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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Oak aging a sour
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default Oak aging a sour

How long should I keep oak on my sour? I'm doing a La Folie clone and it's been fermenting for about 3 months now. The recipe that I found indicated to oak it after about 3 months, but I know with other beers I've only kept it on oak for about 2 to 3 weeks. This sour still has another 7 months of fermenting, so I don't want to put it in too early. Also, do I have to worry about disturbing the pelicle? Theres a nice white bubbly blanket on top of the beer. Thanks for your help!!

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
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For oak I usually add it when the beer goes into secondary and leave it there until either the beer is ready to bottle/fruit/blend, or the oak character starts getting too strong. I tend to use about one ounce of oak cubes, boiled or steamed for a few minutes first. La Folie spends up to three years in oak foeders, expected contact with old/mellow oak. I think you get better flavors from longer with less oak, lots of oak for a short time makes a beer taste like lumber in my experience.

Don't worry about disturbing the pellicle, it'll re-grow.

Don’t put your sour on too much of a schedule. With mixed fermentation you really need to judge when a beer is ready using gravity and your palate.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
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Sweet, thanks for the info. I'm soaking the chips in some wine for a week or two. I'm replacing the wine every couple days to mellow out the oakiness. I made the mistake of trying the wine after about 3 days on oak, boy was that a mistake!! This is my first attempt at a sour, so I appreciate the info!

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSquaredBrewing View Post
Sweet, thanks for the info. I'm soaking the chips in some wine for a week or two. I'm replacing the wine every couple days to mellow out the oakiness. I made the mistake of trying the wine after about 3 days on oak, boy was that a mistake!! This is my first attempt at a sour, so I appreciate the info!
Your last post mentioned using oak chips, just wanted to note that Oldsock's comment regarding time on oak was using oak cubes. The difference between cubes & chips can be rather stark as chips impart much more flavor, more quickly.

For a sour beer, I would also recommend low & slow with cubes mentioned by Oldsock.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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Yikes, I just saw that. I already have the chips soaked in the wine for about a week now. What if I cut the chips down? I was thinking 1oz instead of the 3oz of cubes?

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Old 12-10-2012, 06:35 AM   #6
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The difference between cubes and chips is in speed and complexity, not intensity. Cubes will give you all the flavor that chips will; they'll just take a little longer getting there. That doesn't exactly answer your question, but I would use a smaller amount for a longer time. If you have 7 months to go, obviously you're in no hurry. Drink the wine, it will give you some idea how much oak flavor you are losing with each successive soak.

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