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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Wood and beer 1/2 oz per 5 gallons?
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:28 PM   #1
Grinder12000
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Default Wood and beer 1/2 oz per 5 gallons?

I'm going to add Jack Daniels soaked and then dried American oak chips to my porter. I've read 1/2 oz per 5 gallons for 1 week.

Do any of you have experience with adding chips? Comments? Experiences?


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Old 11-06-2009, 12:12 AM   #2
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I just did 1 oz, soaked in 3/4 Cups of bourbon, in a five gallon batch of brown porter. The oak is light but noticeable. The bourbon is overwhelming but it's bedding down day-by-day. I just ran this beer past some folk in the brewclub, and they all agree that the oak is too light and the bourbon is too heavy.

So, take that for what it's worth.


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Old 11-06-2009, 03:48 AM   #3
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Were they oak chips or cubes? 1 week? I'm doing a test gallon so I can compare. One source said 1/2 oz which I would then have to divide by 5.

I soaked mine in JD and then let them dry! hmmmmm Perhaps I'll go with 1 oz divided by 5.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:29 AM   #4
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There's a good discussion on wood aging here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/tips-wood-aging-119445/

For an imperial stout I soaked 2 oz of light toast American oak chips in about 2-4 oz of bourbon. I added it to secondary for just three days.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:02 PM   #5
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Yea - that thread is why I started THIS thread. They say 1/2 oz while people on this forum are disagreeing with it saying "I use 1 oz amd I use 2 oz). I suppose it all depends on the brew. 1/2 oz for a lighter brew but 2 oz for a Stout.

And thus - why I'm only make in gallon as a test.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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In my experience, time is more important than amount. I had 1oz. of chips in 5 gallons that took a week or so to become noticeable. I would guess 2oz would be faster. Choose a reasonalbe amount and taste often would be my reccomendation.

Also, I personally would not soak the chips. Add the oak get it where you want oak-wise then add the JD to taste. This way you will get the oak and whiskey flavors just where you want it. With soaking, you do have independent control over both flavors.
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Old 11-06-2009, 02:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
Were they oak chips or cubes? 1 week? I'm doing a test gallon so I can compare. One source said 1/2 oz which I would then have to divide by 5.

I soaked mine in JD and then let them dry! hmmmmm Perhaps I'll go with 1 oz divided by 5.
I used american oak chips, the kind you get from the wine supply section. I soaked them in 3/4 Cup of 1792 Boubon for one week (I started it the day after I brewed the wort). After a week, I was at my target gravity, and racked the porter onto the bourbon and chips, and then added six tablespoons of vanilla extract. I would have soaked the vanilla bean in with the chips to save a step, but the damn grocery store decided it didn't want to carry vanilla beans that day.

I agree... the time spent sitting on the oak is a far more important variable... or at least it should be taken together with the amount of oak. Two weeks on one ounce of oak will be stonger than one week on one ounce of oak. Etc. etc.

A buddy of mine mentioned to me that he didn't like bourbon-flavoring in his beer, and his approach to using oak chips was to put them in one of those vegetable steamer baskets in a saucepan, steam them for about a half hour, let them cool, and then slip them into his secondary.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:40 PM   #8
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i just did this for the first time, i took 3oz of medium toast french oak, let them soak in Makers Mark for about a week. i drained the Makers, dumped that into the carboy and put the beer on top. i only let it sit about a week, and when i kegged it a few days ago you could taste both the makers and the oak.

as someone has said about, i think time with wood is more important then how much. more chips is more surface area and it'll be quicker to the flavor you want. if i had to do over again, i might go to 2oz and do the same process over just let it sit an extra week or so.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:12 PM   #9
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My goal was to have a brew with the character of Rocky's Revenge from Tyranena Brewing Company in Lake Mills WI. Those guys really know how to brew a beer.

I have generic american oak chips - all I could find locally - didn't want cubes.

I'm wondering how much flavor the JD imparted on the chips since I soaked them and let them dry. I put one in my mouth and well, it tasted like a piece of wood LOL
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:31 PM   #10
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If you let the chips soak for longer than a week, you will get a strong wood flavor, not the nice oak flavor you are looking for. I always recommend cubes, for a number of reasons. Chips are done giving oak flavor after one week, cubes go for 6-8 months.

One ounce is a good starting place. Soaking them is fine, and I like the flavor it gives. I let my beer age on oak for 3-5 months after a good soak in some bourbon, and I find that after a few months in the bottle, the bourbon mellows and the oak becomes more noticable, so don't judge it right away.

Also, don't add the bourbon that you used to soak the oak in when you keg. Toss it and wait until the beer is done aging, then taste - if you need to add more you can.


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