I brewed the Wilko’s Newcy Brown Ale Kit with dark sugar and it seemed to go well. Once the fermentation was over I thought I would try experimenting with some Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips to give the beer a oak/whiskey flavour.
I read plenty of forum posts of people who have done this successfully and not so successfully in their opinion. My main concern was how I would clean the wood chips, I read many methods from just chucking in the wood chips to steaming them. I opted for soaking the chips in bourbon, hoping the alcohol cleaned the wood chips and give the beer a bit of a kick.
I used 2oz of wood chips, from what I read people recommended using no more than 4oz. The wood chips were wrapped in a muslin bad and dropped in the fermentation bucket for 7 days then bottled. The forum research I did was people adding the wood chips in the keg as part of the secondary fermentation, I wanted to bottle this brew so I just dropped the wood chips in the fermenting bucket.
The beer has been in the bottles for 2 weeks now and tastes great, you can certainly taste the oak flavour that you get in commercial beers – the picture isn’t great but thats the Wilko’s Newcy Brown Ale Kit with Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips! Hopefully the beer will get better with time and taste even better and something I would do again. The colour of the beer is really dark, almost like the Cooper’s dark stout I have previously done.
The downside is that I can’t really comment on the outcome of the new Wilkinson’s beer kits.
Next time I might use more wood chips and leave them in the fermenting bucket for longer.