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Old 04-20-2010, 02:42 AM   #1
jjbroken
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Default Oaking for first time

Have been reading here about oaking as I'm planning on trying it for the first time with my next batch. Sort of seems like folks get mixed results... So, is my best bet to just do it, sample till I get the oak/flavor I like and go with it?

I am trying a "John John Dead Guy Ale" clone, got 3oz American (med) oak cubes; thinking I'll try about 1.5oz in a cup or so Markers Mark for a week and add everything to secondary and taste test for awhile; maybe 2-4weeks??? or should I go with more cubes??? Please comment if you have any insight.



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Old 04-20-2010, 02:53 AM   #2
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I have only used chips which work much faster than cubes. I oaked a low gravity pale ale on .5 oz of light toast american oak for 7 days and it was a little too much. I let it age a couple of months and it's good now. I also put .5 oz of the same chips in my barleywine for 10 days, and that was just about right. I could've left those a little longer since the BW wont be tapped until the winter.

I don't think there's a rule of thumb here other than to keep sampling until you hit the level you want. There's a good chapter in "Brewing Classsic Styles" that deals with using wood in beer. You should check it out.

Also have a look at this thread, it covers a lot of ground: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/tips-wood-aging-119445/



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Old 04-20-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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I did a porter once.
I used 2oz of oak cubes, soaked in makers mark for a week. Then added it all into secondary for a week. Turned out great, but takes about 6 months for it to mellow out.

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Old 04-20-2010, 06:28 PM   #4
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Chips take less time, but give a one-dimensional flavor. Cubes are the best way to replicate a barrel.

3 oz in 5 gallons seems like a bit much, I'd drop it down to 2 oz, personally. When I do bourbon-oak beers, I let the oak soak for two weeks and the drain the bourbon off and only add the oak. For me, the booze comes through enough not to dominate the malt, and this way if I need to I can always add more booze - you can't ever take it away.

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Old 06-20-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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i went with all 3oz oak cubes in 1/3cup of gentleman's jack for a week. the oak soaked almost all the jack up and i added everything to secondary for a month...it turned out nicely! after about 3 weeks in the bottle has very pronounced whiskey/oak flavor but doesn't overpower...its mellowed some already, needs more time to be "ready" but tastey!!!

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipper View Post
Chips take less time, but give a one-dimensional flavor. Cubes are the best way to replicate a barrel.
Actually, the chips give more of a 2-dimensional flavor. Cubes give a 3 dimensional flavor and oak points give a one-dimensional flavor. The points are hard to work with, though.

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Old 06-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #7
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Well your mileage may vary then Chips are flat and toasted to the same color, so you only get one flavor. Cubes have layers so you get more complexity.

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Old 06-21-2010, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggraid101 View Post
Actually, the chips give more of a 2-dimensional flavor. Cubes give a 3 dimensional flavor and oak points give a one-dimensional flavor. The points are hard to work with, though.
If you think the points are hard to work with, I wanted more a more complex 4-dimensional flavor. It turns out that working with oak tesseracts is really confusing.


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