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Old 03-09-2011, 03:07 AM   #1
OneHotKarl
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Default Raj / Jamil Flanders Red Oak Dowel

Ok so hopefully I'm not repeating a question, I couldn't get a straight answer from my searches. When you use the oak dowel as an 'airlock' in the secondary with the bugs for a sour beer does the oak dowel need to be long and skinny so that it touches the beer and therefore wicks beer up the dowel?? Or does it simply need to be small and short to just plug the carboy mouth and allow some oxygen in? I've seen some pictures of a long oak dowel that touches the beer, but this seems like it would wick beer up the dowel which I can't understand why this would be a good thing. Hopefully a sour veteran can answer this seemingly easy question. Thanks!

As a side note, my sour is starting to form a pellicle after 2-3 months in the secondary WITH an airlock...winning!


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Old 03-09-2011, 01:35 PM   #2
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Not a veteran here by any means, but i use a long dowel in order to impart oak flavor as well as small amounts of oxygen into the beer over time. It doesn't so much wick beer up it so much as oxygen down it. If you use a short dowel that doesn't touch the beer, all you're going to do is get little amounts of air to the headspace, thus prompting a pellicle. Not as functional as a long dowel - imparting oak and air to the beer itself.


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Old 03-09-2011, 03:19 PM   #3
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If I am using an oak spiral for the oak flavor, I take it that it is not necessary to have the dowel touch the beer? If you get the oak flavor from the spiral/cubes...etc than all the oak dowel is doing is introducing O2.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:33 PM   #4
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That would probably be a headspace issue, then. Since a pellicle would form, the hypothetical air exchange only in the headspace (by not putting the dowel in the beer) would, to me, would be minimized. Some of those bugs like oxygen, so there are certain circumstances where you'd want that slight air exchange.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:42 PM   #5
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Ok i'm sold on the long dowel touching the beer for micro oxygenation....off to find a oak dowel somewhere. Thanks for the advise.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:55 AM   #6
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You can get them at home depot or lowe's, and even toast them yourself.
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:04 AM   #7
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Is the dowel snug in the carboy top or loose to the air?
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:54 PM   #8
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If you get a dowel that is the size of the carboy opening, you have a chance to crack the neck of your carboy as it soaks up beer and expands.

You want something like this: http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shoppingc...d-Stopper.html and make a hole in it large enough for the dowel.

Also, make sure you get white oak and not red oak. Red oak will give you some really harsh flavors.

-chuck


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