Originally Posted by Malty_Dog
Question on the oak cubes. Having never used them, should I soak them for a few days in vodka? I see me brewing this no later than mid-November. I totally agree about this as a winter beer. Kicking back by an outdoor fire with a brew like this - sounds pretty heavenly.
Here's what I did with the oak - put the cubes in a glass jar, just cover with water, put in the microwave and give it a whirl for a minute...then another minute....(just make sure that it has boiled during that time - if not, go another minute or two)...carefully take the jar out (it will be hot) and decant the now brown water and dump the cubes into the fermenter.
This is a technique I learned from one of the Brewing Network podcasts with oak (and wine yeast) expert Shea Comfort. That's also where I learned about using the oak in the primary - the idea is that it doesn't lend too much oak flavor, but the tannins add to the mouthfeel.