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Old 01-03-2009, 06:46 AM   #1
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Default How to oak a brew ?

So after searching a bit I have come to find that there are no real instructions on how to oak a brew.

I am wondering do I have to char the oak or leave it alone?

Can I soak it in Bourbon?

How long should I let it sit in the Carboy ?

What type of oak should i use?

Does the beer style have any effect on the use of oak ?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

-Jason

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Old 01-03-2009, 01:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cheeto1977 View Post
So after searching a bit I have come to find that there are no real instructions on how to oak a brew.

I am wondering do I have to char the oak or leave it alone?

Can I soak it in Bourbon?

How long should I let it sit in the Carboy ?

What type of oak should i use?

Does the beer style have any effect on the use of oak ?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

-Jason
I can answer some of those, but I am more interested in tagging this thread as I am thinking about oaking half my double bastard.

Don't char it, just buy the light/dark etc... depending on what flavor you want

You need to soak it in something, and bourbon works, to kill the bad stuff in the wood so you don't cause an infection.

Depends on flavor. Most of my reading recommends trying the beer after a week and seeing how it is, sometimes two weeks is good, sometimes it is too much.

I think there are various oak "flavors" available at homebrew stores.

The beer depends on the employment of oak, but not really the procedure. For instance, a porter can stand up to a fairly large amount, whereas an IPA can't.

I think your best bet is to post the recipe and people that have experience with it will be able to tell you which type of oak and for how long to let it sit based on the flavor your trying to get.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:53 PM   #3
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I stole a tip from, I believe Biermuncherm and used regular ole Jack Daniels oak smoking chips that I soaked for 2 weeks in more Jack. Came out great...
Next time though I might toast them a bit, basically just put them in a baking pan and sticking em under the broiler for a bit.

But it came out great in my Brown Ale anyway without the toasting.

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Old 07-16-2009, 07:48 PM   #4
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Is there a SG/FG range recommended or not recommended for oaking a beer? I have a porter fermenting right now and looking to oak, but not sure if it's a heavy enough beer to take the oak (most likely bourbon soaked).

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Old 07-17-2009, 07:12 PM   #5
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I like to soak my med tast chips in bourbon while in primary and then put them in secondary for 2 weeks. I use 1.5oz to 2oz of chips. It's a personal taste so check its progress and decide for yourself. Love it in my coffee stout

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Old 07-17-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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I don't know if it's readily available to homebrewers, but on the Ratebeer.com forums people were talking about oak extract. I'd imagine it would cut the risk of infection, but might not be as much fun

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Old 07-17-2009, 07:19 PM   #7
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I put together this tutorial the other day. Hopefully it will help you.

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Old 07-17-2009, 07:24 PM   #8
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I just take a couple small oak cubes and toss em in the keg. That gives a real nice subtle oak flavor after a long soak period (think barleywine). For stuff like IPA's that I wanna bang out, I use an abundance of cubes in a nylon bag for a short time. IMHO, if you want bourbon flavor, just pour in bourbon.

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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Are the oak chips/blocks usable afterwards? I would imagine that they take on some of the beer flavor, so you wouldn't want to use it in a different brew. What about cooking something in a smoker and using the oak chips?

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:26 PM   #10
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Here is what I did and it turned a good Quad into a freaking awesome Quadruppel.

I took an empty yeast vial. Clean it, put medium toast french oak cubes in it and then filled the remaining room with (use what ever booze you like) port.

Soaked those for 3 weeks and then tossed the whole contents into the quad and forgot about it for 4 weeks, checked it and it was not enough oak so i let it go another 4.

Shazaam!

A beautiful 10.1% beer.

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