Author Topic: Oak Cube question  (Read 1935 times)

Offline mgrady

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Oak Cube question
« on: March 17, 2017, 11:36:33 am »
So I brewed a Belgian Dubbel a couple of weeks ago and plan on adding some cherry puree and oak cubes to the secondary.  My question is how much oak cubes should I add and for what extended amount of time?  I have never used them before and have read how they can really overtake the flavor if you leave them in too long.  So if anyone in here that has used oak cubes on more than one occasion could shed some light on my questions I would be very much appreciated.  Thanks!

Offline M-O-O-N That spells beer!

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Re: Oak Cube question
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 06:58:12 pm »
So I brewed a Belgian Dubbel a couple of weeks ago and plan on adding some cherry puree and oak cubes to the secondary.  My question is how much oak cubes should I add and for what extended amount of time?  I have never used them before and have read how they can really overtake the flavor if you leave them in too long.  So if anyone in here that has used oak cubes on more than one occasion could shed some light on my questions I would be very much appreciated.  Thanks!

I've made a bourbon barrel porter (from Northern Brewer) and had the oak cubes (2 ounces US medium plus oak cubes) in the secondary way too long, 6 weeks. It wasn't bad but it had a strong bourbon flavor.

The .PDF instructions say "Add the oak cubes. Soak the US Medium Plus Oak
Cubes in 16 oz of bourbon for 24 – 48 hours. Use half the
pack for a mild oak flavor, or the whole pack for a more
pronounced oak character. Then add the oak cubes and
bourbon to the secondary fermenter and wait an additional 1 – 2 weeks before bottling."

If you go to the website and read the reviews, you'll get all types of time frame to keep the oak cubes in the fermenter.



« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 08:16:19 pm by M-O-O-N That spells beer! »
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Oak Cube question
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 08:08:38 am »
I used med cubes soaked in 350ml bourbon for about 3 weeks in secondary. I find that the oak and bourbon. mellow w age. I now use 4-5oz of med-heavy toast spirals for 4-6 months in my RIS. I brew it now and pop it at Christmas. If your looking to drink fresh, you have to taste it until you get what you want. Denny's BVIP is great w oak and bourbon. I that one I like fresh. I think I did 3 weeks with that recipe.


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Offline mgrady

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Re: Oak Cube question
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 03:10:48 pm »
I wasn't planning on using bourbon, but instead steaming the cubes.  So is the consensus maybe 1.5 oz for 2 weeks?


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Offline majorvices

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Re: Oak Cube question
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 05:07:52 pm »
You can sanitize the oak cubes if you want with heat, but probably best just to toast them in an oven. You will sanitize them and give them some more depth of color.. For this very reason I usually go with light toast and then toast myself (about 390 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the color you like). Or just throw them in tyhe beer as is, good chance they will be perfectly fine. You are going to be losing a lot of flavor if you steam or boil them. If you soak them in alcohol (vodka or bourbon or whatever) be sure to pitch all the alcohol you soaked them into your fermentor as well, or you will be losing a lot of flavor.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Oak Cube question
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2021, 12:50:09 pm »
You can sanitize the oak cubes if you want with heat, but probably best just to toast them in an oven. You will sanitize them and give them some more depth of color.. For this very reason I usually go with light toast and then toast myself (about 390 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the color you like). Or just throw them in tyhe beer as is, good chance they will be perfectly fine. You are going to be losing a lot of flavor if you steam or boil them. If you soak them in alcohol (vodka or bourbon or whatever) be sure to pitch all the alcohol you soaked them into your fermentor as well, or you will be losing a lot of flavor.

I followed these directions and was extremely happy with the results.

I used about 2.5-3oz medium american oak cubes in the oven, wrapped in tinfoil at 375 or so for 40 minutes. during that time there was no smoke emitted but a good toasty smell. 3 weeks on cubes in primary after fermentation flocced fully. it has been about 5 weeks bottled now and has continued to evolve.

beer was basically an amber ale of 6% ABV with irish ale yeast. it has a huge and long lasting flavour of maple, maple sugar, burnt sugar, uncooked wood, burnt wood, vanilla and general "whiskeyishness". if you told someone you added whiskey to it they would not question it.

next time i would reduce the oak to prolly 2oz / 3 weeks and even that would be a strong flavour. this one is on the verge of being over the top. if i wanted a light oak i would do 1oz 3 weeks or 2 oz for 1 week

Online BrewBama

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Re: Oak Cube question
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2021, 01:10:26 pm »
You can sanitize the oak cubes if you want with heat, but probably best just to toast them in an oven. You will sanitize them and give them some more depth of color.. For this very reason I usually go with light toast and then toast myself (about 390 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the color you like). Or just throw them in tyhe beer as is, good chance they will be perfectly fine. You are going to be losing a lot of flavor if you steam or boil them. If you soak them in alcohol (vodka or bourbon or whatever) be sure to pitch all the alcohol you soaked them into your fermentor as well, or you will be losing a lot of flavor.
My son gave me a cpl oak spirals steeped in bourbon for my birthday. He was thinking to smoke meat with it but I added one to a Porter post fermentation. Definitely a nice addition. Cheers



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Offline Richard

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Re: Oak Cube question
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2021, 01:22:29 pm »
I follow the instructions from: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/new-holland-dragons-milk-bourbon-barrel-aged-stout/

Boil 1.5 oz of chips (mix of toast levels to your taste) in  8 oz of water for 5 mins, then drain and cover them with 8 oz of bourbon for a week. Then drain that bourbon and soak in 3 cups of bourbon for a few days. Then add the chips and/or bourbon to the beer for a few days. With that I can get heavy oak character without any harshness. I have a stout made that way that I am drinking today.
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