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Adding Wood to Beer

I am a new brewer, but I wanted to be a little adventurous and add various ingredients to my beer when I transfer it to the secondary fermentation carboy. I recently spoke to an experienced brewer and he told me that he adds some fresh oak shavings to virtually all of his beers, except pale ales where he adds pine. Can anybody please provide me with some insight on what flavor profile oak and pine adds and any recommendations on what else I can add? I am currently brewing Caribou Slobber.

Thank you!!

How new of a brewer are you? If you’ve only done a few batches then I would recommend avoiding additives until you know what profile you can expect from various grains, hops, yeast. You can get some great woody profiles from various hops, so you should experiment and determine what you can accomplish with the basics, and then start messing with additives to further enhance the character you’re after.

I know I’ve said this way too often in other threads, but look into SMASH brewing to get a better understanding of the ingredients.

Having said that; in order to understand the flavor profile of additives, try adding them to the finished product to get a sample, ie- add wood shavings to your finished beer. Fermenting on wood will give a bolder character, but this taste test will at least give you a hint of what to expect.

Agree with the above. I have been brewing for just under two years, but my quest is learning how to make really good beer of various styles without going crazy. I think I make really good beer but there is so much more to learn and understand before I start adding too much random stuff. Try making the exact same recipe 3 times in a row and see if you get the same beer. If so, then mess with the additives

Great posts, thank you so much. I am virtually brand new at home brewing, so I didn’t think it was the best idea!

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