I’m making a smoke & scotch ale - Any suggestions for what type of oak cube to use in the secondary? I like a little boozy flavor but was not sure what the best toast/roast of oak to buy
Thats a matter of preference, and you may have to figure that out… when going to the secondary, then split it into fermenters/brighten tanks, and let it go for a few weeks. Then you may be able to tell which is what your taste buds enjoy. Smoke and possibly a big scotch brew may mask the oak… Sneezles61
ah ok. I think the smoke will be subtle but good point. Thanks!
My first thought is definitely American over French, probably medium toast at minimum (to stand up to the smoke). I was sharing a little paled barleywine recently, and another brewer mentioned “virgin oak.” Apparently, he soaks the oak in bourbon/scotch/what have you, then throws out the liquid… the idea being it gets rid of the more brash oak qualities of virgin oak. I’m not completely convinced, but curious.
That’s actually a nice technique, but you can accomplish the same thing by boiling the oak cubes a couple times and tossing out the water. It extracts the harsher tannins from the oak, and doesn’t make your beer taste like you’re chewing on sawdust after cutting a fallen oak tree into firewood.
ok so medium toast it is. I’ll try boiling it first. It seems the message boards are torn on how long to leave the in the cubes. I realize its personal preference, but what is everyone’s ideal timing?