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Using Oak Cubes in an Old Ale

I’m making an Old Ale today and was thinking about putting some oak cubes in it after the primary fermentation settles down.

Anyone with experience using oak - is this a good idea? I plan on aging this in bottles for a while. My options are:

  1. No oak
  2. Straight up oak into the fermenter
  3. Soaking the oak cubes for a week in a yet unspecified amount of whiskey then adding the oak.

Comments, suggestions? Anyone done this? I know Denny’s Bourbon Barrel Porter does something like this.

I just did a Bourbon Barrel Belgian Quad where I soaked 3 oz. of medium toast french oak cubes in two little bottles of Makers Mark. Let them soak sealed in a Tupperware container for about 3 weeks while the beer fermented. Threw them directly into the fermenter and let them sit for 7 days. At bottling I tasted and it had a nice subtle vanilla and oak flavor but not a whole lot of bourbon. Not sure if that will come out with some age or not.

I say go for it.

Sounds like EXACTLY what I’m going for. Thanks for the tip!

Did you add the whiskey in the container as well?

By the time I pitched the cubes pretty much all the liquid had been absorbed so…I guess…yes.

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