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Old 01-09-2013, 02:24 PM   #1
adamjackson
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Default Best way to soak oak spirals in bourbon?

I have a 13.5% Imperial Stout in a keg. It's VERY hot right now obviously so I'm going to let it mature for 3 months or so. So I was figuring about adding 2 oak spirals to the keg. I've seen that people soak the wood in bourbon and then put that in the keg.

How long do I soak the wood in bourbon? What's the best way to do that? Then how long do I keep the oak in the keg?

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Put it in a container and fill up with bourbon. I try to use as little bourbon as possible as it will end up tasting extremely harsh, oaky, and tannic so you will want to toss that out and add fresh bourbon if you want more of a bourbon kick. As far as how long to oak, that is completely on your own taste...I'm not sure what timelines are for spirals as I haven't used them, but look at the manufacturer recommendations and start tasting when it says to.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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I usually use oak chips and store them in a gallon freezer bag for about 1-2 weeks. When I add it to the secondary fermentor, I usually dump all the oak as well as the bourbon into the carboy (it's usually less than 1-2 cups).

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I was concerned about having to use a lot of bourbon to soak the spirals. maybe I'll just buy the chips instead to save effort?

Good advice. thanks!!!!

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:18 PM   #5
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Use a ziplock Baggie and hang it. Maximum contact, minimum bourbon on the spirals. That is what I do.

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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Minimum bourbon usage. Sorry

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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If all you want is a hint of bourbon to go with the oak, then soaking sounds like a good option. Downside is the time it may take to get a good bourbon soak on the oak and then you still have the time in secondary.

If you want a more pronounced bourbon flavor, I would just add the oak without soaking and then add bourbon to taste. Would take less time but may be more difficult to get a "hint" of bourbon flavor if that is what you are after.

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