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Old 12-10-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Beers that do well with wood chip aging

Partially inspired by the Brew Masters episode last night, and partially by an amazing Great Divide Brewing Co. oak aged beer that I had recently (can't remember what style), I want to age my next brew on wood chips.

What beers go well with wood chip aging? Dark beers, light beers, lagers, ales? I just brewed a stout so I don't think I want to do this with a similarly dark beer. I was planning on doing the NB Nut Brown Ale next, would that pair well? I'm still doing extract brewing. Is wood aging a waste of time with extract?

I'll have to do some research on the actual process before I do it, but any wood chip aging tips or advice are welcome as well.

Thanks!

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:08 PM   #2
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Typically bigger beers. Big stouts, belgians and IPAs do well. Great Divide has several oak aged stouts and their 16th anniversary ale was an oaked IPA. You want something that can stand up to the flavor of the wood. You don't want it to be overpowering.

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:27 PM   #3
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I just checked the website and it was their Rumble that I had a while ago, which is an IPA. Maybe I'll go that route.

How well does dry hopping and oak aging get along? I've really wanted to dry hop my next IPA...

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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IMO IPAs always should be hopped (American style anyway). The Oak aging is like icing on the cake. Had a bourbon oak IPA before and it was very good. Quite a lot of Bourbon flavor, but still very tasty. I'd do it.

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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Also interested in this. Would this be something that could be aged in say a secondary, like dry hopping and what would be the sanitation requirements and time requirement need to be?

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Old 12-10-2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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Yep, it is just like dry hopping in secondary. The amount of time depends on preference. It is advisable to taste the beer every few days and pull it off the oak once you've reached desired flavor level (maybe even a little more than desired since it will age out over time.) Most people sanitize by soaking in bourbon or steaming the chips. They pasteurized in brew masters by putting the wood in 180 degree water for 30 minutes, but in my opinion that could leach out some of the flavor of the wood.

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Old 12-10-2010, 08:48 PM   #7
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I know the amount of time the wood needs to be in the beer is variable, but would it be better to add the wood at the beginning of the conditioning time or at the end?

For example: if I was going to condition my IPA for 3 weeks, and the wood only needs to be in there for one week, should I add it in the first week, or the third?

**Edit-

With dry hopping I'm thinking this: add the oak at the beginning of the conditioning, leaving it in until my desired flavor level. After removing the wood add the hops. Being an IPA I would want the hops to shine though and the oak to be subtle. I'm afraid reversing this order, or adding at the same time, will have the two fighting each other. Thoughts?

This is the beer I'm thinking about doing this with: http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewin...act-kit-1.html

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Old 12-10-2010, 11:56 PM   #8
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American adjunct lagers. Beechwood aging. Need I say more?

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Old 12-11-2010, 01:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neb_brewer View Post
With dry hopping I'm thinking this: add the oak at the beginning of the conditioning, leaving it in until my desired flavor level. After removing the wood add the hops. Being an IPA I would want the hops to shine though and the oak to be subtle. I'm afraid reversing this order, or adding at the same time, will have the two fighting each other. Thoughts?
Makes sense to me. I've only done one beer where I oaked and dry hopped. I did it at the same time and the oak definitely overpowered the hops.
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Old 12-12-2010, 12:08 AM   #10
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What about charring the wood prior to adding it? Might add a nice subtle smokey note to the beer..

Anybody tried that?

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