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Old 09-17-2012, 02:27 PM   #1
dannedry's Avatar
Apr 2009
Mason, MI
Posts: 169
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Anybody with any advice on using these? I've got 5 gallons of a Russian Imperial Stout that has been in secondary for a few months now... I was going to take one 8" French Med toast spiral, soak it in about 8-12 oz of bourbon for 2 weeks, then dump the whole lot (oak and bourbon) into the secondary for 6 weeks, then bottle.

Sound reasonable???


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Old 09-17-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
terrapinj's Avatar
Dec 2010
Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 2,415
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i'd be concerned about just dumping in 8-12oz of bourbon without tasting

the oak spirals say they take about 6weeks to extract full flavors and they are easy enough to remove when you are at your target flavor level but liquor can't just be removed and takes a while to age out.

general guide is to pour small tester samples of the beer and add a small measured amount to each taster to find what ratio you like then just scale up for the 5gal batch

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
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I would add the oak, taste after 4-6 weeks and see if it is oaky/bourbon-y enough for you. If not, add the bourbon. I would add a couple ounces, let it sit for a few days, taste and repeat if necessary. As terrapinj points out, you can't just remove the liquor flavor. However, the oaked bourbon will stay clean while the oak is in the fermentor. If you end up with excess bourbon left over, you can drink it straight or save it for another batch of beer.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:36 PM   #4
Sep 2011
Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 128
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I sanitize my oak chips or spirals in water. I place them in a dish and boil them in the microwave then into the beer they go. I like the essence the water extracts during the boil - is the reason i pitch both. I age to taste and rack off of them when ready.

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Old 02-03-2014, 02:49 AM   #5
Apr 2013
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How long do you typically age? What lengths of time do you consider for light/medium/heavy amounts of oak flavor?

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Old 02-03-2014, 02:21 PM   #6
Gunfighter04's Avatar
Jan 2011
Sugar Grove, Pa
Posts: 339
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I've found that both oak and bourbon age nicely. I normally secondary for 4 weeks. After bottling I find the oak bourbon taste to be on the strong side,but once they age for 6 months its perfect.

From my perspective Oak/Bourbon aging is not for the impatient, but well worth the wait!
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:05 PM   #7
KTRyan's Avatar
Feb 2010
L.I. New York
Posts: 48
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I've done this in the past with chips instead of a spiral. I sanitized a jar, boiled the chips, dumped chips and scotch (I used scotch), into my mason jar. Let them soak as my beer went through primary, dumped everything into secondary. The beer was great, but had no head retention, please let us know how yours comes out.

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Old 02-03-2014, 07:11 PM   #8
Calichusetts's Avatar
Nov 2011
Plymouth, MA
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Grab a long tube as a container. That way you can keep adding different types of oak to your bourbon and the bourbon itself will get progressively more complex. I did a whole spiral in a 1 gallon barleywine, soaked in bourbon for 1 week and left in the beer for 2 weeks. At a year, still a little strong but very pleasant

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Old 02-04-2014, 05:30 AM   #9
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Cyclman's Avatar
Jan 2013
Aurora, CO
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I did 2 spirals in just enough bourbon to cover them (in a ziplock) for a week, then in the beer for 3 weeks. Not overwhelming, but delicious flavor additions to a Quad. Gets better with time, too.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:26 PM   #10
etrain666's Avatar
Aug 2011
Parker, CO
Posts: 133
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I recently soaked a french oak spiral in Chardonnay for 24 hours and then into the beer. After 6 days it was very oaky. In fact, after sitting in the keg, I think there is too much oak. Tastes like I'm sucking on the wood.

I presume it will meld and mellow with time. Any experience with that?

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