Author Topic: How to proceed with oak cubes?  (Read 2101 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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How to proceed with oak cubes?
« on: June 22, 2015, 02:28:13 PM »
I've had beers aged on oak that I like, and decided to jump in and age a brown ale on oak cubes.  I bought the cubes and have been soaking them in cheap vodka for weeks while my wort is fermenting.

I've added tiny amounts of the oak infused vodka to a previously bottled stout in an effort to determine how much of the oak cubes I might need to add to the secondary. 

My dilemma is this: when I add varying amounts of the vodka (fraction of a teaspoon and then try to scale it up) I either can't detect any change in taste or with a bit more added don't like what I'm tasting.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 04:14:20 PM »
don't use cheap vodka!

you aren't going to get the same character adding the soaking liquor alone. The process of the beer soaking into the oak is going to create new flavor compounds.

add a few ounces of cubes to your beer and taste until it tastes good. then remove the oak.

and use a nice bourbon or something with flavor to 'sanitize' your cubes.
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Offline rjharper

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 05:08:46 PM »
don't use cheap vodka!

you aren't going to get the same character adding the soaking liquor alone. The process of the beer soaking into the oak is going to create new flavor compounds.

add a few ounces of cubes to your beer and taste until it tastes good. then remove the oak.

and use a nice bourbon or something with flavor to 'sanitize' your cubes.

This +1. All you are adding right now is the vodka tincture of harsh tannins, which is why you don't like the result.

Offline 1vertical

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2015, 01:16:56 PM »
I would suggest that you sanitize the oak with your distilled spirit, then ditch the spirit, and
put the cubes into secondary with your beer. Leave in secondary until you achieve the
flavor profile you desire.  For the method of insertion, I would suggest a weighted nylon mesh
bag to hold your cubes submerged in the beer.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 12:28:49 PM »
The other way to sanitize the cubes is to toast them a little longer to get the flavor you are looking for, especially if they are lightly toasted. Here's a great chart for toasting wood


Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 12:36:09 PM »
The other way to sanitize the cubes is to toast them a little longer to get the flavor you are looking for, especially if they are lightly toasted. Here's a great chart for toasting wood



that's a great chart Keith!
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 12:38:57 PM »
The other way to sanitize the cubes is to toast them a little longer to get the flavor you are looking for, especially if they are lightly toasted. Here's a great chart for toasting wood



that's a great chart Keith!

+2.  Never seen that. I'll have to put it to use !
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Offline majorvices

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 03:14:51 PM »
It comes in handy with *ahem* other hobbies too. ;)

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 03:52:38 PM »

It comes in handy with *ahem* other hobbies too. ;)
Making mosaics with different shades of toast?

Offline TexasHumuluslupulushead

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Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2015, 11:49:11 AM »
If you went with vodka because you dont want a spirit flavor along with the oak, you can steam the chips over boiling water for 10 min-  this will sanitize and open the pores of the oak. For my Russian imperial stouts- i use 4oz of Bullit Bourbon soaked med+ plus toasted American oak in the secondary for 12-15 days. I soak the chips for around 4/5 weeks prior to pitching in secondary. But I like a lot of oak and bourbon in my BBARIS!
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