Originally Posted by tomije87
I would recommend letting the chips sit in a sanitizing solution for a few minutes - boiling will probably work to, I've just never done it.
I've left 4-6 oz's of medium roast oak chips in a 6g carboy of Merlot for 3+ months and the flavor was not overly strong - just about right for my liking.
I wouldn't soak the chips in sanitizer- it will sanitize the oak, but it'll "lose" much of the oakiness to the sanitizer.
If the chips are fresh from the package you don't have to sanitize them at all. If you feel that you have to, you could bake them in the oven at 350 for ten minutes. I don't.
Oak is very easy to overdo- and then it takes months and months for it to age out. One ounce in 3 gallons for two-three weeks is often enough for a strong red wine. As DoctorCAD said, the best way to do it is to taste it. When it's ever so slightly over-oaked, that's when it's time to rack off of the chips. The oakiness will fade over several months, leaving it perfect.