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Old 05-17-2012, 02:32 AM   #1
blitzcreeg
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Default bouban oak chips

hi there everyone. one of my future brews consists of soaking some oak chips in bourban. im wondering on how much oak chips to use and how long to soak them for for a 5.25 g batch. 30 days is what i was planning . i also plan on throwing some vanilla beans into the secondary. can anyone give some advice on quantities process etc to use? cheers and happy brewing everyone

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:49 AM   #2
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I would soak some medium toast oak CUBES in bourbon and then add it all into the batch. My norm is either 1.5oz for a very light addition, or 3oz when I want more pronounced impact. I would also let it go a solid month before even thinking about pulling a taste sample.

I favor cubes over chips since cube additions are more stable (IME) than chips. I used chips in two batches and the flavor from that addition changed a LOT over time. Where cubes were the same from the start.

I wouldn't expect vanilla beans to give actual vanilla flavor to the brew. More likely they will simply enhance other flavors already there (it's what they do). You'll get vanilla flavor more from the oak addition.

Look up what the different toast levels of the different oak types will give you before adding any.

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:55 AM   #3
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Vanilla beans definitely add flavor ... Recently did a vanilla porter with beans from Tahiti and Madagascar 2 each and it was amazing. I've done oak cubes before in another porter and used vanilla extract and captain Morgan private stock soak instead of bourbon and it was a really tasty as well

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Old 05-17-2012, 03:08 AM   #4
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Cubes. Definately cubes. More depth of flavor, less wood.

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. How long should I soak the cubes in Bourban for though?

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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As long as you want or not at all. After a minute you won't sanitize the wood any more by going longer. I didn't soak the wood in anything for my last two brews. No issues there.

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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I usually add 1/2 oz to 1 oz of oak chips per 5 gallons to ~ 1 pint of bourbon. A typical soak time for me is 1 week minimum up to 1 month. Then I bag the oak chips and add it all to the fermentor for another month or so of aging.

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