.
    I'll even help you secure quality bourbon barrels. I will even help you sell that used 'mapled barrel' to help offset the cost of the barrel. The story of securing the barrel IS a big part of the value. Contrast that with: "I went to the state store. I bought a fifth of the cheapest bourbon I could find. I mixed the bourbon and maple syrup together and boiled most of the alcohol out. Then I bottled it up." Followed with a story about how the barrels aren't a big deal and not necessary. Or it "tastes the same, but cheaper!" I'm sure this will appeal to some customers. But not the customers I want.

    I love this quote from Warren Buffet regarding subprime lending and the housing market crash in 2008:
    “Should wise people have known better?” Of course, they should have, Buffett replied, but there’s a “natural progression” to how good new ideas go wrong. He called this progression the “three I’s.” First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. And then come the idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich."

    Here's the full article: https://hbr.org/2008/10/wisdom-of-warren-buffet-on-imi
    2021 Twin Baby Boys, Close to 650 taps
    2020 Upgraded RO to 2 post and 7GBS Gould Pump. 265 taps
    2019 New Smoky Lake 2x6 raised flue, Simplicity Autodraw system, The Maple Guys Maple Jet Filter Press, a beautiful new bride to be my sugaring partner :-)
    2018 Deployed
    2017 Expanded Sugar Shack, new 2x6 with float box, NEXTgen Maple RO, 250+ taps (I hope for 300), still on sap sacks
    2016 New Sugar Shack, 2x6 evaporator, 160 taps, all on Sap Sacks
    2015 Deployed
    2014 110 taps
    2013 35 taps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Freedom, IN.
    Posts
    164

    Default

    I wish I could find a freshly emptied 5 gallon bourbon barrel. I've tried all the sources recommended to me but no one has any in stock.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Athol, NY
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Thank you One Legged John. Before I started making bourbon barrel aged syrup I sampled a half dozen made by other producers. One was very good. One was acceptable and the other four tasted like crap. The other four all added bourbon to shorten the time instead of aging it. Since we started making it, by aging, the response has been tremendous.


    Randy

    Toad Hill Maple Farm

    http://ToadHillMaple.com/

    3650 Taps on Vacuum for 2010 & still expanding
    56'x64' Timberframe Sugarhouse - New for 2011
    3x10 Leader Vortex w/ Max Flue Pan & SteamAway
    1000 gph Leader Springtech RO
    777 Acres in the Adirondack Mountains

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