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Re-using oak chips

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Roddy

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Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:56 pm

Re-using oak chips

How many of you reuse oak cubes? How many times can they be re-used?
I have an ounce I just took out of an bourbon barrel porter that was in the keg for a year. Smells of heavy bourbon at this time and I am wondering if I can use them in my double IPA.
Do they need to be dried in an oven, or can I let them dry on the counter and put them in a ziploc bag until needed.
Last edited by Roddy on Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Primary: Lefse Blonde, Pale Citra Ale
Kegged: Lord Fat bottom, Bourbon Vanila Porter,Black IPA
Secondary: Surly Darkness Clone
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ynotbrusum

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Post Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:08 pm

Re: Re-using oak chips

I think you are risking a contamination by drying them out, but if you put them in vodka or another alcohol for a while, they should be relatively sanitized and I don't see why you couldn't use them...I would really soak them in the booze for a while to be safe.

:cheers:
Hodge Garage Brewing - "Brew with a Glad Heart"
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The Professor

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Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Re-using oak chips

ynotbrusum wrote:I think you are risking a contamination by drying them out, but if you put them in vodka or another alcohol for a while, they should be relatively sanitized and I don't see why you couldn't use them...I would really soak them in the booze for a while to be safe.

:cheers:



Drying them out in an oven shouldn't increase the contamination risk. If anything, I think it would minimize the risk.

If you opt to just soak them in booze, soak them in Everclear. That stuff will kill anything.
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tom sawyer

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Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:37 pm

Re: Re-using oak chips

After six weeks they've mostly given up their flavor. They aren't that expensive, I would use less per batch, leave them in a few weeks and then pitch them.
Lennie

Brewing: Lambics (always), dopplebock
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Roddy

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Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:10 pm

Re: Re-using oak chips

tom sawyer wrote:After six weeks they've mostly given up their flavor. They aren't that expensive, I would use less per batch, leave them in a few weeks and then pitch them.


Interesting. I thought NB told me they should never loose their oak flavoring. I do have an extra back. Any suggestions on an amount to add to a double ipa if I want a hint of oak flavoring?
Primary: Lefse Blonde, Pale Citra Ale
Kegged: Lord Fat bottom, Bourbon Vanila Porter,Black IPA
Secondary: Surly Darkness Clone
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tom sawyer

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Location: Hannibal, MO

Post Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:28 pm

Re: Re-using oak chips

They definitely lose their flavors over time. Just like wine barrels after a couple of years of use the barrel is considered "neutral", meaning it doesn't contribute any oak flavor to the wine. If you scrape down to new wood (1/8") you can get some more flavor, and recopping barrels is done. Not sure its worth scraping the cubes.

I don't know, maybe 1/2oz to 1oz. You can always add some and then tate after a week or two, and rack when its done or leave them longer or add more.

I do save my oak cubes from winemaking, and use them to smoke meats.
Lennie

Brewing: Lambics (always), dopplebock

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