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NuclearRich 09-22-2012 02:03 PM

Oak cubes during lagering
 
I have been playing with the idea of oak aging a 7%ABV doppelbock. I have a 1gallon jug of it that is for playing, with 5gals of base beer. I just started dropping the temps on the lager, and I have heard that I may not get the best extraction from the oak with cold temps. Any hard evidence, or experience? Should I expect to need to oak longer?

Of course I will be tasting as I go, but I am just looking for any advice that has been hard to find with the search function.

Yooper 09-22-2012 02:42 PM

I'm not really sure if it'll take longer. I've done it with wine, but not in the fridge. It was basement temps, which are slightly above fridge temps.

My high-tech way to oak is to add the oak, and then take tiny taste samples until it's slightly too much oak, and then remove it from the oak. Not exactly scientific, and no way to say "XX number of days/weeks".

Oak cubes take longer than oak chips, and oak spirals take longer than that. Also, some oak is American and a little "harsher" while Hungarian oak is "deeper", so that is another variable.

aiptasia 09-22-2012 02:53 PM

Yooper's tips are good. I use whiskey soaked oak chips in my wee heavies, and I let them sit in a weighted muslin bag in my primary for about a week prior to bottling. One ounce per five gallon batch of american light toast oak chips soaked in johnny walker red whiskey (let them soak in whiskey a full week). Taste the beer until it tastes like there's just a little too much oak in it, then remove the oak cubes. Oak flavor tends to settle and mellow out a few weeks after bottling.

NuclearRich 09-22-2012 02:59 PM

Thanks for the good advice

A follow up question on tasting

Should the whole batch be gently stirred prior to tasting to mix the oak flavor? I picture the oak flavor acting the same as food coloring in water: It will not spread evenly unless mixed.

Yooper 09-22-2012 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NuclearRich (Post 4435507)
Thanks for the good advice

A follow up question on tasting

Should the whole batch be gently stirred prior to tasting to mix the oak flavor? I picture the oak flavor acting the same as food coloring in water: It will not spread evenly unless mixed.

No need to mix. Instead of thinking of it like food coloring, think of it as dryhopping. It really permeates the whole liquid.

The oak will float at first, then as it gets saturated, it'll sink. Some will still float a bit, but most of it will sink to the bottom.

NuclearRich 09-22-2012 03:23 PM

Great, thanks!


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