Contact Time for Wine on Oak Cubes for brewing

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pac4life88

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Hi all. First time posing, long time reader of the forums. I have a question that I couldn't find an answer to, and I apologize if it's been discussed before.

I plan on brewing a old bruin or flander's red that I would like to age on some red wine soaked oak cubes. I think I have my recipe and technique down but I was wondering about how long people recommend aging the oak cubes on the red wine before adding it to the beer. I'm looking for a flavor that is comparable to ageing the beer in an actual wine barrel, so a nice balance between the oak, wine and sourness of the beer. I would like to add the oak and none of the wine for flavor if possible. Time is not a constraint.

Any suggestions would be great and if anyone has other recommendations around process, please feel free to let me know. I am not a sour novice but by no means an expert either.
 

Hwk-I-St8

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I don't think it makes much difference how long the oak is with the wine as long as it's long enough. In other words, I don't think you can go too long. I soaked my oak for a bourbon barrel porter for about 6 weeks in the bourbon.

The real question is how long to have the oak in the beer. The answer varies greatly depending on the amount of oak, the size of the pieces (smaller pieces yield more surface area) and the desired amount of oak character.

For the BB porter, people were recommending anything from 2 weeks to 6 months with many saying the oak was overwhelming at 3-4 weeks. I've had mine going for almost two months. It was pretty oaky at 6 weeks, but I want to see what happens with more time. I think the oak will mellow back out if I'm patient.

I'll let you know what I learn even though the nature of the oak and the base beer are quite different.
 
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pac4life88

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Thanks Hwk. As I said, I do plan on using oak cubes. I don't think you said what you were using, chips, cubes ect.

I plan on adding the oak and doing a tasting at about 4 weeks and then every week after to see how the flavor is developing. With a lighter beer, such as an flanders, I'm thinking the oak could overwhelm the flavor quicker then in a darker, heavier style; but I'm just guessing at this point.

With out a frame of reference on using oak in my set up, I plan on checking more frequent than I might in the future.
 
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