Originally Posted by bullet08
so i read "compleat mead" book and read the reply on this thread. i'm interested in adding some oak chips in the mead. what kind of chips and how much are we talking about? i'm brewing small batch. the last one is about 1 gallon.
Well for a 5 gal batch I used 1 oz of lightly toasted oak chips, and put it on it for a few weeks to a month. Even with a smaller batch I would recomend about the same. The reason why is that some ingredients don't scale up and down normally. What matters here is infusion. So I recomend that you put it on 1 oz of lightly toasted oak chips or medium toast is ok to for about 2 weeks. Then take them out. How long on the oak is really up to opinion but for beginiers and such a low volume this is what I recomend.
I have read that oak chips infuse fairly quickly and for longer oaking or more stable oaking many brewers prefer oak cubes or oak spirals. That is also up to choice. There are 2 types of oak that are primarily used, American Oak and Hungairian Oak. I would just look in your local home brew strore to see what they have. Should only be about a dollar or so for 1 oz. I like buying a musin hops bag and tieing it up in that, but loosly not tightly, and then taking out the oak when done. Makes it easier for me, though if you do, keep in mind that it may be hard to remove from a narrow necked bottle. With such a small quantaty You may just want to put the oak in loose.
You can get really detailed with oak tastes and flavors and hints/notes and all but I keep it simple and don't worry too much about it. For me it is as simple as 1 oz, toast level (how burned the oak is) and time. The flavor notes I don't worry too much about because I am just using it to smooth it out. Relax and enjoy the process of making the brew.
Hope that this helps.