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Old 06-20-2012, 09:34 PM   #11
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Soaking them for a week in maker's will more than sanitize them. It will infuse deliciousness down to their core.

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Old 06-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by boredstate

i assume you mean to boil them for sanitization purposes, but wouldn't soaking them in maker's for a few days effectively sanitize them?
Boiling them is dual purpose, for both sanitization & to soften some of the harsher tanins in the wood. I've found that straight out of the package even the lightest toasted cubes can still have similar intensity to a single use whiskey barrel.

And 80 proof spirits will kill off some stuff, but won't truly sanitize...there are plenty of threads here that hash that out, though.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by boredstate
sorry for the bump, but brewing this same kit saturday and was wondering the same thing about the oak chips.. I'm kind of weary about adding 375ml of maker's mark as suggested.. i might try half of that & add more if needed. any recommendations there?
I just did a 1 gallon batch and had to add half of my .375 of Jim beam to get any character to come through. You should be fine with .375 for a 5 gallon bath.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:23 AM   #14
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Boiling them is dual purpose, for both sanitization & to soften some of the harsher tanins in the wood. I've found that straight out of the package even the lightest toasted cubes can still have similar intensity to a single use whiskey barrel.

And 80 proof spirits will kill off some stuff, but won't truly sanitize...there are plenty of threads here that hash that out, though.
Ah, great to know!

Just a thought.. Same rules apply to the chips? They are pretty damn small.. Largest one I'd say is about 1/4" square x 1/8" thick
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:46 PM   #15
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Ah, great to know!

Just a thought.. Same rules apply to the chips? They are pretty damn small.. Largest one I'd say is about 1/4" square x 1/8" thick
chips and cubes are pretty different...here's some good info cribbed from an old Zymurgy article:

Oak Chips and Oak Cubes

Chips are flat shreds of oak, usually about two inches long. Because there are only two sides to an oak chip, the wood reacts quickly to the heat during toasting andboth surfaces are toasted to an even level. This gives the wood a rather one-dimensional flavor. Chips have a very short extraction time in beer, usually about a week or so, which make them ideal for use in the fermentation process. Yeast will actually metabolize certain oak compounds, like vanillin and furfural, and leave much of the spice and other characteristics behind. This creates a nice foundation to build off of with any later oak additions. Beers that do well with this method include English bitters and American pale ales-styles that generally don?t benefit from a longer aging time. Oak cubes have several layers of toast due to the thickness and shape of the cube. A toasted oak cube will have varying degrees of color along each side-these layers represent the level of heat penetration during the toasting process. Heat is what brings out all of the different and wonderful flavors of the wood, and different temperatures with different woods for different lengths of time develop different flavors. Oak cubes replicate the complex flavors of a barrel better than chips because the cubes are able to have multiple toast levels like a barrel would. Think of it as ?what you see is what you taste,? where the different colors of the cubes provide more flavors than the single color of the chips. Cubes also have a much longer extraction time, from about two weeks up to a year depending on the size of the cube (the beer has a lot more wood to penetrate than with a chip) and the longer extraction time enables the beer to absorb the full character of the oak, and not just one or two facets of it. Cubes are ideal for beers that require a lengthy aging process such as imperial stouts and barleywines.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:39 PM   #16
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I'm sorry if this is only partly on-topic, but what about adding whiskey without oak chips? I actually have oak chips which I could use, and which I intend to use when I make a rum porter ... but actually, when I think about making whiskey-infused beer some other flavor combinations come to mind. For example, if you don't go too wild on the whiskey, I think caraway might work well.

Not that there's anything wrong with oak chips... I'm just wondering if/why they are really a prerequisite for making whiskey-infused beer.

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Old 06-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #17
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I don't think they are required, just added for additional layers of flavor that complement the whiskey nicely.

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Old 06-22-2012, 10:49 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by messersc View Post
I'm sorry if this is only partly on-topic, but what about adding whiskey without oak chips? I actually have oak chips which I could use, and which I intend to use when I make a rum porter ... but actually, when I think about making whiskey-infused beer some other flavor combinations come to mind. For example, if you don't go too wild on the whiskey, I think caraway might work well.

Not that there's anything wrong with oak chips... I'm just wondering if/why they are really a prerequisite for making whiskey-infused beer.
And some whiskeys will just have more oak in them than most. Elijah Craig comes to mind, but I am sure there are others which have more oakiness than the really cheap four year old versions. I'd bet most 12 year whiskeys could be used without chips/cubes and still get some oak in the beer.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:49 PM   #19
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So I brewed this kit Saturday, ran into some efficiency problems and my OG came up short about .018 (target was 1.091, actual was 1.073) & my post boil volume was low about .75 gallons. I would have thrown some more water & DME in there at the end of the boil, but I was all out of DME. Would I be ok boiling 2 lbs. of dark DME in a little over 3 quarts of water and throwing that in with primary this evening or should I just leave it alone? I'm just afraid it's going to wind up overly bitter..

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