Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by T-Pee » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:26 am

Glad to help out Jeffrich, and welcome to HD! :)

tp

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by der wo » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:26 am

der wo wrote:
T-Pee wrote:Anyone asking for objective proof for any particular method would do well to try it themselves and share the results with the membership which is exactly what this thread was intended to be in the original. That it turned into the most recent "go to" thread for this aspect of the hobby was a pleasant surprise to me. I was only sharing a personal discovery with the membership.
Yes of course. I want to discuss and decide, what could be worth to try next.

We all know between trying it and tasting it is many months aging. And all the other variables are confusing.
My results up to now are very chaotic. Also because I changed my oak source. I first used pen blanks (selled as white oak, but it looks more like european oak. I don't know), I seasoned it, I cut it in sticks. But the sticks were thinner than the sticks from JD-blocks I now make. So my results from the past are not 100% adaptable for my sticks today. I remember, the darkest stick (4h oven 430F) tasted worst. But I didn't taste much difference between light and medium toast. My result between light and heavy char was, that I will char a bit less in future.

Sorry, up to know I don't asses my results trustworthy enough, that I could share them with the membership.
Now I have a few more trustworthy results.
My questions was, if a toasting before the charring is really needed, and I wanted to try different chars. For trying out different toasts, I had not enough jars. So I choosed always the same toasting, one which is described to be very successful here: 1.5h at 190°C. The result was an only slightly darkening of the wood.
100% Rye on the grain potstill stripped, the spirit run done with a LM reflux column, 60% abv aging strength, sticks made from JD smoking blocks:
After 3 months the color is still too light and the taste also, but it's all fine, because I plan a longer aging, so I used not much wood. But it's good enough for a first tasting I think. And a few of mine assumptions were wrong, so I learned something:

Jar1: no toast, light char (all around black, but the layer as thin as possible with my propane torch)
Jar2: no toast, medium char
Jar3: no toast, heavy char (like alligator skin)
Jar4: toast + light char
Jar5: toast + medium char

Blind testing 1:
Both medium char. Toast vs. no toast:
The toasted one has much more and a more complex smell. The taste is similar.

Blind testing 2:
Both without toast. Light char vs heavy char:
The heavy char has an off-smell. Not much. Only little diluted it tastes a bit acrid. More diluted the acrid is gone and it tastes more sweet.
The light char has not this off-smell, but more pleasant grain flavor. But beside the grain flavor it is not very interesting at the moment.

Blind testing 3:
Both toasted. Light char vs medium char:
The light char is better. More pleasant grain flavor.
The medium char smells a bit strange in direct comparision. A bit like mulled wine I think.


My conclusions:
- I don't think I will ever again use sticks without toasting before the charring.
- The char layer unfortunately adsorbs much of the tasty grain flavors. Perhaps if I would potstill my whisky and so would have more tails, the char layer would adsorb them and not the grain flavor, I don't know. But at least for my system a light char (or perhaps no char? I will try this in future) seems to be much better.

Normal toast and light char is my favourite up to now.
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Swedish Pride » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:49 am

Good tests wo.
I've always questioned the toasting of old barrels though as they were toasted initially in their previous life.
Recharring is a different kettle of fish as I remove all the char.

will have to try something similar myself next time I put down some AG
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by der wo » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:00 am

I think, most bourbon-barrels are only toasted while bending the staves. This process needs not only heat but also water, which lowers the temperature much under something like my 190°C. And looking at the JD-blocks, they look absolutely untoasted. So I expected not much difference between toasted and untoasted. But I was wrong.

Btw, I removed the most of the old char before toasting.
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by dodgebrown » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:17 am

I examined few bourbon barrels and some barrel making videos - they were all charred.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by der wo » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:33 am

I examined few bourbons and some bourbon making videos - they were all distilled.
:lol:
dodgebrown, noone here claims, that bourbon barrels are not charred. Of course they are. Without charring you are not allowed to name it bourbon:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon_w ... quirements" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R. 5) state that bourbon made for U.S. consumption[18] must be:
Produced in the United States[19]
Made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn[20]
Aged in new, charred oak barrels[20]
Distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume)[20]
Entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume)[20]
Bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume)[21]
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by wtfdskin » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:46 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:Not sure if this has been mentioned in here, but it makes a big difference if you char the sticks immediately out of the oven from toasting, or if you let the sticks cool back down first.
If you toast around 400F, the oak is already so hot that the charring will go MUCH further into the stick. A heavy char can even turn the whole thing into a piece of charcoal. Cool first.
I "mass toast" my sticks and when cool put them in a sealed Tupperware container and then char when needed.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Shiny Coke » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:50 pm

wtfdskin wrote:
MichiganCornhusker wrote:Not sure if this has been mentioned in here, but it makes a big difference if you char the sticks immediately out of the oven from toasting, or if you let the sticks cool back down first.
If you toast around 400F, the oak is already so hot that the charring will go MUCH further into the stick. A heavy char can even turn the whole thing into a piece of charcoal. Cool first.
I "mass toast" my sticks and when cool put them in a sealed Tupperware container and then char when needed.
Yep, me too. I've got them sitting in a ziploc freezer bag in the garage shine cabinet. Very convenient to just pull out what you want when you want it, char it and soak in water before adding to the whisky.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Mikey-moo » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:03 pm

Shiny Coke wrote:
wtfdskin wrote:
MichiganCornhusker wrote:Not sure if this has been mentioned in here, but it makes a big difference if you char the sticks immediately out of the oven from toasting, or if you let the sticks cool back down first.
If you toast around 400F, the oak is already so hot that the charring will go MUCH further into the stick. A heavy char can even turn the whole thing into a piece of charcoal. Cool first.
I "mass toast" my sticks and when cool put them in a sealed Tupperware container and then char when needed.
Yep, me too. I've got them sitting in a ziploc freezer bag in the garage shine cabinet. Very convenient to just pull out what you want when you want it, char it and soak in water before adding to the whisky.
I've mass toasted mine but not sealed or frozen them... perhaps I should?
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by T-Pee » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:14 pm

Mikey-moo wrote:
Shiny Coke wrote:
wtfdskin wrote:
MichiganCornhusker wrote:Not sure if this has been mentioned in here, but it makes a big difference if you char the sticks immediately out of the oven from toasting, or if you let the sticks cool back down first.
If you toast around 400F, the oak is already so hot that the charring will go MUCH further into the stick. A heavy char can even turn the whole thing into a piece of charcoal. Cool first.
I "mass toast" my sticks and when cool put them in a sealed Tupperware container and then char when needed.
Yep, me too. I've got them sitting in a ziploc freezer bag in the garage shine cabinet. Very convenient to just pull out what you want when you want it, char it and soak in water before adding to the whisky.
I've mass toasted mine but not sealed or frozen them... perhaps I should?
I can't imagine why it would be of any benefit. It's not like anything evaporates. :eh:

tp

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by bitter » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:46 pm

I agree with TP. After toasting I just put my oak sticks in the cupboard in a metal tin. Char before I add to the gallon jug.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by wtfdskin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:24 pm

No reason I seal them in a container other than handy stackable storage. Lol

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Shiny Coke » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:50 pm

wtfdskin wrote:No reason I seal them in a container other than handy stackable storage. Lol
Yeah ha ha. I use a ziploc so it's kinda flexible in the cupboard and keeps'em together :mrgreen:

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Deerhunter » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:24 pm

I'm still a little confused on the casking strength. 55-62% abv is within the range for oaking. So if I'm right your finished product after aging will range from 110-124 proof or a little lower due to evaporation (angel's share) Isn't that kinda high for drinking strength? Or do you dilute further? If so, won't that affect color? I thought reasonable drinking strength would be in the range of 40 proof.
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by T-Pee » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:03 pm

Drinking strength is what you want it to be. For me, it's usually between 40% and 45%. A little dilution with distilled water goes a long way.
I haven't noticed it affecting the color/shade of my drinks much if at all.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Deerhunter » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:53 pm

OK, Thanks TP.......that's where I was a little confused.....Wasn't sure whether to dilute to drinking strength before casking or after.
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Hound Dog » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:12 am

Deerhunter wrote:I'm still a little confused on the casking strength. 55-62% abv is within the range for oaking. So if I'm right your finished product after aging will range from 110-124 proof or a little lower due to evaporation (angel's share) Isn't that kinda high for drinking strength? Or do you dilute further? If so, won't that affect color? I thought reasonable drinking strength would be in the range of 40 proof.
40%, or 80 proof. This dilution won't affect the color. You will be surprised at the flavor difference. Cutting it down to a regular 80 to 90 proof can really help mellow the profile.
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Mikey-moo » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:39 am

I had a thought over the weekend... the oaking chart in the first post on this thread is a fantastic piece of information, but it's formatted in an odd way...

If you extrapolate the 3D effect, the temps that give the flavours are shown as:
Are we reading this right?
Are we reading this right?
So are we all heating up our oak too much to get the best out of it? Or am I overthinking things?

Perhaps longer but lower is the way to go? :-)
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by der wo » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:58 am

I think it's more like this:
World_Cooperage_Wood_Toast.jpg
So the peaks are:
sweet: 280 F
vanilla: 380 F
toasty: 420 F
almond: 480 F
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by der wo » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:03 am

I don't know, if this study is mentioned here:
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep17334" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
Results for white oak:
http://www.nature.com/article-assets/np ... 334-f3.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
The four different lines/colors represent only four pieces of wood. Because each piece of wood is unique.

Furfural: caramell, almond
5MF (5-Methylfurfura)l: caramell, nuts, maple
HMF(Hydroxymethylfurfural)/Maltol: caramell, tobacco, fatty, hay
Vanillin: vanilla
Guaiacol: smoke
Eugenol: cinnamon, cloves
Lactone: cocos, wood

This flavor wheel matches well to this list:
9df438452f33299016a1bb205277dd.jpg
Last edited by der wo on Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Coug95man2 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:08 am

der wo wrote:I don't know, if this study is mentioned here:
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep17334" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
Results for white oak:
http://www.nature.com/article-assets/np ... 334-f3.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
The four different lines/colors represent only four pieces of wood. Because each piece of wood is unique.

Furfural: caramell, almond
5-Methylfurfural: caramell, nuts, maple
Maltol: caramell
Vanillin: vanilla
Guaiacol: smoke
Eugenol: cinnamon, cloves
Lactone: cocos, wood
Oh, this is going to take some time to read and I reeeaaaally want to soak this in. This is good stuff. Thanks for these links, Der Wo!
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by T-Pee » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:24 pm

der wo wrote:I think it's more like this:
World_Cooperage_Wood_Toast.jpg
So the peaks are:
sweet: 280 F
vanilla: 380 F
toasty: 420 F
almond: 480 F
That's how I interpreted it.

tp

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Mikey-moo » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:10 pm

der wo wrote:I think it's more like this:
World_Cooperage_Wood_Toast.jpg
So the peaks are:
sweet: 280 F
vanilla: 380 F
toasty: 420 F
almond: 480 F
That makes me happier. Thanks der wo.
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by der wo » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:08 am

Mikey-moo wrote:
der wo wrote:I think it's more like this:
World_Cooperage_Wood_Toast.jpg
So the peaks are:
sweet: 280 F
vanilla: 380 F
toasty: 420 F
almond: 480 F
That makes me happier. Thanks der wo.
380 F is one of the most often recommended temperatures here. And it's the peak for vanilla.

"400 degrees will give lots of vanilla with just a bit of toasty." From T-Pees initial post.

It looks like we do everything right here. :D
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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by azwhiskey » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:03 pm

I read the whole thread, great information. I have been oaking in quart mason jars. How often and for how long should I "air out" my jars?

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by T-Pee » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:34 pm

You'd be better off aging/oaking in something that can be fitted with a cork or wood lid. Lets the drop breathe a little.
The sealant on a Mason lid isn't the greatest stuff to have in contact with booze either.
I use one gallon apple juice jugs with a natural cork.

tp

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by azwhiskey » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:53 am

how thick is the cork? Does it still allow the jar have some pressure/vacuum during temp cycles?

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Appalachia-Shiner » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:32 pm

Temp cycles?
Month in Fridge
Month where it's warm.
After 6 months, it's very nice.
And I do toast to 380 and medium char.
Shit. Just drink it.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by azwhiskey » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:44 pm

Appalachia-Shiner wrote:Temp cycles?
Month in Fridge
Month where it's warm.
After 6 months, it's very nice.
And I do toast to 380 and medium char.
Shit. Just drink it.
I can't! I gotta wait 6 more months. I was just trying to figure out how much fresh air gets into a oak barrel. Can't be much, or all the whiskey would leak out. And I'm guessing they roll 'em around in the barrel house which keeps any spots from drying out and leaking.

I think I will just open my jar once a month to change out the air.

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Re: Oaking and aging the T-Pee way

Post by Mikey-moo » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:17 am

azwhiskey wrote:I can't! I gotta wait 6 more months. I was just trying to figure out how much fresh air gets into a oak barrel. Can't be much, or all the whiskey would leak out. And I'm guessing they roll 'em around in the barrel house which keeps any spots from drying out and leaking.

I think I will just open my jar once a month to change out the air.
I'm thinking a thin sheet of PTFE as a lid with a pin hole poked in it might do the job...
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