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Old 03-04-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
Neonsilver
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Default Oaking and adding chocolate

Two different beers.

I'm looking into oaking an American barley wine but I wasn't sure what type of chips to use or how much. I'm guessing the different types create different flavors but what flavors?

I'm also going to be doing a Baltic porter, how much chocolate should I use and when should I add it? I'm thinking about adding some vanilla, good idea or not? If good idea, how many beans go into the secondary?

Is it blasphemy to bottle a trippel or quad in normal bottles with regular caps?

Thanks in advance everybody.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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Different oak chips do add differing flavors. The best thing I've found on it is a wine making entry on wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_(wine)#Differences_in_French_and_American_oak

Adding chocolate is usually done at the end of the boil. How much is all dependent on taste and the recipe you've calculated, but I put 4 ounces in my big breakfast stout and it is low, but noticeable. As for vanilla... Just be careful. A little goes a long way and you can't take it back out if you don't like it.

Oh, and bottle in whatever the hell you want. I'd use oxygen absorbing caps, but really you'll be fine either way.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:10 PM   #3
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The problem, as it were, with bottling belgians in normal bottles is the pressure tolerance of the bottles.

The pressure tolerance is in terms of PSI and no volumes, so in most case you are probably fine putting a highly carbed beer in a normal bottle so long as you keep them reasonably cool (room temp or below) since a typical 2.5 vol american ale bottle will not explode at 100 degrees it stands to reason the same bottle can handle 3.0 vol at 60 degrees.

I would pick out the heaviest bottles you have, just to be prudent. If you are going to ship them off to competition in the hotter months, or otherwise expose them to high temp, go with a belgian bottle.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #4
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I'll be checking out what they have at the LHBS tonight or tomorrow when it comes to the oak chips but about how much is normal to use? I don't want this beer to be undrinkable for a year because I used too much.

I've heard a single bean in secondary is where you should stop, is that about right? I think I'll use 5 oz of chocolate because this is one big beer, should end up kind of like a desert beer.

I think I'll bottle the Belgians in 22's and some pint bottles that I have, those seem to be able to handle the high carb levels of the cider I did. I'm not doing any competitions at the moment, my family enjoys them all very much so that's all I'm really looking for.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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The only concern with a tripel or quad in normal beer bottles is if you are carbonating more than the bottles are intended for.
On chocolate: Vanilla adds a lot to a chocolate flavor. You can add chocoate nibs to the end of a boil, and you can also make a chocolate syrup to add to the secondary for a more pronounced chocolate flavor.
How much? That is really a matter of taste. The January issue of All About Beer magazine had some good features on both oak aging and chocolate in beer. From that issue, paraphrased:
Syrup can be made and added to the fermenter (secondary preferred for best aroma)
Dissolve 3 cups sugar in 2.5 cups water, whisk in 1.5 cups dutch cocoa, 1tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp salt, 3tbs corn syrup, heat and reduce until slightly thickened, cool and store in refrigerator.
Thye have a recipe for an oatmeal stout 5g using 10oz dark choc syrup, and a baltic porter calling for a sachet with 3oz uncrushed roasted nibs during aging and 2oz milled nibs in the mash.
Hopefully that will help to guide you but ultimately you may find that too much or too little.
For the oak, I'm experimenting with a 20l barrel at the moment, I can't offer any advice for chips, but at least you could taste the beer every week to see when you feel the oak flavor is to your liking. I'm putting an AHS Big Foot clone in the barrel for 1 month, and then into the keg for dry hop. I think it will be tasty.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:02 PM   #6
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I would recommend not using chips and instead go for cubes - they will give you a more rounded flavor and can take longer aging than chips. There are a few threads on oaking here, check those out as well. In addition, there is a great article on using oak in beer (http://morebeer.com/content/using_oak_in_beer) that should help you out. With an AM. Barleywine, I'd go 1 oz on cubes for 4 months and see where you are at then. You can always add more, but you can never take any away.

I don't know about chocolate, but a great way to add coco flavors and aromas without having to do the work of making a mixture is with cacao nibs (http://morebeer.com/view_product/10681) I love them, and you can age on them for 2 weeks to 8 months.

Good luck!

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:07 PM   #7
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I tried to look at those two links you posted but it just shows a blank gray screen. Not sure if my work blocks it or if it is on your end.

Looks like I'll be using cubes for the oaking process. Thanks again for everybodies help.

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On deck - AAA x2, Irish red
Primary - Baltic porter, IIPA, Mild, ESB, Milk stout, Scottish 80
Secondary - American Barleywine
Bottled - Gingerbread ale, IPA, Brown porter, RIS, Better than dead x2, APA x2, Kolsch

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