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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Brewing with Oak Cubes
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
HikeNC
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Default Brewing with Oak Cubes

Hey,

Which type of oak cubes give off the most vanilla flavor? (American or French) Also, which roast? I believe I read medium was the best.

Thanks

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:28 PM   #2
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You surprise me with that question as I never knew that vanilla notes can come from toasted oak cubes. I used them in a porter and they have a super charred character which is why I took them out of the bourbon mix before secondary. I used that mix and added two vanilla beans and the vanilla is not strong at all.

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #3
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The medium that is.

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Old 02-17-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
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From what I have read american are supposed to have the most vanilla like flavor. I agree with dj though, I have used oak cubes and chips (mostly american, some hungarian) and I don't ever think wow this tastes like vanilla. I get more of a dry tannin like flavor from adding oak to the beer.

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Old 02-17-2012, 11:53 PM   #5
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Good brief article on the topic below. All oak contains the compound vanillin which gives you that vanilla character. When oak is toasted it's stronger compounds come out more. Based on the article I would go with a medium toast Hungarian oak or American as a second choice. I have always used Hungarian in my oaked stouts but haven't looked for the vanilla character. It's often pushed aside by the bourbon I soak it in probably. If you want fairly upfront vanilla I would go the flavoring route with vanilla beans. I believe oak adds more of a vanilla subtle character, or complexity to the flavor profile but not a big vanilla punch.

http://morebeer.com/content/using_oak_in_beer

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Old 02-18-2012, 01:29 AM   #6
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Great thanks! I just want a very slight vanilla character from the oak so that'll be perfect.

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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You might wanna go non-toasted cubes and soak em in a little starsan.

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbradle View Post
You might wanna go non-toasted cubes and soak em in a little starsan.
In the article posted above it says to steam them in the microwave and to not soak in sanitizer.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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Yup, sorry missed that one part. The microwave idea is great. +1

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