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Old 01-02-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
thomasgorff
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Default French Oak Chips...

I am currently making a sour and want to add some dynamic to it by adding medium french oak chips to it.
Here is my recipe.

Roeselare Ale Blend

Grain Bill
2-Row 8 pounds
Vienna 3 pounds
Extra Special Malt 1/2 Pound
Flaked Wheat 1 pound

Hops
1 oz perle hops

1 tsp Irish moss
1 capsule servomyces
4 ounces of medium french oak chips

Its time to rack into my secondary and I am unsure about the amount of chips needed to add an oak flavor and the length of time as well as the chip prep needed. Any body with any prior experience with this style of beer or using oak chips please give me some insight to avoid a year of wasted equipment and beer! Thanks

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:08 PM   #2
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That seems like a lot of oak. I did a similar recipe with 1 oz of medium toast chips. The oak flavor and aroma was quite strong when I racked to the keg after 6 months but I suspect it will mellow over time.

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Old 01-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Yeah the 4 ounce is just how its packaged so I am trying to figure out the best method of introducing it as well as period of time before i take them out. thanks for the advice!

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #4
aseg
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I try to limit the exposure to oak to 6-8 days. You want to taste it daily after 4 days and rack off just after it is too oaky. The oak will dissipate with time.

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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Is that true even for a beer that wont be ready for about 12 more months? Should i wait until the end of my secondary ferm or introduce the chips in the beginning?

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:37 PM   #6
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Yes, wait for secondary fermentation to be "nearly complete" before sanitizing and adding chips. The oak character will fade (slowly) with time, which is why I said to taste it daily and rack off the oak AFTER it is barely too strong.

There is no way to positively outline when to do this - just go for it and use your best judgement for the profile you want.

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:54 PM   #7
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I'd say go easy on the oak chips--you don't want to ruin a perfectly good sour. For reference, I added 2 oz. of med. oak chips to a five gallon batch of brown IPA for three days in the keg with dry hops and, honestly, I wish I never added the oak. The chips (as opposed to cubes or larger chunks) can give it a harsher flavor. The oak in mine was pronounced after three days. Mine also clouded the beer, even after boiling the chips first and decanting the liquid. And clouded beer can be such a bummer when you're not trying.

Anyhow, good luck! YMMV...

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