Oak Spirals

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by 716Brewer, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. 716Brewer

    716Brewer New Member

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    Hello, I hope you all had a great holiday!

    So I'm about to start a sour solera and plan on using oak spirals but I do not want the oak flavor. They are American white oak, light toast. I've read you need to boil the oak for up to 2 hours to achieve this. Do any of you have any advice or experience on the matter?
     
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  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Why use them then? Just age it without the oak.
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. If you don't want oak flavor, don't use oak.
     
  4. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    i thought a solera by nature is aged in a barrel, where the oak spirals would come into play as a homebrewer. HOwever, reading some milk the funk stuff, http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Solera, it sounds like the "real" definition is brewing a sour beer, remove a percentage of the batch for packaging, and then feed the remaining batch in the fermenter (which should be extra tart) with more beer, almost kombucha style. Perhaps you really don't need the oak if you don't want it.
     
  5. 716Brewer

    716Brewer New Member

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    I'm using the oak as a sort of "residence" for the microbes which can then be taken out and transferred to another fermenter. They will be in either plastic or glass carboys.
     
  6. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I've got a bunch of chips at the bottom of my kegs for that purpose, but as I'm never emptying them completey it doesn't really matter. I just bottle half the keg and refill with a new batch each year. So the wood doesn't really come into play except for the flavour aspect (which I wanted).

    For year one I ferment in the keg. For the later batches I do a sacch fermentation outside the keg and then add it to the keg.

    If I decide it's got too strong I may be thankful of the chips. If it's gone wrong, however, I'll just dump everything and start again. So I'm not that invested in the oak in the bottom of the keg.

    I probably should get into the habit of capturing something once it's tasting as I want, so I can restart from a good point, rather than waiting until it's too late. But I haven't been doing it that long and it's probably easier to keep back 1-2 bottles of each vintage as insurance and grow something from that.
     
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  7. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ah, modern version of the Viking "beer stick." Might work if you happen on a stable colony that makes good beer. If wild fermentation is your thing, the wood can keep the colony going.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Figured that might be the case. Use different wood. Maple might add just slightly sweet/woody notes to the flavor but, lacking tanins, shouldn't be as "barrel-ly" as the oak. Maybe birch, poplar or linden/basswood could be candidates, also. And there's always the "beechwood aging" that Budweiser was so proud of. Beech might be just the ticket.
     
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