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Old 08-18-2011, 09:59 PM   #1
Nateo's Avatar
Jul 2010
Bennett Springs, MO
Posts: 2,050
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I've read about people making their own oak essence, either by steeping in hot water or steeping in alcohol for some length of time.

Does anyone know which flavors would come out and which you'd lose in water, and in alcohol? I assume there are flavor compounds in the oak that aren't water soluble but are alcohol soluble.

I'll probably need to do an experiment on this, but I wanted to see if anyone has tried this already.
To paraphrase Dr. England - "Off-flavors smooth with time. So do mountains. Brew it right from the start!"

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Old 08-30-2011, 06:52 PM   #2
Apr 2011
., Connecticut
Posts: 1,497
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ive never heard of a similar experiment, but what you suggest sounds about right. i would imagine chemicals like sap/rosin, terpines and fatty acids, and other stuff normally found in trees would be the alcohol soluble parts.

im sure there would be sugars and tannins that would be water soluble.

here is an interesting article on oak wood, kind of specifically about making oak barrels

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:08 PM   #3
Aug 2011
Tjörn, Sweden
Posts: 154
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Alcohol and water are prett similar in terms of solubility. From what I recall from chemistry, alcohol can dissolve some fats with very weak van der Waals action (i.e. short carbon chains) - however it is mostly hydrophilic and dominated by the hydrogen action of the OH group, which is why you can dissolve a practically infinite amount of alcohol in any amount of water.

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