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Old 08-24-2009, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Brewing with wood

I have brewed many beers many times, but only recently did my first batch utilizing oak chips, and enjoyed the results. Then, as I was repairing a shelf in our kitchen, I had some left over red oak.

While I do lay claim to having a fair amount of knowledge about brewing beer, I do not claim to know much about wood. Thus, my question. I have some 1/2" x 2" oak (about 4" long), as well as some 1x2 oak left over. Is there any reason I cannot toast this and use this in beer? I don't have enough left over for another wood working project, but more than enough for use in beer.

The alternate question is, are their other woods that might be useful in beer? I know A-B uses beechwood for aging, but perhaps there are other aromatic woods that might lend an interesting flavor... ash, cedar, pressure-treated 4x4's. Well, maybe not the last, as I don't think the creosote would be good for me....

Thanks all

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Old 08-24-2009, 07:32 PM   #2
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I hate brewing with wood, constantly knocking my hop additions over and..... oh.....


I wouldn't use it. Structural lumber isn't made with the consideration that it would be used as a food ingredient. I would be afraid that it would be exposed to some kind of pesticide or other treatment. Unless you know where it came from and how it was handled just buy it from a brew shop. The stuff is so cheap per ounce it really isn't worth the risk if you ask me.

Did my first wood brew the other week, very excited to see how it turns out.

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Old 08-24-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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Fair enough -- I just hate wasting the wood.

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Old 08-24-2009, 09:18 PM   #4
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the oak used is usually white oak

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Old 08-24-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
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Maybe you could smoke some malt with it?

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Old 08-25-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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Red oak is used for wine barrels, not just white oak. As far as 'lumber' vs ???, wood all comes from trees. Unless it is pressure-treated, there is absolutely no difference. I live near one of the largest lumber mills in the US and they do not treat the wood in any way.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:23 AM   #7
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david 42, thanks for your encouragement. In the interests of not wanting to waste perfectly good oak - which was actually almost as expensive as the chips I usually buy - I'm going to try it. So, without starting another thread, tips on toasting it? I have a small block that is 1/2" thick, about 3" long, and 2" wide.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:32 AM   #8
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toast it on your grill, take the grill out and scrub it clean first, use a high flame and turn it often!

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Old 08-16-2012, 01:06 AM   #9
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I was surfing around drinking a beer, and found this old thread of mine. I wanted to resurrect it for one reason: has anyone ever used other types of wood in their beer?

I ask because my brother-in-law is a master woodworker, and works with a variety of types of wood -- oak, maple, mahogany, etc., including types of wood I never even heard of, such as cocobolo. I'm thinking that perhaps I could ask him to save a few scraps for me to put in beer.

I wouldn't use the structural lumber referred to above by CodeRage, as that often is sappy or treated with chemicals. This is wood used for high end cabinet making.

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Old 08-16-2012, 02:52 AM   #10
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as long as the wood doesnt contain the chemicals, and isnt a toxic wood to begin with, you can brew with it. I've used maple, white, and red oak. I havent used fruit woods, but most of those are ok too.

And, after several brews with various woods, i decided i liked my beer without it altogether. each wood seemed different, with white oak being the one i'd use again if i was forced to.

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