Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

I've done wood aged beers in the past, both clean and sour, but those were always done with toasted oak cubes that were either boiled or soaked in spirits before being added to the beer for aging. So this will be my first beer using an actual barrel and I couldn't be more excited. I have at least two clean beers I want to put though the barrel to strip away most of the big, bold flavors that the wood and whiskey will impart before aging sours in it, the first one will be detailed below, a big, luscious, thick Russian Imperial Stout, and the second will be a slightly left of center choice in an English Dark Mild.

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Trappist (style) Single Ale

Trappist Ales are Belgian in nature, which means they're full of yeast driven phenols and esters that cover a wide range of gravities and colors. They also have to be brewed in a specially designated Trappist monastery by monks to truly be "Trappist." Now I don't live in a monastery and I'm definitely not a monk, but that doesn't mean I can't brew the styles of beer that are brewed in world renowned monasteries and drink the beers like monks drink.

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Ambah Ale

The third and final beer that I brewed for the BrewUnited Challenge was an amber ale. This was my entry to the hoppy category. Part of the reason I picked the amber ale over a more traditional IPA was the fact that our hop choices were a bit limited and I guessed that there would be fewer entries in this category too. The fact that I could actually use a bunch of Crystal 60L and not have to try and hide it also was appealing to me.

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Blondish Ale

This is the second beer I'll be talking about for a national competition called the BrewUnited Challenge. As a reminder, the point of the challenge is to make very disparate styles of beer from only 4 grains and 6 hops. Each recipe has to use all 4 grains and only 2 of the 6 hops. This beer is for the Balanced Category of the competition, and I chose to make a Blonde Ale.  A light, slightly malty, slightly hoppy beer and you can drink for days.

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unTraditional Bock

The first series of beers I'll talk about here are all for a national competition called the BrewUnited Challenge. The crux of the challenge that there are only 4 grains and 6 hops you can use. Each recipe must contain all 4 grains and only 2 of the 6 hops. There are three categories Malty, Balanced, and Hoppy, all with a handful of specific styles within each category. For the competition, I decided to brew a traditional bock, a blonde ale, and an amber ale. Judging by the title of the blog post, you probably guessed that this post will deal with my take on the traditional bock using the constraints of the competition and you'd be 100% right.

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