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Old 02-21-2011, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default Oak Cubes - I should have searched HBT first!

I brewed the Northern Brewer Black IPA a few weeks ago. It fermented from 1.078 to 1.012 and the sample tasted amazing! The flavor profile will hold up really well to some oak so on Saturday I transferred to secondary and added my dry hops and 1oz of American Oak cubes. I steamed them for 10 minutes prior to adding them and put them in a muslin bag with a stainless steel weight.

Now after browsing HBT it seems it takes months to get the flavor out of the cubes and I should have used chips. Does anybody have experience using oak cubes for only a week? I would much rather this be under-oaked than over-oaked so if the oak doesn't come through well I'll just chalk it up to a learning experience.

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Old 02-21-2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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The oak cubes are used for long periods of time because they are bigger and as the age in the beer, they give various, complex flavors. You will probably get some oak in there after a week, but it won't be as good as it could be. Give it a try and see how it is. I'm pretty sure 2 - 3 months is an ideal amount of time for the cubes but it's all about your preference.

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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There are a lot of opinions...

I oaked a stout using 2 oz of toasted white oak cubes from my wood shop (toasted lightly in a teflon pan... lightly). I left it in for 10 days and there was a very good oak flavor - vanilla and tannins). It's actually stronger than I wanted.

IMO, put the cubes in, and swirl every day. Taste it after a week. If you can taste a light oak-y flavor, rack it off and enjoy.

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight. I will update the thread with my results when I bottle on Saturday.

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Old 02-23-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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Very interested please keep us posted.

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Old 03-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #6
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If you keg, you can add the cubes to the keg. If it starts getting too oaky, use a jumper and transfer to another keg away from the cubes.

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Old 03-27-2011, 04:33 AM   #7
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So the update is this is a complex beer with a lot going on. The oak is lost with the massive amount of hops. When I brew it again I will put it on cubes for a month or so.

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Old 03-27-2011, 03:59 PM   #8
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If you want a quick oak flavor, I use the chips in a couple cups of water. Boil it in the microwave for a minute or two and dump the chips and water into the fermenter. A few chips go a long way in this fashion.

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