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Old 01-28-2008, 02:53 PM   #1
kaj030201
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Default 8 months too long to age on oak?

my idea is to age an 18% Imperial Stout on three types of oak for a total of 8 months- 3 months light American oak, 3 months medium Hungarian oak, final 2 months dark French Oak. Is 8 months too long?


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Old 01-28-2008, 03:00 PM   #2
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I have very little experience using oak. However, with any thing like oak, extracts, etc, it's always best to use taste to determine length / amount. I would just draw samples every few days and keep a running log. When you achieve the desired amount move to a new cask, bottle, etc based on how you feel about the flavor.


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Old 01-28-2008, 03:01 PM   #3
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Hard to really say for sure as I've never done a stout that big...but I did make a 15% Mephistopheles clone and gave it a couple weeks of oak---and that was plenty. 8 months, well, like I said, I can't speak from experience here, but my educated guess would be that the final product would taste like gnawing on oak bark.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:39 PM   #4
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what about using a much lower amount of oak chips for the duration?
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaj030201
what about using a much lower amount of oak chips for the duration?
I think that's a great idea. If you have 8 months I'd add the oak at a verrry low level to start, and then taste after a month, then add a bit more and so on until the level begins to be where you want. You get a better/rounder/more dynamic flavor profile from the oak when its in contact with the beer for longer. But of course, you don't want too much oak flavor/tannin/etc. However, the oak character will fade over time, if you're planning on keeping the bottled beer for a long time, you'd want the oak character a little higher at bottling(with the expectation that when you start drinking them months away the oak will have mellowed to a good level).

And use cubes, not chips if you can.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:04 PM   #6
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oak cubes, huh? sounds good. i'm thinking .5 oz at a time...
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:57 PM   #7
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i am planning a 5 gallon batch using 2 oz oak cubes (not american oak - too harsh) and aging the beer for 4 weeks with the oak cubes, then 3 more weeks without them. I hope this helps.

P.S. This batch will be similar to Innis & Gunn if u've ever had it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:44 PM   #8
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ok so heres the new idea. it seems like most of you think less contact time is better. i dont want my beer to taste like oak juice. so i think i will do this:

1st 45 days- .75 oz american oak
2nd 45 days- OFF
3rd 45 days- .75 oz hungarian oak
4th 45 days- OFF
30 days (month 7)- .75 oz french oak
final 30 days(month 8)- OFF

it might be a lot of work for nothing, but you don't know until you try, right?
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:21 PM   #9
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I think the trick here will be to play it by ear. After the first 30 days or so, take a sample and see how it smells & tastes. Keep doing this until you're comfortable with how much oak flavor has been imparted.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:27 PM   #10
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I've only used oak chips once. I used 2 oz. for two weeks and the oak flavor was overpowering for 4 months. After that it started to subside and after 6 months of again it finally had the character that I was looking for.

I can't even imagine what 8 months of aging with oak would do.


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