Tell us all of your oak techniques

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Everything oak related, since I just secondaried with some medium toast cubes.

    What flavor toast do you prefer?

    Oak chips, or Oak cubes? (or barrels?)

    What is your preferred method of sanitizing?

    What is your favorite specific brand of spirit to soak your oak in?

    If you don't sanitize with spirits, how do you do it?

    How long do you let your beer age on oak?

    What temperature do you age your oaked beer at?

    Do you cold crash after oaking?
     
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  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Waayyy too many questions for me man

    But, the one time I did use oak, I wrapped the chips in tin foil and put a torch to them. kind of like making that charcoal cotton stuff from the survival shows. then put that in some dark spiced rum, capt Morgan I think, for about 2 weeks before putting it into secondary

    There was so much else going on with that beer, which didn't turn out well, I can't really say how it'll affect the beer
     
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  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Ha, my bad, I guess I was asking what people's process is, and that's what goes through my head when I process the whole thing.

    It was my first time using Oak. Went with medium toast cubes for my Christmas ale. I didn't soak them in any alcohol before hand, so I submerged them in water, brought to a boil and killed, and then strained the water out, and added to the secondary. Secondary is happening at 60ºF for 7 days, and then going to do another 7 days cold crashing at regular fridge temps.

    I'm definitely interested in using some high priced bourbon for next year. This old guy at the bar got me absolutely hooked on Blanton's bourbon. TOOOO good. Plus all those rounds of Backwoods Bastard helped out with that bourbon kick I'm on.
     
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  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Blantons is definitely good. they're the same ones that do buffalo trace? their distillery is awesome to visit

    Your process sounds good to me

    Everything I've seen says to not waste the money on high priced alcohol. any kind of alcohol will sanitize it, and you want the flavor from the wood and not the booze
     
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  5. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    True true, unless I'm too obsessed with Blanton's and I want some of that bourbon flavor. Could make a great fireside sipper next year.

    Just curious what everyone likes to do. Because it's not limited to Holliday beers. Oak could be fun for me.
     
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  6. Gerry P

    Gerry P Active Member

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    I soaked some oak chips in Seagram's 7 for an old ale a few months back. It gave the beer the little bit of the bourbon(ish) flavor I wanted, and I don't think better whiskey would have made a difference. Like j-mc was saying, I personally don't think it's worth it to use expensive whiskey. I think your beer will probably overpower the flavor nuances of the higher priced stuff anyway, although if you soak the oak in something like Laphroaig instead of bourbon and it might be a different story. Hmm...maybe I'll ignore my own advice and try that for my next Scotch ale.
     
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  7. Gerry P

    Gerry P Active Member

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  8. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    I soak my chips in black seal rum for my rum ball porter. I agree dont waste expensive bourbon to soak your chips any descent tasting whiskey will work.
     
  9. Joshua Peterson

    Joshua Peterson Active Member

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    I've had a couple sours that were aged in oak Chardonnay barrels, i just bought myself a Golden Ale kit and some malted barley so i'm gonna sour it up and be doing the same experiment with some oak chips myself.

    Anyone soaked their chips in wine?
     
  10. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    I know Nebraska brewing company ages some of their beer in chardonnay barrels. The ones I had were pretty good. http://nebraskabrewingco.com/beer/
     
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  11. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Evolution in MD has done some in wine barrels, chardonnay i think too. they also did a manhattan style beer. bourbon barrels with cherries and some oranges thrown in. i usually don't like to heavy of a bourbon taste, but man that one was good
     
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  12. Joshua Peterson

    Joshua Peterson Active Member

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    After tomorrow i'll be "batching" it for a week while my family travels back east..... the only one who will be gagging over the smell of boiling soured wort will be me!

    I'm also wondering about saving the chips when it comes time to bottle and either sending them straight back to another carboy of beer, or putting them back to bathing in some wine?
     
  13. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    a sour wort / mash should smell rather good in a clean sort of way. the one time it didn't turn out for me, it smelled like baby vomit. so there's a clear distinction between a good and bad sour

    about reusing the chips, i'd imagine it'd be ok, at least for certain amount of re-uses. i know bourbon you have to use new barrels, but there's got to be distillers and such out there reusing their barrels. in my mind, you'd eventually lose the wood character after X number of uses though
     
  14. Joshua Peterson

    Joshua Peterson Active Member

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    My book says once you peel away the aluminum foil.... "You will definitely notice the absolutely abominable, putrid odor the bacteria have caused. Don't worry, It's supposed to smell awful - almost enough to throw out.... BUT DON'T!"..... and then it goes on to say that most of the bad smell will go away once you boil it.

    I'll see i guess, I'm going to let it sour for at least 24 hours, and then i'll boil it when i can.

    Yeah thats another thing i didnt think about, wonder how much oak flavor there is to be harvested?
     
  15. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    what book is that? they've definitely got it right to limit the exposure to oxygen (aluminum foil / plastic wrap cover, little headspace in the vessel)
    i will say that mine had a nice white fuzzy layer on top of the mash when it came time to sparge. kinda weird to scrape that off, then go right on with making the beer. I should also note that I use my boil kettle as a mash tun, so no risk of cross infection to the next batch
     
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  16. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Your a brave man Joshua Paterson going sour and all I hope this brew repays your creativity.
     
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  17. Joshua Peterson

    Joshua Peterson Active Member

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    https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Joy...=1-1&keywords=the+complete+joy+of+homebrewing

    The Complete Joy of Home Brewing there buddy.

    Yep that moldy surface scum on the mash is going to be quite interesting!

    I have a request at the grocery store bakery for a pail and lid, should be empty and ready for me tomorrow. I'm going to mash in that, and then just toss it when i'm done.

    Good thinking tho, i'll probably need to boil some water in my brew pot once its done and then clean it up again.
     
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  18. Joshua Peterson

    Joshua Peterson Active Member

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    I know it buddy! It IS my favorite type of beer, and the timing couldn't be any better since it will just be me here enjoy the sweet sour aroma..... hope it works for me. My supplies will be here tomorrow, still need to get the wine for the chips tho....
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to hearing how it turns out there homebrew Jedi:D
     
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  20. Joshua Peterson

    Joshua Peterson Active Member

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    I think i'm going to let mine sit in the secondary for at least 30 days, and then i will bottle it when I'm able after that.....
    BUT.... i've never had a brew that i thought was over oak'd with flavor so my gut says maybe 60 days?
     
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