Oaked IPA

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koots

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Hello lads,

Brewed an IPA recently and split it into 2 kegs, one as is and one with oak.

Was my first time adding oak to a beer. I used cubes as a lot of reading indicated they not only take longer to impart flavour allowing for more control but also that the flavour qualities are better. I used American Oak cubes and toasted 30g according to this chart that I saw on other forums. I went for the 320F ish range.



Now perhaps oak is just not to my taste but after only 3 days there is already a strong unpleasant wood taste. Any reading I have done indicated it could be a couple of months on the oak but I have just removed the oak as it is horrible. No vanilla, no sweet flavours, just tastes like I'm chewing on a piece of bark.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Or is it a matter of sticking it out with the oak longer and the flavours I am chasing will develop after more time?

Cheers guys
 

wbosher

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Never done it myself, but if it already tastes bloody awful, you might as well stick with it and see if it gets any better.
 

MashPaddler

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Nope but watching this thread closely as I recently bought a bag of oak chips for this purpose..
 

koots

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Just had another taste and it's like trying to deepthroat a tree. Quite a shame as the unoaked half is quite lovely!
 

barls

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depends on what form you use them in.
i find chips are best after about 3-5 days, where as cubes and dominos are best about 4 months depending on the variety and toast level.
personally i liike hungarian as its nigh on impossible to over oak, once you do theres only two things to do and they are ether blend or age it out.
 

koots

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These were American cubes. I went the cube road for that reason that it takes longer as I wanted to be able to sample it reguarly and remove them when satisfied. Seeing as it tastes like shit I'm gunna plough ahead with some fresh cubes and see what happens. I'm thinking it may just be the flavour from the very outside layer of the cube post oven roasting and that hopefully that fades as the deeper oakier flavours come through.
 

kalbarluke

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koots said:
Just had another taste and it's like trying to deepthroat a tree.
Funny! I can almost picture it.
 

dent

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I would hang on to it for a while. I have made some oaked beers that tasted pretty bloody rough wood-wise early on, that vastly improved over a couple of months.

I haven't tried roasting my own oak like you have, but I have had good results from pre-toasted barrel chips. They come out pretty much like you'd expect, as in your chart.
 

koots

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dent said:
I would hang on to it for a while. I have made some oaked beers that tasted pretty bloody rough wood-wise early on, that vastly improved over a couple of months.

I haven't tried roasting my own oak like you have, but I have had good results from pre-toasted barrel chips. They come out pretty much like you'd expect, as in your chart.
Did you leave the wood in them over that couple of months? As I said above mine has only been in there 3 days and I took it out but I'm thinking of just adding some fresh cubes without doing my own roasting and leaving it in there. Definitely hanging on, I'm not one to dump a batch unless it really is ruined beyond belief.
 

vonromanz

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Hey koots, just wait at least a month and then decide. Alternatively, toast the American oak next time and let it soak for a couple of months in bourbon before you use it. I've made allot of beer with both French and American oak with very good results. I've found raw French oak to be mellow and raw American oak to be pungent at first, but it will mellow and blend with other flavours given time.

Cheers
 

punkin

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What colour was the oak when you had finished it, can we see a pic?

What was your toasting practice?
I like to wrap sticks in foil and toast at 200-220C for a couple of hours until they are a dark chocolate/mahogany colour.

Cubes will never work as well as sticks or dominoes as they have too much end grain exposed which leads to harsh tannins. Toasting at too low a level will also give you that wood taste, you really need the toasting to penetrate.

These are the Dominoes i stock, just for colour reference...

oak dominoes.jpg
 

koots

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Ah perhaps i fucked up by not wrapping them. I just sat them on foil. The text that went with that chart said 3 hours at those temperatures to gain the desired effect and since I had light toasted chips (which looked like they had never seen any toast) I did 1 hour instead. Those dominos would be great, I shall be purchasing some of them. I couldn't find anywhere in Australia that had cubes except for one site when I purchased them and certainly couldn't find dominoes. Dammit
 

dent

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I had mine in for just 24 hours, as chips. That was plenty of time for the quantity I had used.

Isn't the end-grain tannin bit more relevant to scotch and the like, than for beer? Especially an IPA.
 

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