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Denny Conn's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter

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Brewer: CalebC83 | Posted In:  Porter

Originally created by Denny Conn and spread around the various internet forums, this recipe for a rich, big, complex Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter (BVIP) has become quite a popular homebrew recipe. There are all sorts of things going on in this beer no matter where you turn. There is the roasty, coffee flavor of the porter that is tempered with the smoothness of whole ... Read More

Strong,Porter,Dark,Chocolate,Vanilla,Denny Conn,Imperial,Bourbon

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  • Private Notes

  • OG: 1.079
  • FG: 1.017
  • ABV: 8.14
  • Type: All Grain
  • Batch Size: 6 Gallons


13 lb.- 2-Row Pale Malt
2.5 lb. - Munich Malt (15 L)
1.5 lb. - Brown Malt
1 lb. - Crystal Malt (120L)
1/2 lb. - Crystal Malt (40L)
1.25 lb. - Chocolate Malt

1 oz - Magnum Hops (60 min)
1/2 oz - E.K. Goldings (10 min)

White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001) - 1800 ml starter

Kentucky Bourbon (Jim Beam, Knob Creek, etc.)
2 Real, Whole Vanilla Beans (Extract just won't do)
Oak Chips or Cubes


Mash at 153° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Cool and ferment at about 68° Add Vanilla Beans after primary - rack 7 to 14 days
Add Bourbon at bottling (1 to 1.75 cups - don't overdo this!)
Infuse Bourbon beforehand with Oak Chips/Cubes if you want.

Comments and Reviews

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Added By : Randy on 2011-08-05 11:40:43
Mine turned out AWESOME. I replaced the vanilla with espresso. I brewed about 8 cups of very strong espresso and added to the secondary. I tasted at bottling, and both the espresso and bourbon were completely overpowering. Needless to say, I was worried. A few weeks later, everything completely mellowed out and the beer is amazing. Will definitely be putting this one in the winter rotation.
Added By : CalebC83 on 2011-04-13 09:47:48
This turned out REALLY well. I soaked the oak in about 1/3 cup bourbon (to sanitize) and put that into the primary. I added the vanilla to secondary and added the rest of the recommended bourbon at bottling. The bourbon adds a nice warm flavor that's mellowed by the vanilla. It's a very rich beer that wants to be sipped next to a winter fire. It's very smooth.

I expect this beer to improve a lot with age as the flavors meld together more.
Added By : Incogneato on 2011-03-23 13:26:41
I agree with Randy... this does sound amazing!! I'm going to add it to my que!!
Added By : Randy on 2011-03-07 14:22:00
TraumaMash, most of the people Ive heard of using bourbon usually soak it in the oak chips for a few days beforehand and then add the oak chips. I've heard mixed reviews about directly adding the liquor.
Added By : TraumaMash on 2011-03-07 13:50:26
If you soak the oak chips or cubes with Bourbon and then place those into secondary, will you achieve a better flavor profile? I thinking adding bourbon directly when bottling may create a overpowering taste. Another thought would be to add the bourbon in the last 15 minutes f the boil.
I have not yet made a beer which incorporates adding liquor directly to the wort or finished beer.

I am going to try this beer on my next brew day. But I plan to soak the oak in bourbon and add them to secondary along with the vanilla.
Added By : Randy on 2011-02-10 14:25:13
Wow, this sounds amazing. I think I might make this my next brew.
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