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Old 11-13-2012, 11:49 PM   #11
BigDaveZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buttcord View Post
Yes, you are off base about that.

I would recommend letting it ride out in the primary for the 3-4 weeks. I think having the oak chips in the primary will, if anything, mellow out the "oakiness" due to a combination of fermentation activity and the settling of the yeast on top of the oak chips. It will be FINE --------> RDWHAHB
Good to know I was off base on that. Understanding how the process works will definitely help be a better brewer. It sounds like its more of a bacteria issue than anything. I'm gonna take a good look at it tonight, and if I can get some of the chips out without disturbing too much of it I'll give it a shot.


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Old 11-14-2012, 12:28 AM   #12
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Hold on.

You said oak chips, but what you have are oak CUBES. The instructions are correct in that the cubes will require some weeks of contact time to impart their flavors and aromas to the beer. Oak chips are much smaller and (due to their increased surface area) impart their contribution in a matter of a few days. You're fine fermenting the beer with the cubes in there. If I were you I would start sampling the beer for the desired level of "oakiness" at 3 weeks, drawing a sample every 5ish days after that until you're happy with the product. Then siphon the beer off the cubes and age further (if desired) or package the brew in bottles or kegs.



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Old 11-14-2012, 01:18 AM   #13
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If the pic worked you can see some of the cubes at the top. Like I said they're about 1/4" x 1/4", but they are pretty thin. Everything visually seems to be okay so far, and I'm getting a good bubble every 2 seconds in the blow off.

A buddy of mine that's been brewing for a while said I should absolutely get the chips out of there asap to prevent bacteria.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:30 AM   #14
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I'd let it ride for 2 weeks, then check gravity and taste. If not oaky enough, leave another week or two. I don't think getting the beer off the oak now is going to prevent bacteria from setting in, it's most likely too late for that. If there was enough bacteria to cause an infection, they have already gotten to it. It's possible that the beer will pick up too much oakiness, but it should mellow with age.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:47 AM   #15
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And I assure you my beer is not in some weird anti-gravity device, lol. Not sure why the pic came out upside down, I posted it directly through the HBT app.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:57 AM   #16
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I've never used oak, but I don't understand why there would be any major concern... The yeast isn't going to do anything to the oak, as others have said, the rapid offgassing of co2 will actually mellow out the oak if anything. If the oak was supposed to be in therefor 3-4 weeks anyways, then I don't think you had anything to worry about other than a possibly more mild oak flavor... In which case you can just leave it in longer to taste.

If bacteria is going to do harm, then it is already too late, it would already have spread to the wort, and it wouldn't be saved by removing the cubes. If your yeast took off quickly, and you have a normal looking krausen, then I don't think infection is a big concern.

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:09 PM   #17
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Well oak cubes definitely gives you more lee way than oak chips which have much more surface area. I wouldn't worry about any bacteria at this point, whats done is done. I would start sampling for oak taste at 2 weeks and then every few days thereafter. Rack after its oaked to taste. I bet this turns out great for you.

I've only oaked one beer, a very large russian imperial. I added about 1.5 oz and oaked for 7 weeks in secondary. I've only had one beer and I can say the oak was a tad strong. But I plan on aging this thing anyway with most of them consumed next winter or possibly even the next which should blend well. The thing with oak is it can add a lot of tannins. I soaked my chips in whiskey for a few weeks and did a 2 soak & dump to reduce the tannins. The third soak (about 3 oz) went in with the chips to secondary. Another benefit of soaking in hard liquor is that the bacteria should essentially be taken out if you give enough time for the entire cube to be wetted.



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