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Old 07-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default how long to soak oak chips in beer?

I brewed a rye ipa and after a week of fermentation i put about 2 oz of american oak chips in my fermenter. I put the oak chips in a bit of 160-170 degree water for about 10 min and dumped the water and chips into my carboy.

How long should i let the chips soak before bottling? I was originally going to go for 2 weeks but after reading some posts i think im going to cut it to 1 week because i dont want my beer to taste like wood and i want it to be drinkable right away.

Was adding the oak chip water a good idea or should i only add the chips next time?

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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I only added the chips when I did it, but I soaked in jameson. not water. I went for 4 days with the chips in the jameson, and then two weeks with the chips in the beer. I love the flavor personally.

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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Taste after a week. Usually it's recommended to bottle when it's just oakier than you'd like it, as it'll fade in the bottle.

I've found 1 week to be sufficient with chips, but let your tongue be the guide.

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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I think it's best to add the liquid as well. The liquid is soaking resin out of the chips at the same time the chips are soaking up the water,bourbon,whatever. So I poured all through a hop sack into secondary,tied off the sack,& droped the chips in. No bottled splinters that way.
And 8 days was plenty,as chips seem to work faster than cubes or spindles.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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thanks for the quick replies everyone. the oak soaked water smelled really good so that's why i decided to add it. ill taste it after a week and see where it's at. i will probably use a hop bag next time, i didnt even think of accidentally bottling splinters, so i will be careful with that. a soak in jameson sounds amazing, it's my favorite whiskey. i will keep that in mind

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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I've personally never tried this but I've read that steaming the oak chips is a good way to go as it preserves the resin in the oak and accomplishes the sanitizing effect of boiling them or soaking the chips in alcohol.

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Old 07-13-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
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I generally steam oak chips to sanitize, but I don't add the run-off water - the chips have enough flavor left in them, and I want to avoid introducing any nasty tasting compounds that might be on the outside of the chips (I know there shouldn't be any, but I want to avoid the possibility all the same). Also, the first time I added oak chips I didn't put them in a bag, which was a big mistake - couldn't take them out if a longer ferment period was needed, and it was a huge paid to clean the carboy afterward. Learn from my mistake and definitely use a bag when using oak chips.

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