« on: November 23, 2014, 09:21:52 AM »
I have cubes sitting in mason jars with a number of different liquors that I leave aging until I need to use them. They are all about 1.5 years old. When I want to dose a batch (or even just a few bottles) I add some of the liquor to the beer and add some fresh liquor to the mason jars to keep it going. I haven't used any of them enough to need to add more oak yet. I usually prefer to add the liquor and let it meld into the beer for a month or two, partially to replicate the effects of time on barrel aging the beer.
One thing I have discovered through this process is that the oak going through changes in the liquor. There is a strange stage about two weeks in where the oak releases oils into the liquor and the texture is very unpleasant. The flavor also isn't particularly great during this phase. I think the cubes need at least a month or so to get past these early stages before they develop a more barrel-like smoothness.