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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Woody Beer; need advice!!
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:34 AM   #1
ethangray19
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Default Woody Beer; need advice!!

I made a double barrel ale clone 2.5 weeks ago.


Forgot to put oak in the primary(it called for 1.5oz)

So when I transfered the beer into the secondary I put in about 2.5 oz(it called for an additional 1.5oz during secondary ferm.)

It was in the secondary for 7 days and when I took a gravity reading it smelled and tasted like wood. It had a nice aftert taste of good flavor beer but the first thinfg that hits you is wood.

I decided to transfer it to a third vessel, and get rid of the oak chips. I took another gravity reading and it still smelled and tasted woody.

Here is my question; Will the wood smell flavor mellow, or get worse? Can I do anything to help the situation? Should I bottle?


Any advice is very appreciated.


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Old 08-18-2007, 06:08 AM   #2
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I've never oaked anything, but I am planning to with my next batch. I asked advice from the folks at a LHBS (authors of Clone Brews), who warned me to go easy with the oak because if there's too much flavor you can't get rid of it. They also told me to start with 1/4 oz per 5 gallons and taste test every couple days.


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Old 08-18-2007, 06:34 AM   #3
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that is not good news for me
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:17 PM   #4
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You could "cut" it by blending it with another beer.

Just mix the two in a pitcher and serve from that.
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Old 08-18-2007, 01:25 PM   #5
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From all that I've read, oak flavor will subside over time. The beer may need to age for a while, but I don't think it's dead. I'd just plan on laying it down for a while.
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:13 PM   #6
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thanks for the replies

I am trying to decide if I should bottle it and then give it time, or just let it sit in the carboy.

Any suggestions???
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:26 PM   #7
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It depends on if you have more bottles to spare, or more carboys.

I made an Imperial Hellfire that used 1 oz of medium toasted oak chips in the secondary. I meant to leave it in two days, and ended up leaving them in two weeks. Three months later and it's still really oak-y. I call it the 'wood beer' now because it's still all I can taste, although the woodiness has mellowed somewhat.

I don't think your situation is as bad as mine though. I'd let it mellow at least a month and try it again then. The wood taste WILL go away.... eventually.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:16 PM   #8
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I made that very kit.......and had the very same problem. Did you just toss them directly in, or did you steam or sanitize? I think you did the right thing by getting the beer off those chips! I can tell you, my beer was like sitting in the living room and chewing on a 2X4! The good new is you can suck it up and drink it....at least it isn't infected. Hopefully it will mellow with time. Mine did. If I do it again (doubtful)I will definitely use less wood, maybe 1/2-1 oz.


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