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Old 02-26-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default Question on Oak Wood Chips

I am looking for advice on the use of oak chips during secondary fermentation. I have read/seen many different opinions on this topic and can't decide on what to do. Bake vs. Boil the chips? Amount of chips to use in the secondary? I am more than likely going to brew an ESB and thought of soaking the chips in a Bourbon for a week or 2 before adding them to the secondary. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 02-26-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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I've only oaked once. That being said, I boiled the chips, then tossed them in the primary after fermentation was complete.

If you soak the chips in bourbon, I would leave them out to dry before adding them. I'm not sure how you would do this without inviting bacteria, but it is possible that the bourbon absorbed by the oak would fight this. Hopefully someone else can chime in with more knowledge than I have. Good luck.

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by baseballstar4 View Post
I am looking for advice on the use of oak chips during secondary fermentation. I have read/seen many different opinions on this topic and can't decide on what to do. Bake vs. Boil the chips? Amount of chips to use in the secondary? I am more than likely going to brew an ESB and thought of soaking the chips in a Bourbon for a week or 2 before adding them to the secondary. Any help would be appreciated.
you can bake them if your wanting more of a charred taste, no need to boil them.

If your talking about a 5 gallon batch then you usually dont need more than a hand full for 2 - 4 weeks


-bn
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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To sanitize mine I soaked them in Jack Daniels for about a week...since they were the Jack Daniels Bourbon barrel smoking chips anyway..It was excellent.

Though in the future I may dry toast a bit of them before sanitizing them.

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:21 PM   #5
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Aren't the chips already toasted?

Brew Strong: Wood Aging

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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Mine were...but not toasted enough...more like a light toast...I'd be interested in a medium sometime.

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:28 PM   #7
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I just kegged a batch I had oaked. I use 20z of medium toast french oak chips in 5 G for 2 weeks. It's been off the oak and in the keg for 2 weeks this saturday. It's tastes like wood. But it was a simple Marris Otter SMaSH. I boiled some water, let it cool, the soaked the chips in the water. I did this based on another thread that suggested saturating the chips before adding to your beer cause they absorb a lot of liquid. If they're not saturated with water first they'll absorb your precious beer. So the chips themselves were not sanitized, just the water they soaked in.

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
I just kegged a batch I had oaked. I use 20z of medium toast french oak chips in 5 G for 2 weeks. It's been off the oak and in the keg for 2 weeks this saturday. It's tastes like wood. But it was a simple Marris Otter SMaSH. I boiled some water, let it cool, the soaked the chips in the water. I did this based on another thread that suggested saturating the chips before adding to your beer cause they absorb a lot of liquid. If they're not saturated with water first they'll absorb your precious beer. So the chips themselves were not sanitized, just the water they soaked in.
The "woodiness" does fade back with time...like hops...Mine lost the woody bite after about 6 weeks in a bottle...
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The "woodiness" does fade back with time...like hops...Mine lost the woody bite after about 6 weeks in a bottle...
I figure this will happen, I just hope I have some hop bite left.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:09 PM   #10
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I read to steam the chips in a veggie steamer for 20 minutes before adding them to the secondary fermenter...

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