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Old 11-12-2012, 11:48 PM   #11
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If you like cream stouts, add .5 - 1.0 lb of lactose to it.

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Old 11-12-2012, 11:57 PM   #12
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Not a big fan of cream stouts ( or more likely I havnt had a good example of one yet )

I'm really leaning towards oak... I would really like it to be ready by Christmas though... I don't plan on it all being drank on Christmas, so I could still age a handful of the bottles.

Why wait until primary is finished? Will the oak somehow interfere with the yeast activity? If that is a bad idea, can I speed it up a little by soaking the oak in a small amount or bourbon during fermentation, after fermentation put both the oak and the bourbon in the primary so it will keep extracting oak flavor?

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:00 AM   #13
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Flavor additions that are not done during the cook/boil should be added once fermentation is finished. Otherwise the yeast will blow most of what you want out the airlock. Same reason why you wait until after fermentation is over to dry hop. Most of the time, I'll transfer a batch to an aging vessel if it's going to get a wood addition. Mostly because I can then leave it there for a significant amount of time without any concern at all (such as over 8 months after fermentation is 100% done). This is typically with BIG beers, or things over 8%.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:47 AM   #14
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Straight booze is a great flavoring addition. A little bit of Kalua or tia maria is great in a stout or porter. You could also go the nut route and add some Frangelico , Disaronno or amaretto.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:56 AM   #15
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Not if the time frame is short. Also, Hungarian cubes shouldn't be confused (or lumped together) with American and French oak. Hungarian is significantly more mild and refined in comparison.
throwing more oak in doesnt make up for a lack of time. you're just intensifying an underdeveloped flavor. an oz/gal is over the top and can quickly get out of hand. I guess the OP has the S-04 portion that could be blended in if it gets to be too much tho

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Why wait until primary is finished? Will the oak somehow interfere with the yeast activity?
the only reason to wait is to be able to get a better taste of what the oak is adding. it will not interfere with yeast activity and little if any of the oak character will be blown off thru fermentation.

it's for wine, but here is a good read for some info on using oak if you're new to it: http://morewinemaking.com/public/pdf/oakinfopaper09.pdf

oak is a great addition, but it's not as immediate an impact as other additives, so you might struggle with getting the flavor you want in a shortened time. chips will be quicker, but theyre more one-dimensional. there's oak extract & powder too which is even quicker, but i have no experience with that
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:59 AM   #16
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dcp27, have you used Hungarian oak cubes before???

I would agree with your comments if I was calling out either French or American oak. IME, 1oz per gallon will get the Hungarian oak noticed. I did 1.5oz in 3 gallons [of mead] before (for over a month) and you can barely detect the oak in it.

The OP could add 2oz of Hungarian oak and see how it is in 3-4 weeks. More could be needed in order to be noticed.

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:19 AM   #17
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dcp27, have you used Hungarian oak cubes before???
sure have and while i agree its milder, its not so much so that I'd double the quantity. i also wouldnt use hungarian if I was giving it a shortened aging, the others extract faster
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:41 AM   #18
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I want to serve on Dec 22nd... I suspect fermentation will be done by the 20th, and to be done by Dec 22nd, I should bottle by December 1st at the latest. So I have 10 days between fermentation and bottling to add some flavor. I'm thinking oak is out for this one if it takes some time to age for good flavor.

So now I'm leaning towards vanilla, chocolate, or some kind if booze addition.

The Kaluha is an interesting idea, but I'm a little concerned about added a creamy liqueur like that to beer... My experience with Irish car bombs is curdling

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:47 PM   #19
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I am still thinking about the Oak as well... I want to be sure those who say it isn't a good idea are actually speaking from experience. I do understand that the flavor from 3oz of oak for 2 weeks compared to 2oz for 2 months, while they might be the same "strength" of flavor, the flavor itself will be different. But different isn't always bad.

Has anybody actually tried short term oak additions by using more oak? What were the results like?

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Old 11-13-2012, 03:26 PM   #20
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I've always given oak additions the time they need. I've not rushed any of them. The absolute shortest I ever had oak cubes sitting in a batch was 5 weeks. With chips, I think I went more than that. Those batches were almost two years ago, so I'd have to look back into my notes to be certain.

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