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Old 03-13-2011, 10:13 PM   #1
wh4tig0t
 
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I have an AHS Stormcastle Brown Ale kit, and I have a 2-3 month work trip coming up. I was wondering if this would be 1. a good beer to add a little oak too, and 2. if i could let it sit on the cubes for the 2-3 months I'll be gone?

I do have enough time to go ahead and ferment it out and age in the keg, so maybe I could keep it a little cool to slow down the oak some.

Heres the ingredients:

8.75 lbs of Maris Otter
.5 lbs CaraMunich II
.5 lbs Brown Malt
.5 lbs US Chocolate Malt
1oz Goldings for 60 mins
.5oz Willamette for 60 mins
.75oz Willamette for 15 mins
.75oz Willamette for 5 mins
1 packet US-05

 
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:24 PM   #2
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Oak is a preference, but if you do it, I'd definitely suggest boiling the cubes to mellow them out a bit before putting them in.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:42 PM   #3
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I wouldn't just oak it and leave it for 2-3 months. Better to taste it as it ages.

I used some oak in an old ale that I aged in a corny keg. I used 3/4oz soaked in a few ounces of boiled water (then covered the sanitized jar to let it cool down on it's own)... I then pitched all of it into the brew. Oak and the tea that was made from it steeping. The brew sat on the oak for 5.5 weeks before I bottled it up.

I would only boil oak IF I was going to add the entire contents of the pot (oak, and tea included) into the brew. Otherwise, you're throwing away too much of what you're going after. If you don't want as much flavor, use LESS oak. How much oak you use, and how long you leave it in is really a personal preference.

I will suggest looking at the different oak toast levels and pick one, or two, that you like the description of. You can also combine them to get a more unique contribution...

I would still advise not oaking unless you'll be able to sample the brew at least every couple of weeks. I sampled mine after about 2-3 weeks and the consensus was that it needed more time. It went the 5.5 weeks because I needed the corny to ferment another brew in. Otherwise I might have let it go another couple of weeks (probably no more than 8)...

IF you're set on oaking the brew while you're away, I would use a smaller amount of oak than you might be thinking of... Go with 1-2 ounces while you're away. Taste it when you get back and decide, at that point, if you want more oak or not. If not, then rack off the oak and bottle/keg it up. You could put the oak into a muslin bag, tied to the gas tube, to make it easier to remove when it's done. If you're going to want to reuse that keg to carbonate it that is.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:55 PM   #4
wh4tig0t
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post

IF you're set on oaking the brew while you're away, I would use a smaller amount of oak than you might be thinking of... Go with 1-2 ounces while you're away. Taste it when you get back and decide, at that point, if you want more oak or not. If not, then rack off the oak and bottle/keg it up. You could put the oak into a muslin bag, tied to the gas tube, to make it easier to remove when it's done. If you're going to want to reuse that keg to carbonate it that is.
I was thinking 1oz American oak Medium toast in a bag in a corny, that i can pull out when i get home. This trip is a big deal for me (4 years in the making) so I'm willing to risk having to age some of the taste out.

Considering the fact that I can't taste it while Im gone, I just want to make sure its not going to do something to the beer that can't be aged out in a reasonable amount of time sitting in a keg or bottles.

 
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:58 PM   #5
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1 ounce should be fine... If anything, you might want to add more when you get home...

I would add the tea you get from pouring how/boiled water over the cubes, as well as the cubes. Let it cool down to a safe temp before adding it...
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:41 AM   #6
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How did this one work out? I've got a lambic-style sour that I just added 2 ounces (pre-soak weight) of cognac soaked, medium french oak to. I'm probably going to leave it in there at least another 2 months. Obviously, it'll age out some before the brew is ready. But I don't want to have to wait 3 years.
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
wh4tig0t
 
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It ended up working out great. The oak cubes were in the beer for about 4 and a half months at 35 or so degrees. It turned out to have a really nice oaky taste, not overpowering. I think the key was the lower temperature.

 
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:27 PM   #8
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Hmm... Mine is a sour and I want to keep the buggies happy, so I can't drop temp. It's sitting at a constant 70F, but my thinking is another few months in bottle will age any harshness out.

How many ounces of oak cubes did you end up throwing in there?

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:21 AM   #9
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I just filled my morebeer stainless infusion tube. I couldn't fit the entire 2 ounces in, so I estimate it was an ounce and a half.

 
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