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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Oak in Secondary
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:18 PM   #1
ohiodad
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Default Oak in Secondary

Thinking about oaking an IIPA I'm making. Have put chips in a secondary before but always when putting bourbon in as well and soaked the chips in bourbon. I'm a little cautious of this one because I'm not planning to put the chips in bourbon first since I only want oak flavor and not bourbon. Anyone who has experience with this care to ease my mind? Can I just add the chips to the secondary? These are medium toast french oak chips from ld carlson and are still in a sealed bag. Is there something I should do with them prior to putting them in the secondary? Soak them in something else? Boil them? I'm just cautious due to sanitation! Thanks for your help!

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Old 03-10-2008, 02:23 PM   #2
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soak them in Cheep vodka or a quick boil. Probably not a good idea to just toss them in.

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Old 03-10-2008, 02:25 PM   #3
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I've oaked an IIPA before...just soaked the chips in gin first. The herbal qualities of the gin won't hurt the IPA. Vodka will also work. Even bourbon, in a small quantity, probably would work.

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Old 03-10-2008, 02:32 PM   #4
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You can also steam them for 10-15 minutes. I've done this many times and have never had an infection.

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Old 03-10-2008, 02:47 PM   #5
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Personally on a IIPA I don't think I would even worry about it. Between the tannic acid in the oak and the alcohol in the beer, it would be very hard for anything to grow in their.

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Old 03-11-2008, 01:17 AM   #6
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steaming or just microwaving the chips for 5 minutes or so should get them plenty hot

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Old 03-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #7
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I put a couple oz's in a bowl and poured enough boiling water over them to cover the wood and covered the bowl with aluminum foil. Then, when cool, dumped the whole shebang in the carboy. The steep really extracts a lot of oak flavor and speeds up the process. I just kicked an oaked/dry-hopped Stone IPA clone (EdWorts I think) and just tapped an oaked vanilla russian imperial stout that is delicious.

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