I have a cider I made sitting in a 2.5 gallon keg and wanted to give it some oak flavor. Should I make an extract with oak chips and vodka or just put a bag of oak chips in my cider? I’m leaning towards the extract because I can taste as I go, but wasn’t sure if there was any other advantage to putting the oak in directly.
I usually just add oak chips. They give up their flavor in a week or so. I suppose a tincture like you’re talking about would work too. Might not get exactly the same flavors but it’d be close enough.
Cubes or oak spirals. DO NOT use chips. They come out very astringent and not at all like the nice oak flavor you get in a glass of wine or in a good sour beer.
I also prefer the cubes.
I’ve used chips, cubes and barrels and they all work if you have the right amount. You just have to consider that the toast on a chip is most of the surface of the chiip, whereas a cube has some less-toasted oak inside it.