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Old 11-16-2012, 04:24 AM   #1
EaglePoint
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Default Bottle Oaked beer?

Hey, I'm newly registered member, but been lurking around for several months. Or, more like constantly here trying to learn as much as I can.

Quick question that I haven't been able to find answered anywhere: Can beer be bottle-oaked? As in, would there be any consequences if I crammed a small oak cube into a larger bottle (like a 22 oz or a750 mL) and then bottled? Would the oak cube deteriorate? Would long conditioning/aging extract tannins? Considering how long I hear about beer staying in oak barrels, this seems like it would be viable, but I have not read about anyone trying it before.

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Old 11-16-2012, 04:35 AM   #2
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Good question. I am planning on oaking a porter next week, and in my research on the site found a thread where someone used oak dowels from Home Depot, cut to length and put into bottles. They were bourbon soaked and untoasted. They said it worked out great, but from everything else I've read it seems pretty easy to "over oak". One of the good things about adding cubes/chips during secondary is that you can pull them when you reach the flavor you want. My hesitation with bottle oaking is that you aren't able to take them out if the beer is getting too much oak flavor. Oak mellows with time if it's too overpowering, but obviously if they're in the bottle you can't regulate it. I'm not speaking from experience of course, so if you decide to go that route, keep us updated.

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Old 11-16-2012, 04:50 AM   #3
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I'm sure I'll try it regardless of what is posted here, but if more people advise against it I'll just reduce how many bottles I try it with.

I am thinking I'd boil the oak cubes first and not add the water to slightly mellow them and remove some tannins, and using different size cubes in different bottles to see how much works best at different ages, but definitely using smaller amounts of oak per volume than if I was oaking in secondary.

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Old 11-16-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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I did it in secondary to regulate the amount of oaking. Too much oak is not a good thing. It's overpowering to the point you can't taste as much malt.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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I just made a ale aged on oak chips in secondary, but I had heard so much about how easy it was to have the oak dominate the beer that I erred on the side of caution and only left it on for a week. It probably could have held up to longer without trouble.

It would seem like if you bottle-oaked, there would be certain time periods where it would be more drinkable than others. For example, right after the first 2-3 weeks when it is freshly carbonated, it might be ok. Past that, the oak would probably take over. Then, after extended (several months to a year or more) aging, the oak would mellow out again and it would be more drinkable.

Mind you, this is purely speculation...I have no personal experiments to back that up.

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