I am preparing to make my first Imperial Stout. It is also the first time I am adding oak. I have taken about half of the oak cubes and have been soaking them in Scotch, I want a fairly oaky flavor with a touch of the Scotch.
Several of the things I've seen have said that what ever you add the oak to first will take most of the oak flavor out. This means that my oak in the Scotch will add more Scotch flavor than oak, this is why I only added the Scotch to half. I know that the Scotch will sterilize the oak.
My question is how can I sterilize the rest of the oak cubes before adding them to the secondary fermenter? I'm concerned that boiling them will take too much of the oak flavor out of the cubes, and into the water, and I will be lacking oak flavor. I've heard of people steaming them but I'm not sure how long it will take to get them sterile and I'm not convinced it won't leech out most of the flavor. Thanks for any attempts at helping.
Primary: Peat Smoked Porter
Secondary: Dark Belgian Strong Ale
Long term secondary: Raspberry Heather Melomel