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Old 09-01-2011, 07:28 PM   #1
esoud
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Default Tips for Oak Aging?

Hi all,
I'm almost done with the primary on a batch of mead and am considering getting my hands on a small oak barrel (about 1-2 L) just to mix things up a bit. Is it better to rack some into the barrel during the secondary, or to wait for the secondary to complete and then age it?

Thanks for your help!



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Old 09-01-2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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How big is your batch?

The easiest way to screw up a good mead is to over-oak it. Unfortunately, I've done it more than once. As barrel size decreases, the wood exposure per amount of volume goes way up and increase the risk of too much oak. I've not seen a 2L barrel, and I'd be hesitant to use one if I had it. I'm not sure a barrel is a particularly good idea below 15-30 gallons. You might want to try using some oak cubes (or spirals or staves) as they make a great, easy-to-use alternative to barrel aging, and you can get good-quality wood. About 1 gram per liter is a good place to start in most cases.

Medsen



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Old 09-02-2011, 01:15 AM   #3
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Actually, there are a lot of mini oak barrel selling on ebay and I was ordered one 5L barrel. It's up to your batch size to want to age, mine I stated fermentation mead at 5L jug so I decided to order 5L size to fit it, the seller in ebay have 1L - 30 Gallon for order.
It's come with charred inside and very good smell and I plan to age my mead into the oak barrel after the fermentation is completly finish.
I've seen some advices from the barrel seller mentioned that in the small size barrel the aging process will be faster than a bigger one so I think I gonna age it about 2-3 months should be enough and then bottle it.

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Old 09-02-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
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Yes they sell them but his point was that it might not be a good idea to use them. I don't want to speak for him but I think the oak extraction would take place very quickly and make it easy to over oak.


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Originally Posted by AsianMead View Post
Actually, there are a lot of mini oak barrel selling on ebay and I was ordered one 5L barrel. It's up to your batch size to want to age, mine I stated fermentation mead at 5L jug so I decided to order 5L size to fit it, the seller in ebay have 1L - 30 Gallon for order.
It's come with charred inside and very good smell and I plan to age my mead into the oak barrel after the fermentation is completly finish.
I've seen some advices from the barrel seller mentioned that in the small size barrel the aging process will be faster than a bigger one so I think I gonna age it about 2-3 months should be enough and then bottle it.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:45 PM   #5
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I have a question along the same lines, sorry if I'm hijacking this thread. What style of a mead is good to oak age? I assume a dry mead would be good, but is it any good to do with a sweet or medium sweet mead?

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Old 09-03-2011, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuumi View Post
Yes they sell them but his point was that it might not be a good idea to use them. I don't want to speak for him but I think the oak extraction would take place very quickly and make it easy to over oak.
Well spoken!

As for what types are good for oak? Traditionals of any level sweetness are good candidates. Many melomels and metheglins are good, but some very delicate fruity mels I find better without oak.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:22 AM   #7
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Well, I won't put the sweet mead into the oak barrel for sure.
That is not because I know what is good for oak but it's because I'm not prefer sweetness in any alcohol drinks and the dry mead might be good or not good, at least I'll know the result after the test, good or not good and is not important my point is just "to know" how it will turn out.

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Old 09-03-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedsenFey View Post
Well spoken!

As for what types are good for oak? Traditionals of any level sweetness are good candidates. Many melomels and metheglins are good, but some very delicate fruity mels I find better without oak.
Good to know, thanks Medsen!


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