The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Whiskey Soaked Oak cubes and a Stout

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
Schnitzengiggle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,664
Liked 29 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default Whiskey Soaked Oak cubes and a Stout

I have a stout ready to rack to secondary its ABV is roughly 6.5%, and I plan on racking on top of 4oz French Oak cubes which have been soaking in some Old No. 7 for about 2 months. I have a few questions.

1.) How long should I oak this beer? I have heard minimum of 8 weeks, I have heard ~6 months for cubes.

2.) How will my ABV play a role in the oak extraction, and time needed for adequate oak flavor?

3.)This stout is fairly chocolatey with a hint of roast, and I know that the flavors from a stout are very intense, will this require a longer aging period for the oak flavor to come through all of the other intense flavors?

My original plan was to secondary for 2 months, then bottle.

Can anyone provide any suggestions on what I might want to do in this situation?

Thanks, Cheers!

__________________
follow me @ Broken Glass Brewery

Okham's Razor - simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

My DIY Kegerator - My DIY Fermentation Chamber - My DIY Portable Pump Box
Schnitzengiggle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
Sebas83
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 188
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

As far as I have read and experienced, oaking beer is done entirely to taste. There is little quantifiable info about what it does to flavor. When I oak, I take samples every two weeks.

I have never used whiskey soaked oak before, so I'm not sure what that will do. My intuition tells me that there are a few too many variables to take a shot. So, regular and well-noted samples are going to get you to your prize.

I would also think about splitting the batch into several carboys and trying a few options. At least, try keeping one small control carboy (one without the cubes) just so you have a comparison point as you age them.

Good luck!!

__________________
Sebas83 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2011, 05:34 PM   #3
Carter5112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 126
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

As Sebas83 mentioned, there doesn't seem to be a lot of quantifiable data for oaking so your best bet is probably do what your taste buds tell you.

I have 3 gallons of Founder's Breakfast Stout Clone sitting on 1 oz. of Hungarian Oak Cubes (I soaked the cubes in Woodford Reserve Bourbon for 2 weeks). After about 3 weeks I get maybe a hint of oak being there. I did my best to research this topic but didn't come up with much info. I anticipate leaving it on the oak through January or February.

FWIW, I think using 1 to 2 oz. of oak per 5 gallons on a darker, heavier bodied beer, for as long as you want shouldn't be a non-fixable problem. If it gets too much, then you'll just have to wait longer for it to age out. If the bourbon flavor doesn't come through like you want, you can always add a few ounces to taste at bottling/kegging. That seems to be a pretty popular method anyways...

__________________

Last edited by Carter5112; 12-07-2011 at 05:35 PM. Reason: added info
Carter5112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
Schnitzengiggle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,664
Liked 29 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

I have 4 oz of French Oak cubes that have been sitting in a pint mason jar full of whiskey for about 2 months, so I was thinking the 4oz might be a bit much, but may make the oaking go a bit faster due to the increased surface area of the larger amount of oak.

Am I incorrect, is it too much?

I plan to pour the entire contents of the mason jar, whiskey and all into the secondary before racking the beer onto it.

__________________
follow me @ Broken Glass Brewery

Okham's Razor - simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

My DIY Kegerator - My DIY Fermentation Chamber - My DIY Portable Pump Box
Schnitzengiggle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2011, 09:07 PM   #5
Carter5112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 126
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

What is the volume of your batch?

The whiskey in the jar will be SUPER oaky. I opted to just add the cubes and add more whiskey later to taste. I don't think there is any benefit of aging the beer with the whiskey vs. adding it at bottling...

__________________
Carter5112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2011, 11:51 PM   #6
Schnitzengiggle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,664
Liked 29 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carter5112 View Post
What is the volume of your batch?

The whiskey in the jar will be SUPER oaky. I opted to just add the cubes and add more whiskey later to taste. I don't think there is any benefit of aging the beer with the whiskey vs. adding it at bottling...
It is a 5 gallon batch, and there will be less than 16 oz of whiskey going in due to the 4 oz volume of oak cubes in the jar.

A fellow brewer from our local club mentioned that he had done something similar, and he claimed he had to keep dosing it more bourbon to get the flavor he was looking for, so he suggested adding the entire contents of the jar.

But I do see what you are saying, add the cubes, then dose with the whiskey the cubes soaked in to taste.

That makes sense.
__________________
follow me @ Broken Glass Brewery

Okham's Razor - simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

My DIY Kegerator - My DIY Fermentation Chamber - My DIY Portable Pump Box
Schnitzengiggle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2011, 11:57 PM   #7
Sebas83
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 188
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Yup. This is ALL about taste. There aren't any numbers to go by, just your tongue. I think your approach will work. Add the cubes first, see what happens, then add in the whiskey. Since the whiskey has sat in oak already, it could add flavors that end up compounding and will be hard to recreate or isolate. You might also want to consider other whiskeys/bourbons to add in, say, at the end of your oak experiment. There are some interesting flavors out there in the bourbon world. Check out Willett and Bulleit bourbons. They have some interesting pronounced flavors that you may be looking for.

Think back to algebra class, too many variables makes the equation WAY hard to solve

__________________
Sebas83 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-08-2011, 12:39 AM   #8
Carter5112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 126
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

The secret lies within the pythagorean theorem! Whiskey^2 + Oak^2 = Delicious^2

I added 4 oz oak to a pint jar as you did. I have occasionally had a glass or two of the whiskey and, while oaky, it is delicious. I think adding some oak to any bottle of whiskey may be a good thing, but I digress.

I think 4 oz of cubes plus 16 oz (cumulative) of whiskey will be overpowering. I'd start with 2 oz of cubes, maybe 4 oz. whiskey then give it two months. If you want more at that point, then go for it. Patience will pay off for wood ageing. Don't go overboard at first and you can't go wrong.

__________________
Carter5112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-08-2011, 04:23 AM   #9
Schnitzengiggle
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,664
Liked 29 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

This brings on another question, wouldn't the whiskey have extracted alot of the oak flavor from the cubes, hence requiring adding the whiskey into the beer?

__________________
follow me @ Broken Glass Brewery

Okham's Razor - simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

My DIY Kegerator - My DIY Fermentation Chamber - My DIY Portable Pump Box
Schnitzengiggle is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-08-2011, 01:20 PM   #10
Carter5112
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 126
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

That's a good point. Of course those cubes are also soaking that flavor back up too. I believe there are many layers of oak flavor that come over time and you're just dialing back the most up-front, pungent ones but not pitching the whiskey. I guess it depends on what you're going for. It's like when breweries use old barrels from distillers - the first batch in the barrel is potent, oak-whiskey punch to the face. The next batch is much more mellow and so on...

__________________
Carter5112 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RIS w oak cubes, pepper tea, etc... ChadChaney General Techniques 3 11-19-2011 02:03 PM
Rum Soaked American Oak Cubes Pecafaced General Techniques 1 05-09-2011 02:20 PM
Oak Cubes - I should have searched HBT first! NorCalAngler General Techniques 7 03-27-2011 02:59 PM
I want to add whiskey to a stout... kbrewer1 General Techniques 16 10-30-2010 04:47 AM
Saving Oak Cubes - How Do? cactusgarrett General Techniques 6 03-26-2009 06:14 AM