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Old 12-08-2008, 06:17 AM   #1
Satanta
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Default Live Oak?

I have a ton of wood from my Live Oaks. All cut and stacked about three months ago.

Anyone ever use it instead of buying oak from France or American Oak?

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Old 12-08-2008, 06:32 AM   #2
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i thought the whole point was to get the dried "toasted" flavor?....green wood would probably taste like ****.

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Old 12-08-2008, 06:38 AM   #3
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I have no experience with home grown oak, but I do know that it takes a couple (2-3) years to properly season oak for barrels. The microflora that attach themselves to the wood are also very different in different areas of the world, and even American oak is sometimes sent overseas to season then brought back, because the lichens (over 1400 different varieties) and other micro oraganisms that live there are present in different quantities and varieties. After a few years of rotating them and allowing them to bear the elements, they are then toasted to different degrees, depending on what flavors are desired from the wood.

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarleyWater View Post
I have no experience with home grown oak, but I do know that it takes a couple (2-3) years to properly season oak for barrels. The microflora that attach themselves to the wood are also very different in different areas of the world, and even American oak is sometimes sent overseas to season then brought back, because the lichens (over 1400 different varieties) and other micro oraganisms that live there are present in different quantities and varieties. After a few years of rotating them and allowing them to bear the elements, they are then toasted to different degrees, depending on what flavors are desired from the wood.
Thank you for a considered answer. I do have wood that is two Summers old. Larger stuff that could be cut to size and get to the center with no outside microfluora. I would think that the charring process would eliminate anything living in the wood.

I may try it. Have never bothered [or even heard of] oaking until a few months ago. I did some research and know how to accomplish the toasting-it is not rocket science tho posters that cannot answer a question without thinking might avoid it and stick with buying pre-charred wood from wherever.

For the rest it is a simple matter of broiling in the oven at about 350 until you get the char you want.

Just for the fun of it I might try something totally different in woods...Elm. Maple, Mesquite...If I go back to Oregon maybe I will even try Redwood.

Some of the surf tossed and wind-aged logs might be interesting if I scrape the barnacles off.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satanta View Post
Thank you for a considered answer. I do have wood that is two Summers old. Larger stuff that could be cut to size and get to the center with no outside microfluora. I would think that the charring process would eliminate anything living in the wood.
Now those logs may be good for using in some brew. The stuff that grows on the outside sends microfilaments into the wood to send in enzymes and draw out nutrients. It's these enzymes that are pumped in through the microfilaments and the reactions they create within the wood, that give the wood is distinct aged flavors and aromas, so I don't know how much of it you actually would want to remove.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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White oak is the type used in barrels & oak chips for wine. Other types of oak are far too tannic & impart some terrible flavours to wine.

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Old 12-08-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
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The chips are also made of the heart wood of the oak. The sap wood will leave the wrong flavors.

I'd buy some oak at a toast level you like and then try to duplicate it with a toaster oven so you can see and smell the oak you are toasting fairly easy.

BE CAREFUL! You're heating dry kindling chips to 400* or so. Wouldn't want to set your oven on fire.

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Old 12-08-2008, 06:03 PM   #8
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Now THAT'S what I needed to know about the Oak...sometimes one wonders if a certain wood or fruit or color or whatever in anything that has been around for ages, is used simply because it is traditional and no one ever tried something else.

As far as catching it on fire for charring...I would guess that it needs to be hotter but since I do not know, perhaps I will put it outside on the propane grill, just in case.

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:24 PM   #9
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I'm all for experimenting but I'd hate to lose a batch of wine when the oak chips are so cheap at my local homebrew store, Ken

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Old 12-11-2008, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
simply because it is traditional and no one ever tried something else
When it comes to making & processing alcohol, I suspect everything that can be tried has been. Whether or not it is documented is the common lore depends somewhat on the survival of the experimenter.
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