Originally Posted by chris102984
I tried a quick search and didnt turn much up on this.
I know with brewing the recommendation is use oak chips for a more rounded oak character. My wife recently got into making wine, I've noticed the kits come with oak chips and the most recent one seems to have sawdust. We've already made up the one with chips, but I'm thinking about recommending she uses the cubes for the new kit. Does anyone have advice about how to change the recipe to use cubes versus the chips or sawdust?
The dust is included because it has to do with the timeframe of the kit. If you substitute cubes you will need them at the appropriate toast level and need to know how long to keep them intact with wine, roughly.
Here is what Jack Keller has to say via: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/finishin.asp
For oaking, use White Oak or French Oak chips only. Three ounces of chips will treat a 5-gallon carboy. Place the chips in a cloth bag with a couple of marbles and tie it off with string. Sink this in boiling water for about five minutes. This removes any harsh tannins from the wood and sterilizes it and the marbles. Then remove the bag, allow it to drip drain long enough for it to cool down enough to handle, and then work the bag into the mouth of the carboy of wine after racking but before topping up--the oak will displace some of the wine and raise the surface level up to where it should be. Fit the airlock and move the carboy to the cold place or refrigerator. Taste the wine after six weeks. If the flavor is not what you want, continue aging it until it is. This typically takes 2-3 months for French Oak and 3-4 months for American White Oak.
Do not use any other type of oak unless specifically sold for this purpose (for example, I have seen Spanish Oak and Portugese Oak chips advertised for winemaking use). Rack the wine with the bag of chips still in the carboy. It may be a little work getting the bag out later, but if it went in it will come out.
Here is the link to his homepage, great reading! http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/index.asp
You can also find various info at Winemaker Magazine online. Like this article: http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/wizard/article/752-when-using-oak-cubes-in-a-recipe-from-concentrate-at-what-stage-in-the-process-should-they-be-added