Wine soaked oak cubes?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Brew252

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Knightdale
I know there is a ton of information on different methods for simulating a bourbon barrel aged beer at the home brew level without having an actual barrel, but does anyone around have experience aging something in the same fashion (with cubes or spirals) for wine aging. Some of my recent favorite beers have Ben aged in chardonnay barrels and I have a white IPA recipe that I think might lend itself we'll to something like this. I can't seem to find much information or shared experiences on the forum or elsewhere.

I'm guessing French oak cubes would be best. Should I char them? I believe the majority of chardonnay barrels are charred at least to an extent. Then I just soak them for a certain period of time?

Any ideas or experiences?
 

lowtones84

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
1,735
Reaction score
387
Location
Montclair
I didn't use cubes, but a small oak dowel in the carboy for a farmhouse ale that I did. I didn't char it, but I did toast it in the oven for a while...I don't really remember the temp and time honestly though.

It's also good to either boil the oak in a few changes of water or soak them in more than one change of alcohol. When fresh oak is just too harsh. I soaked my dowel in vodka for a couple of days, then two changes of a fairly cheap (but good) cabernet sauvignon. It was subtle, but I could actually pick up the flavor a bit in the finished beer.
 

BigPerm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
1,404
Reaction score
354
For an IPA, you may want to use chips because you'll get oak character faster. Most people boil to sanitize & get rid of some of the raw oak flavor then soak in wine/spirits.
 
OP
B

Brew252

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Knightdale
Awesome! Thanks for the input. Do you think toasting them would achieve the same goal as boiling as far as sanitizing and getting out some of the raw oakiness?
 

lowtones84

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
1,735
Reaction score
387
Location
Montclair
I don't think toasting will get out any of the oakiness, but that's what I did to sanitize before popping it in the carboy and it worked just fine. The boiling or soaking in spirits is what you want to do for that.
 
Top