Author Topic: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?  (Read 713 times)

Offline ultravista

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Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« on: July 16, 2014, 07:51:22 PM »
I am planning a 10%+ ABV beer destined for bourbon oaking.

Given the same toast and type of oak, is there much of a difference in chips, cubes, spirals, sticks, or?


Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 08:12:12 PM »
Never used spirals. Chips are fast, cubes are slow. That is about all I know.

Offline ultravista

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 08:13:26 PM »
Would they all impart the same flavor?

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 08:16:37 PM »
Maybe if they were from the same source? I use chips because they were available locally when I needed them. I hear good things about cubes too.

I added 2 ounces (+ the bourbon they were soaked in) to 5 gallons for 8 weeks

Offline ultravista

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 10:22:41 PM »
I am thinking about a Oaked Double Bastard clone (90% two row/10% Special B) with 5 ounces of Chinook and an OG of 1.104.

How many ounces of medium toast do you suggest?

An Oaked Arrogant Bastard calls for 2 ounces so I think 3-4 w/bourbon should be enough? Or would you go bigger?

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 11:02:42 PM »
I think chips and cubes give very different flavor profiles. Chips - to me - are all tannin and surface characters with fast extractions. Cubes are slower, but they have different layers of flavor to them - truer to a barrel.

Guess which I use? :)

I also find that for me to get a subtle oaking to a beer, I use about 2 oz of soaked oak cubes (I use bourbon, rum, tequila, wine, etc) to 5 gallons for 2 weeks at fermentation temps or 4 weeks at cold conditioning temps.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2014, 07:50:49 AM »
I've used spirals and find that they increase the exposed surface area to the beer so they take less time to impart flavors which I found very pleasant
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2014, 11:05:40 AM »
I use a bourbon barrel, but my friends say that the spirals are the bomb.  I think each process has its attributes based on surface exposure and rates of the release of flavor based on shape and density, but I would be hard pressed to guess which process was used after the fact.  My palate just isn't up to that level.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2014, 06:24:39 AM »
I have read more than a few home vinters who replenish the oak flavor in their spent barrels by adding oak cubes, so that should tell you something about the use of cubes and the potential lack of need for a fancier oak product.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2014, 12:00:56 PM »
The cubes most readily available to me are Hungarian.  Ive heard hungarian Oak is the prefered oak for vintners but is very expensive.  Ill have to give them a try the next time i brew a batch of oaked beer and do chips in the other.  See which we prefer!
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Offline Kinetic

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2014, 12:11:04 PM »
Has anyone here used Hungarian cubes?  I have a couple ounces and haven't used them before.  How do they compare with American oak?  Medium toast.  MoreBeer is my supplier for both.

Offline Kinetic

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2014, 12:18:15 PM »
Good article about chips and cubes:

http://morebeer.com/articles/using-oak-in-beer

Offline ultravista

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2014, 12:38:21 PM »
What about Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Wood Chips? They are made from 100% Jack Daniel's Oak Aging barrels.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2014, 02:07:19 PM »
What about Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Wood Chips? They are made from 100% Jack Daniel's Oak Aging barrels.

what about them? they are chips, they will extract like chips. they likely have some Jack character left but I would soak them again anyway to sanitize.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Oaking - Chips, Cubes, Spirals, Sticks or?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2014, 02:39:37 PM »
What about Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey Wood Chips? They are made from 100% Jack Daniel's Oak Aging barrels.

what about them? they are chips, they will extract like chips. they likely have some Jack character left but I would soak them again anyway to sanitize.

+1.  I've used the Jack chips and soaked them (fittingly) in Jack.
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