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Old 12-11-2010, 10:53 PM   #1
Joemama474
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Default Oaking Lighter Ales

The wife bought me some medium roast oak cubes for my birthday. I've never oaked a beer. I wonder though, what some of the "lighter" ales, like Kolsch or even Hefe would do when exposed to oak. It seems that everyone is putting their bigger beers on wood, but I'm not hearing anything about the lighter stuff. It seems like there must be a way to do it, I mean, when you put a Pinot Gris in an oak barrel, you get Pinot Grigio, right? Oak doesn't seem to HAVE to be for big fat reds. Why couldn't one make it work on a lighter brew. And no, I'm not going for a Budweiser style "Beechwood Aged" sort of thing. I'm looking to get that subtle, but unmistakeable, oak thing going on in a light ale.

Who has tried it? Anyone? Bueller?... Bueller?...

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Old 12-11-2010, 11:45 PM   #2
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I'm feeling the same way. I just kegged a wheat beer that I won't be drinking for a while that I want to throw on some oak to see how it treats it. I say go for it, because I really like some oak flavors in my beers.

I have tasted an oaked IPA, which is by definition pale, so if that works then other styles should also.

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Old 12-12-2010, 02:35 AM   #3
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firestone walker ( http://www.firestonewalker.com/index.php ) conditions a few of their brews (at least partially) in oak barrels and they're great. you may just want to oak it lighter than bigger brews

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Old 12-22-2010, 02:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
firestone walker ( http://www.firestonewalker.com/index.php ) conditions a few of their brews (at least partially) in oak barrels and they're great. you may just want to oak it lighter than bigger brews
So, what constitutes oaking something "heavy" or "light"? How much of this is about the toast of the wood and how much about contact time? I mean, I don't mind experimenting a little bit, but I'm also a little worried about making five 1/2 gallons of beer that tastes like sawdust and tannic acid...
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:26 AM   #5
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oaking 'light' or 'heavy' can be done varying the contact time or amount. IIRC, 1-2oz is the norm and cubes take 6-8 weeks to extract all the flavor, so you can certainly taste it along the way to see when you reach your desired oak level. the oak does fade slowly over time in case you over-do it.

here's a starting point for you: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f77/oaked-pale-ale-2nd-place-hbt-comp-37-points-141099/#post1602737

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Old 12-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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I myself have been oaking almost all of my regular strength beers of late. I refer you to my post from the following thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/oak-primary-211469/

(1 oz of cubes for 1-2 weeks, tasting every few days)

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Old 01-07-2011, 11:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
oaking 'light' or 'heavy' can be done varying the contact time or amount. IIRC, 1-2oz is the norm and cubes take 6-8 weeks to extract all the flavor, so you can certainly taste it along the way to see when you reach your desired oak level. the oak does fade slowly over time in case you over-do it.

here's a starting point for you: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f77/oaked-pale-ale-2nd-place-hbt-comp-37-points-141099/#post1602737
Cool. Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppocrates View Post
I myself have been oaking almost all of my regular strength beers of late. I refer you to my post from the following thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/oak-primary-211469/

(1 oz of cubes for 1-2 weeks, tasting every few days)
Awesome, and the Podcast was very helpful also. Strong work!
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