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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Too late for oak chips?
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
nebben
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Default Too late for oak chips?

My blueberry port has been clearing/aging for the past year in multiple carboys and jugs. I have kept up on my campden tablet additions at every other racking. I arrested its fermentation at around 14% which raised it to 21% (everclear addition) last January.

One thing I neglected to add was some oak chips to get a slight woody flavor/aroma. Is it too late to add oak chips at this point? I haven't decided yet about what I will do, but I hope to leave it in bulk storage at least until it is 18 months old before bottling.

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #2
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If you're planning on the extra 18 months anyway, it's not too late for the oak.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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It's never too late for oak. It's a great addition in Port-style wines.

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Old 12-03-2009, 10:41 PM   #4
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is it true you can rinse the chips when done and reuse?

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Old 12-03-2009, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordantly View Post
is it true you can rinse the chips when done and reuse?
I guess you could. They would be less "oaky" and have a possibility of contamination, so I wouldn't see the point. I paid about $1.00 an ounce for medium toast American oak chips, and I use about an ounce per batch so I can't imagine it would be worth it.

When I oak, I usually rack onto the oak chips if I'm using chips or just add the oak spirals/cubes if I'm using them. Taste often for flavor- you want the wine to be just slightly overoaked since it will mellow with age. I usually leave mine about 1 month on chips before racking off and a bit less for spirals.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:39 PM   #6
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I used to use a product called "oak boy". It was just an oak stick that I dropped in the carboy. I rinsed and reused it a couple more times. Larger pieces are more practical for reuse. It won't hurt but like Yooper said, oak's inexpensive and it's better to use fresh oak.

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