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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > How should I use american oak chips in a Barley Wine?
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default How should I use american oak chips in a Barley Wine?

Hi,
I bought a 50g (1.8oz) pack of American oak chips (I believe they are roasted).
I want to use them in a Barley Wine I just made.

Some details:
Its a 4 gallon batch. OG=1.100.
I racked it into secondary today, after 4 weeks in primary, at SG=1.019.

A. Would this be a good Idea?
B. What is the process of doing this, and for how long?

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Old 06-05-2008, 06:35 PM   #2
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Hmm, I was planning on doing something similar and I think you're going to want to either steam them a bit for sanitation or soak them in some Bourbon.

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Old 06-05-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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I like the bourbon idea.

Oak aged big beers are very complex and very tasty.

I plan on oak aging my 999 barleywine.

I'd dump them into your vessel now and give them several weeks if not months. THis depends on the size of the chips and the beer itself. It's somehting that will require some periodic sampling...but we trust you're up to it.

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Old 06-05-2008, 11:12 PM   #4
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Honestly, I'd just rinse them of with some boiled water and toss them in secondary, then let it all sit for a month or so. Give it your trust and it'll give you some tasty beer.

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Old 06-06-2008, 03:44 AM   #5
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:43 AM   #6
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Personally I would never use chips, I think Cubes are way way better. Also with a OG that high I would just toss them in. But thats just me.

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Old 06-06-2008, 04:46 AM   #7
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Be ye warned that American oak is strong strong (harsh) stuff. Think more along the lines of bourbon oakiness than chardonnay oakiness.

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Old 06-06-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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I used oak chips once, and will never do it again. I let them soak for two weeks and it ended up being wood beer, even 6 months later. If I brave doing oak again, I'll use cubes or a dowel rod.

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Old 06-06-2008, 02:59 PM   #9
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Default To oak or not to oak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
I used oak chips once, and will never do it again. I let them soak for two weeks and it ended up being wood beer, even 6 months later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai View Post
Be ye warned that American oak is strong strong (harsh) stuff.
Wow. So maybe I should use only 1oz? bare in mind its only a 4 gallon batch.
btw, I can't get oak in any other form (I'm not in the US)
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohad View Post
Wow. So maybe I should use only 1oz? bare in mind its only a 4 gallon batch.
btw, I can't get oak in any other form (I'm not in the US)
A small amount goes a long way and you can always add more.

For my 5-gallon IPA, I added just enough to cover my palm in a single layer. For me it was more about it "looking" like the right (conservative) amount.

The magic with wood aging is to give the beer a hint of oakiness.
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