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c_osbourn 12-09-2012 09:53 PM

Adding wood chips
I have only brewed three batches and all three turned out better than I had ever imagined, the question I bring up is how to add wood chips to a brew. I would like to make nutty brown ale and add some wood chips to it to give it a smoke taste as well. How much should I use, what kind, when to add????

unionrdr 12-09-2012 10:23 PM

Idk about the smoke taste,even charred kegs can't do that. But soak'em in some liquor in a tightly sealed container in the fridge when you pitch the yeast. When time for secondary,pour all through a hop sock into secondary,tie it off,& drop it in. Rack beer onto them. Let sit for a week & taste to see if it's where you want it.

c_osbourn 12-10-2012 08:26 PM

sounds good, ill give it a try. Looking at some oak chips from NB. Is this my best bet or should i keep shopping

unionrdr 12-10-2012 08:31 PM

Most on line site will have American white oak-cubes or chips,even spindles. Also medium toast french oak chips. I'd like to find some black oak chips. Black oak is spicier than white oak.

Yooper 12-10-2012 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by c_osbourn (Post 4669087)
sounds good, ill give it a try. Looking at some oak chips from NB. Is this my best bet or should i keep shopping

That's fine! They should have different kinds, though- American oak, french oak, Hungarian oak, and then "light", "medium" or "dark" toast. You probably want medium American toast for oaking many beers.

Oaking gives flavors of oak of course, but also some flavors of vanilla and some tannins. It's easy to overoak, so go easy on the oak. You can always add more, but can't take it out.

I used 1 ounce of American medium oak for 3 gallons of imperial amber ale. I oaked it for 2 weeks on the chips in July, and the beer became drinkable in September, but not really good until December. Before that, it was pretty harsh oak character.

unionrdr 12-10-2012 08:37 PM

Yup. My whiskely ale took one day shy of 10 weeks to age down to where it was smooth & drinkable. And I only oaked it for 8 days.

c_osbourn 12-10-2012 08:41 PM

Ya, i seen all the different types of oaks, thanks for the heads up on not over oaking. Ill be sure to use a small amount. Going to make a 5g batch of Nutty Brown ale (extract) and thought a good oak flavor might spruce it up.

freisste 12-10-2012 11:20 PM

I'm planning on making sort of a bourbon barrel stout as my next brew. I'm really excited because I bought some chips that came out of a used bourbon barrel. Anybody have any similar experience? I have heard that using oak more than once will give off less flavor the second time. I also heard (in an advertisement for used mini barrels) that it would be easier to NOT over-oak using a barrel that already had bourbon in it. This makes sense to me, but I am looking for a little guidance from anybody who has tried before. Thanks.

(If anybody is from KY or visits the bourbon trail, I bought them at the wild turkey gift shop. I think it was $5 for a pint mason jar full of chips.)

techbrewie 12-10-2012 11:26 PM

If you want a "smoke" taste, get 4 oz of weyermanns smoked malt and steep it with your specialty grains. If your thinking more of the Oak/wood/earthy flavors a beverage would get from aging in an oak cask or barrel, soak some wood chips (cherry, oak etc) in booze (vodka cognac rum and whiskey are popular choices) and add that to the secondary.

The booze is to sterilize the chips.

ACESFULL 12-10-2012 11:27 PM

Personally using both chips & cubes, I prefer cubes. You can have them on the beer longer & dont have to worry about over oaking. At least as fast as chips. The beer I used chips I used 1oz & had them sit on the chips about 2 weeks & the beer was undrinkable 6 weeks after. Took close to 6 months for it to mellow where it wasnt overpowered. Less is more!

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