First time Oaker

Discussion in 'General Recipe Discussion' started by Hop_on_the_good_foot, Nov 9, 2018.

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  1. Nov 9, 2018 #1

    Hop_on_the_good_foot

    Hop_on_the_good_foot

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    First time Oaker here. I'm planning on soaking 250g of oak chips in a fortified wine called banyuls (like a sweet port I guess) then adding them to a Saison. I just wanted to know if anyone could tell me if:

    1. Two weeks enough for a soak, or should or leave them a month?

    2. There is a general amount to add to 5 gallons...or if it's just down to personal preference?

    3. I can reuse the chips after, by washing and sticking them back in the same booze as before?

    Cheers.
     
  2. Nov 9, 2018 #2

    divrack

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    Ok so to qualify, I'm not a wine guy, so take that as you will, however, in my limited beer oaky dokey I have found that the designation "chips" varies widely. So most of the us style recipes
    I think refer to chips as being relatively large, say5mm average which will give you a fairly strong oakness quite quick. However i got some "Oak chips" from an lhbs from Young's which was basically dust. This gave me an overpowering oakyness almost straight away based on what the person told me to do.
    So I'd Take it easy if is dusty.
     
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  3. Nov 9, 2018 #3

    BeerCat

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    As above with dust! 10g of dust did the trick on 5l of elderberry wine. Was very oaky and lovely but 10g in a RIS was undrinkable. I used about 5 2cm chunks last time in 10l and got a little flavour. I would advise you add some and check after a few weeks. Apparently people dry out the chips and smoke with them.
     
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  4. Nov 10, 2018 #4

    Hop_on_the_good_foot

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    When you say undrinkable was that as in it was like having a mouth full of tree and the imaginable unpleasantness that must come with that or, other off flavours from the dust?
     
  5. Nov 10, 2018 #5

    divrack

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    Oh I misread your post. Never saw the part about adding to a Saison.

    I did a similar thing to that with a massive ris using chips soaked in port.
    250g is way too much of even decent chips if you ask me. Especially in a Saison which wouldnt be able to take much Oak.
    I'd be thinking more like 50g and checking it after a short amount of time. You don't want to feel like you're eating the furniture every time you drink a bottle
     
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  6. Nov 10, 2018 #6

    BeerCat

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    It was like eating a chair leg. :)
     
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  7. Nov 10, 2018 #7

    Hop_on_the_good_foot

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    A wise man once told me to taste everything you can. So I just sat there and chewed a bit of wood. It's definitely wood and oaky wood at that. Without sounding too stupid, a lot, erm... well...oakier than I would have thought. :doh: ffs.....

    I'm trying to replicate a French Saison I had that was aged in sweet wine casks. It was amazing. And I can't remember the name of it. Oak was just slight in flavour though.

    Like you say, good advice, and I'll be going easy on it. Maybe let 50g of chips soak away for a few weeks then experiment by adding 20g, then increasing. The wine is very much like port so thats a whole other flavour profile to worry about too. I'm in no rush with this one. I'll update the thread, even if it ends up tasting like my coffee table.
    Cheers!
     
  8. Nov 10, 2018 #8

    BeerCat

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  9. Nov 10, 2018 #9

    Hop_on_the_good_foot

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    Great article thanks.

    I've split my chips into three.
    One on the Banyuls, one on red wine and the last of some bourbon I had. Experimentation time!

    Also, I've decided life is too short to try and reuse them...
     
  10. Nov 19, 2018 #10

    Sput

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    That is a helpful article. It's also given me some comfort as a first time oaker myself, as last night I tasted a porter that was two and a half weeks into oaking (at cellar temperature, after fermentation and transferring to a corny) and there wasn't nearly as much oak as I'd expected. I used two chunks of an American oak rum barrel (88g) for 17 litres. The answer seems to be wait longer (or use more chunks, or use chips).
     
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  11. Nov 19, 2018 #11

    Hop_on_the_good_foot

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    That's interesting to hear. I'm planning on oaking first a simple smash brew, split three ways over three different booze soaked 30g samples. Just to measure the flavour impacts. Did your porter have any other flavours like cocoa or vanilla?
     
  12. Nov 19, 2018 #12

    Braindead

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    I use 35g Chunks
     
  13. Nov 19, 2018 #13

    Sput

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    That sounds sensible. No mine doesn't have any other flavours added, though it's a fairly complicated grain bill, including some smoked grains. However I've done it before without oak (and liked it) and this time did a 10 gallon batch and split it so I have a control. In hindsight I should have done what you did and split a bit further.
     
  14. Nov 20, 2018 #14

    Hop_on_the_good_foot

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    Smoked and Oaked. Sounds wonderful!

    It's very unlike me. I'm never this organised. But, any excuse to make more beer! Just trying to think of a smash now. It'll probably be a pale/cascade smash, not super hoppy. But then again, it'll probably just come down to what's in the fridge on brew day.
     

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