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Old 11-02-2013, 10:03 PM   #1
songe
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Aug 2012
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Soo. I have 3 Gals of plain mead clearifying and aging in secondary fermenter right now... and was thinking of how fun it would be to oak age 1 gallon of it.

My question is. For how long do i put it on oak for?

 
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by songe View Post
Soo. I have 3 Gals of plain mead clearifying and aging in secondary fermenter right now... and was thinking of how fun it would be to oak age 1 gallon of it.

My question is. For how long do i put it on oak for?
This is going to sound like a smart alec answer, but "as long as it takes" is the best answer.

I don't mean it to be snarky at all. It's just that it depends on if you're using cubes or chips; American vs Hungarian or French oak; the toast of the oak; the amount of tannin already in the mead; the acid balance; and probably more.

What I do is rack the wine/mead/beer onto the oak (usually 1 ounce or so per 3 gallons) and wait about two weeks and them take a tiny sample for a taste. If it's not quite enough, I go another week.

The goal is to go just a wee bit too much. That's because the oak will age out rather well, and rather quickly, as long as it is just a tiny bit too much.

I like to use medium French toast for lighter wines like pinot noir, but American oak for a more bold oak flavor.

The light oak toasts provide more vanilla notes, while the darker toasts give more tannins, so you may want to go with a light toast for a hint of vanilla/oak for the mead.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:47 AM   #3
songe
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Hmm oak chpis from sherry barrels.. would that work out? or frensh medium toast like http://www.bryggselv.no/products/eik...ium-toast-250g once

 
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
Matrix4b
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Originally Posted by songe View Post
Hmm oak chpis from sherry barrels.. would that work out? or frensh medium toast like http://www.bryggselv.no/products/eik...ium-toast-250g once
I see no problems with this. Chips do release the flavor quicker than cubes and spirals. I personally go 3 weeks for 1 oz in a 5 gal batch. I have found that this is light enough of a touch so that the oakyness isn't there but the flavor is enhanced. Also, don't forget to save those oak chips and put them in you smoker. It makes a great flavor for the meat or fish.

I would go with medium toast oak unless you want that smokyness that is reminicent of scotch. I have found that it is a very good flavor but something that it's appropriate for all batches. Light toast has some floral notes and medium toast is a rounded almost vanilla notes. This is ofcourse with america oak chips that I have used.

Matrix

 
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:05 PM   #5
Atek
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I have used french oak medium toast spirals with not great results. Though this could be a matter of opinion, I am of the mind that the mead needs to be 12-14% for oak. The mead I used french oak with was between 10-11% and it simply doesnt have what it takes to mesh with the oak. French oak can sometimes lend a trashbag type aroma/taste as well, key word there is "sometimes". I'd have to check with my enology teacher to get more specifics on that.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #6
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I have only oaked a single 1 gallon batch so far, so I am not very experienced, but I would also think that it depends greatly on the individual Mead. If it is rich and hearty with a lot of "body" like a semi sweet wildflower mead with 14-15% than you would probably want to oak it a little more hardcore than something delicate like say a dry clover mead at about 11-12%. It also depends a lot on what you like, like yooper said "as long as it takes", oak it until it is to your liking.
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