Char #3

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by AGbrewer, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

    Oct 19, 2018
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    Anyone used Char #3 Oak Spirals or Staves?

    I'm trying to get as close to a barrel without actually using a barrel (space constraints).

    My thought is that the Char #3 would be pretty close given that bourbon barrels actually use Char #3 when they are burned in. There are other Char levels, but this seems to be a common char for bourbon barrels.

    I've tried various levels of toasted cubes and chips before, but it always seems to give off this raw wood flavor (not in a good way) that I don't get from a beer that was actually aged in a bourbon barrel. The toasted variants also seem to have this undesirable tannic note to them. I've tried soaking them in bourbon, boiling them and then soaking in bourbon, boling and no soaking in bourbon, no boiling and no soaking just strait into the beer. None of them seem to produce the flavor that I'm looking for. The typical notes from a bourbon barrel beer of vanilla, coconut, toffee, chocolate, smoky oak, dark cherry, coffee, and brown sugar are just not there with the cubes/chips. As such, I'm moving over to spirals and staves to see if I can get what I want.

    Below are two beers that I've done in the past that I've used chips/cubes on. I've split each batch in half so that I have some of it with bourbon barrel flavor and some with just the base beer. The base beer seems to be pretty good, just missing those barrel flavors. But the bourbon beer half has some harsh notes from the wood.

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