i use oak spirals for oaking beer. 1 spiral for a 5 gal batch is plenty, for smaller batches, i cut them to size. i usually use the medium toast french oak, to give them a bourbon flavor, i'll soak them in a little bit of bourbon for a few days, but they're fine without the bourbon. i hang them into the beer in the carboy with fishing line tied to the neck of the carboy (the bourbon just gets poured in if i'm using it). i've found that a week or so is plenty of contact time, so i oak in secondary for the last week before packaging. do it to taste the first couple times you use oak, and remember the oak character will come on pretty quickly and strong, a week should be enough time for most beers, IME.