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Old 01-28-2011, 01:54 AM   #1
Tinalt
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Default Adding in the secondary

How do I add in the secondary, making sure to keep things sanitary? The add I tried was oak chips and I didnt know what to do to keep from adding other bacteria. I ended up tossing the batch as I really didnt like how it ended up.

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Old 01-28-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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Normally I would start this with "Welcome to HBT!" but this time my reaction is what...what...WHAT? You tossed a batch? You have been here for several months, you must know how we feel about that.

It is really hard to mess up beer. Putting a few oak chips in your fermenter is not going to ruin it. If you are really nervous about adding something, soak it with Star San or vodka before adding.

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Old 01-28-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
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From what I've read adding to secondary is fine because the alcohol level in the beer will kill the bad guys that might be on your oak chips.

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Old 01-28-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Also, it seems like most folks using oak seem to soak them in another spirit first - bourbon seems to be a biggie, but I've read of people using scotch as well.

The other thing is, if you oak anything, it seems it's important to give it time!!! Most people will tell you that if they oak their batches and taste them immediately, the oak is overpowering. But given a few weeks, maybe a couple months of aging/conditioning, the oakiness will mellow into a nice background note.

It might also be helpful if you let everyone know what you didn't like about how it turned out. With the experience around this board, there's not much someone hasn't seen. They might be able to give you advice on your process for next time.

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Old 01-29-2011, 02:49 PM   #5
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I did let it age, a full year. The final taste was just not something I pictured ever enjoying. It was not toxic just generally unplesent. If I had more room I might have kept it but my space is limited.

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Old 01-29-2011, 02:53 PM   #6
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I hear about other items added in the secondary like fruit, other then using nice sterile canned fruit, what would I need to do to prep fresh fruit. Its nice in theory that the ABV will kill anything on them but I lack faith.

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Old 01-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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I would ask what kind of brew was it, aging for a year and all that... How large was the batch and how much oak did you use?

I've used oak chips in two brews so far (both are still sitting on them)... I boiled some water, then added that to the [3/4 ounce per brew] chips (enough to coat them) then closed the jar (which was sanitized first)... Added the chips and water once they reached safe temperatures. Last time I checked, things were still good...

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