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Making oak strips

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Re: Making oak strips

Postby Pikey » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:59 pm

Bamaberry wrote:
,,,Don't remember who, but they pointed out a 5 gallon ferment takes about as much effort as a 50 gallon batch.
So I'm thinking starting with a 30 gallon plastic bin and I'll add the tap.
......:


I got one of those 120 litre ones with the tap - now I got 2x 220 litres without taps Plus a rake of 25 litre ones. Taps are never in the right place, clog up, leak, get knocked on things and get truned on by accident. :doh:

Just sayin' before you go drillin' holes try it without ! :wink:
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Re: Making oak strips

Postby Pikey » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:14 pm

Bamaberry wrote:
Pikey wrote:
Azframer wrote:I was thinking you might want to soak charred oak in Sherry before adding to spirits as well being bourbon is aged is used Sherry barrels, isn't it?


I usually put 50 ml cream sherry into the 5 litre glass jar I'm oaking in along with the charge.


Pikey, how much and type of oak are you adding to the glass jar ? .............


I guess I'm lucky with the oak, living in reasonably well wooded part of the uk, I can glean decent thickness oak from the woods nearby as I know the owner. So I use 8-15" logs which have fallen a number of years ago, saw them into rounds about 4-5" strip off the sapwood and chop them just like chopping kindling. I like the sticks to be about 1/2" square, perhaps a little more.

Couple of hours toast at 380F loosely wrapped in foil and slightly spaced apart - and a char - I used to use a fairly heavy char, but the last one I did I got a lot of vanilla out of and that was a very light char, so I'll try that again without the additional vanilla I usually add as well ! :shock:

I use 20 sticks to 5 Litres and they are usually removed before 3 weeks. My last batch of sticks now has a second generation oaking on them because I recognise that I am "Ageing" far too quickly - even if it complements my "Easy Scotch" so well ! :wink:

I use European Oak Quercus Robur or a hybrid thereof and it is naturally aged for several years.
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Re: Making oak strips

Postby Hilltop » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:21 pm

Swedish Pride wrote:apple wood works great too


Hey Swede, what's the difference in the flavor profile between say white oak and the apple wood? I tried cherry and did not like it at all
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Re: Making oak strips

Postby Swedish Pride » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:46 pm

ehmmm, don't know really, I suppose more appely?
I'm don't have a great pallet or have a good way of describing flavours, i suppose it's a bit sweeter than oak.
The missus says it's very appely as do others that I've gifted some wood, I just know it tastes good.
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Re: Making oak strips

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:52 am

I've used apple wood in combination with cherry wood. It was chips that I mixed in equal amounts. It did a nice job in apple brandy. The chips were toasted and lightly charred.

It can't be emphasized enough that you need to take care in prepping the wood you use for aging your spirits. A lot of effort goes into producing the spirits - don't ruin it with poorly seasoned/prepped wood.
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Re: Making oak strips

Postby ZeroGee » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:22 am

About three years ago, FullySilenced (FS) shared some experiences using JD BBQ chips microwaved with some white dog he had. He'd read about barrel-house aging and how the barrels near an open window heated more than the others and had a better taste over the same ageing period. It's been long thought that heating the ageing whiskey produced better results than that produced at a stable, cool temperature. In fact, Aquavit Linje (Line, as in equator) is aged on the deck of a moving freighter at sea going from Holland to Australia and back. It is said to be a smoother and more flavorful Aquavit than that left in the barrel-house at home.

I tried it a few years ago when I was in my "make good Scotch" phase at the time (I was a late-blooming Scotch drinker since my middle to late fifties) and determined to make good quality Scotch whisky with relatively little success. I'd converted to a LM column still with singular success in making vodka and gin and wanted to make barley and corn whiskey and realized rather quickly that waiting two to twelve years to see if my experimental whiskey was worth the effort was a significant percentage of my remaining life span.

Although I had produced some good quality "white dog" using the LM column still, I had no idea what kind of whiskey I'd make without a fairly long (for me) wait to see how it aged. FS' method provided the solution to my quandary.

Read about FullySilenced’s BBQ chip experiment here

Read about my Scotch whiskey experiment here

Some commentary on my experiences:
    1. I've replaced table sugar (sucrose) with corn sugar (D-glucose/dextrose) with noticeable improvement.
    2. I continue to use 40% ABV as a starting point.Higher ABV seemed to leave a harsher flavor after dilution.
    3. I use quart/liter canning jars and lids in a canning kettle with an electronic thermometer suspended in the center jar.
    4. Letting the output settle for three or four weeks on the chips - with a daily shake - shows a marked improvement in flavor.
    5. Oddly, using 100% DME (no sugar) was a bit over-strong for my taste... but still good.
    6. I still experiment with adjuncts and various grain roasts.
    7. My favorite, so far, is an unhopped porter beer recipe with a cinnamon chip and vanilla bean piece about the size of a 6p box nail head added to the jar with the toasted oak chips.
    8. I reduced the medium toasted oak chips to a single, level measured tablespoon per quart/liter to reduce the slight "oakey" flavor but still keep the red-gold color.
    9. I found that a 50/50 mix of barley and rye DME makes a killer rye whiskey. Add a half-teaspoon of real honey before heating for a very good Crown Royal flavor.
    10. Mixing wheat DME with barley and/or rye DME makes for a "lighter" flavored whiskey; ideal for mixed drinks.

My suggestion to you is to continue to experiment (and share the good and bad results) using FSs "nuclear whiskey" method to give you a clue as to what you can expect after two or three years barrel aging.

Also Google "Cleveland whiskey" and see another aging method using high pressure oxygen. Interesting, but expensive equipment.

Best of luck!
ZG
Age, in and of itself, does not confer wisdom.
Instead, it provides a list of mistakes you hope, profoundly, never to repeat.
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Re: Making oak strips

Postby Hilltop » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:03 am

ZeroGee wrote:About three years ago, FullySilenced (FS) shared some experiences using JD BBQ chips microwaved with some white dog he had. He'd read about barrel-house aging and how the barrels near an open window heated more than the others and had a better taste over the same ageing period. It's been long thought that heating the ageing whiskey produced better results than that produced at a stable, cool temperature. In fact, Aquavit Linje (Line, as in equator) is aged on the deck of a moving freighter at sea going from Holland to Australia and back. It is said to be a smoother and more flavorful Aquavit than that left in the barrel-house at home.

I tried it a few years ago when I was in my "make good Scotch" phase at the time (I was a late-blooming Scotch drinker since my middle to late fifties) and determined to make good quality Scotch whisky with relatively little success. I'd converted to a LM column still with singular success in making vodka and gin and wanted to make barley and corn whiskey and realized rather quickly that waiting two to twelve years to see if my experimental whiskey was worth the effort was a significant percentage of my remaining life span.

Although I had produced some good quality "white dog" using the LM column still, I had no idea what kind of whiskey I'd make without a fairly long (for me) wait to see how it aged. FS' method provided the solution to my quandary.

Read about FullySilenced’s BBQ chip experiment here

Read about my Scotch whiskey experiment here

Some commentary on my experiences:
    1. I've replaced table sugar (sucrose) with corn sugar (D-glucose/dextrose) with noticeable improvement.
    2. I continue to use 40% ABV as a starting point.Higher ABV seemed to leave a harsher flavor after dilution.
    3. I use quart/liter canning jars and lids in a canning kettle with an electronic thermometer suspended in the center jar.
    4. Letting the output settle for three or four weeks on the chips - with a daily shake - shows a marked improvement in flavor.
    5. Oddly, using 100% DME (no sugar) was a bit over-strong for my taste... but still good.
    6. I still experiment with adjuncts and various grain roasts.
    7. My favorite, so far, is an unhopped porter beer recipe with a cinnamon chip and vanilla bean piece about the size of a 6p box nail head added to the jar with the toasted oak chips.
    8. I reduced the medium toasted oak chips to a single, level measured tablespoon per quart/liter to reduce the slight "oakey" flavor but still keep the red-gold color.
    9. I found that a 50/50 mix of barley and rye DME makes a killer rye whiskey. Add a half-teaspoon of real honey before heating for a very good Crown Royal flavor.
    10. Mixing wheat DME with barley and/or rye DME makes for a "lighter" flavored whiskey; ideal for mixed drinks.

My suggestion to you is to continue to experiment (and share the good and bad results) using FSs "nuclear whiskey" method to give you a clue as to what you can expect after two or three years barrel aging.

Also Google "Cleveland whiskey" and see another aging method using high pressure oxygen. Interesting, but expensive equipment.

Best of luck!
ZG


Thanks for the history Zero. Cheers!
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Let's keep our country free as God has given us.

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