To age in Oak or not to age?

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Deadrasputin

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I have been brewing Meads for awhile now and am thinking of pushing some of my recipes to the next level of quality. I make good Meads, I want to make great one's.

Is aging in Oak barrels worth the effort?

I was thinking of placing a 5 gallon batch of medium Sweet Metheglin style Mead in the primary for about three weeks. Racking it to a glass secondary for another three weeks, then racking it over to a 5 gallon Oak Barrel for about a month before bottling. The barrel I have in mind has a medium toast level. Before I purchase the barrel I wanted to see if anyone is aging in Oak, and if so is it worth the effort?
 

fatbloke

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Well if you like oak, then its gotta be worth it hasn't it ?

Why not make the batch you're considering, then while its fermenting, make a bit of a study on oak additions and try chips or staves or spirals or cubes or whatever and work out what sounds good and try that.

Then if you like oaked meads you can start playing the "hunt the right barrel" game......
 

amandabab

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I don't think its worth it.

for easy and the least margin of error, put it in a standard corny with a lid like this
http://morebeer.com/products/cornelius-keg-lid-welded-tab.html?gclid=CIbK-ff0jrcCFStyQgodYVsAmA

hang your oak spiral in the mead, store it at room temp with only 3-5psi to seal the lid and it wont carbonate.
oak spirals are cheap, come in various toast levels so if you don't like medium your not tied into the barrel you have.

even if your not set up to keg, a corny, the lid, and an CO2 cartridge charger (you dont need a lot of gas for storage aging) will be less than a a good barrel and will have other brewing uses later.
its all SS and known good, sometimes you have to go through 2-3 barrels to get a good one.
 
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Deadrasputin

Deadrasputin

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The wood chips look like an easy system to control.

Would I place a certian amount of them into a grain bag, place the bag in the bottom of a clean fermentor and then rack the Mead ontop of the bag from the secondary? Wait two weeks or so then bottle?
 

tre9er

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Oak would irritate my skin if I were to age in it, so I choose clothing. Good luck.
 

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