Oak and whiskey

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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FL Brewer
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by FL Brewer » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:54 pm

MDH wrote:The transition of higher ABV to lower or vice versa over time means a wide range of compounds are extracted gradually in conventional aging.
That's a real interesting point..... Barrel aging means loss of the angel's share, and decreasing ABV with time. I (and from what I've read, most others on this forum) age in glass, so we don't get the change in ABV over time, or at least not nearly as much of a change. Maybe that's just begging for an experiment where we age in glass starting at 60% for few months, then dilute to 57.5% for a few months, then 55% for a few more.....

So many ideas for experiments, I need more whiskey drinking friends to contribute to some large sample statistically significant evaluations....
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by bluefish_dist » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:00 pm

Or if you are in a dry climate the abv goes up.
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by HDNB » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:55 pm

bluefish_dist wrote:Or if you are in a dry climate the abv goes up.
so they say, but it's dry as a popcorn fart up here. the water is frozen out the air... and my barrels have been losing 6%abv

losing lots of volume as well.
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by Honest_Liberty » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:00 pm

I'm very excited because I just ordered a few pounds of seasoned white oak heart chunks off eBay for $20 free shipping. It arrives Thursday and I have 3/4 gallon of rye bread sugar head at 57% that was run with my low wines from a previous sweet feed sour mash. This has been my best stuff yet but I'm still not fond of the molasses profile at the back end. I'm planning to age this on the oak when I get it and toast it.

Here are my thoughts:
380 to 420 is the heat range I think I'm shooting for but I'm still unsure how long to toast in the oven. I'm also unsure of how to know when enough char is reached when I hold it over the Cherry wood fire outside.

I'm thinking 380 per chunk for 3 hours, then I'll char, soak in water, then I'll split after wards, in hopes of different depth of toast through the thick chunks.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by Copper_clad » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:31 am

How often do you change the wood out when aging in glass jugs?

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by HDNB » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:15 am

Copper_clad wrote:How often do you change the wood out when aging in glass jugs?
i seem to change out the whisky more than the wood.
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:14 am

HDNB wrote:
Copper_clad wrote:How often do you change the wood out when aging in glass jugs?
i seem to change out the whisky more than the wood.
:lol: :thumbup:

Same. Never have changed the wood, come to think of it. Added more once, that set my whiskey back a year!
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by corene1 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:40 pm

HDNB wrote:
Copper_clad wrote:How often do you change the wood out when aging in glass jugs?
i seem to change out the whisky more than the wood.
Ha! That is perfect!

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by Jimbo » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:09 pm

corene1 wrote:
HDNB wrote:
Copper_clad wrote:How often do you change the wood out when aging in glass jugs?
i seem to change out the whisky more than the wood.
Ha! That is perfect!
+1 perfect indeed
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by dukethebeagle120 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:59 pm

I Do makers grain bill.
I recently mixed heads which werequite smooth with some Tails.
Hell after 2 Weeks with one lump of charcoal and 2 staves IT is great.can't Wait till IT is older.
I leave a coffre Filter on to IT airs always.
There is no hearts in the jars..
More of an experiment
I Read of someone on hear aging the heads and Tails separatly from the hearts.
I has more flavor then anything i gave made just with hearts
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by corene1 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:20 pm

It's been awhile since I have made any whiskey so I am setting up my still again and going to make a bit of whisky to age. Since I was cutting wood today I thought I might show how I get and prepare my wood for aging and see if it is similar to how others do theirs. I start by going to the mountains and find a nice white oak log that has been down a while but not touching the ground. This makes the wood well seasoned to start with. I cut it into rounds about 5 inches thick and like the wood to be 12 to 18 inches in diameter to start with . I will then bring it home and cut it into 1 inch and 3/4 inch slabs. From there I will toast it to 350 degrees so it is a nice brown throughout the entire stick . put a nice char on it and it is ready to soak for a day. Then let it dry and it is ready to go when needed. You can see the white softwood on the outer side of the wood, that is removed and only the prime heartwood is used.
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by zach » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:35 am

Nice tip Corene! Thanks.

I've been looking on the interweb at the differences between white (valley) and black oak trees so I have a chance of getting the white oak.
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blackoak-150x124.jpg
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I've seen both types in the foothills.

Has anyone tried california black oak?

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by OtisT » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:03 pm

I can’t recall where I read it, but I did read somewhere that California black oak is not good for aging spirits. If you have access to it, it may be worth a try yourself but I would recommend testing on a small batch. Full disclosure, that warning I read may have been in reference to using black oak for barrels due to grain issues, so don’t just take my word for it. (I’ve done a lot of reading on this and can’t always keep it all straight. CRS Syndrome.)

Where I’m from we have an abundance of both California Black Oak and Oregon Oak. I have been using Oregon Oak and comparing it to Am White Oak and I’ve had some early success with the Or Oak. Also I found a chemical analysis of Oregon Oak for use in wine aging that says it is similar to French Oak. Like French Oak it is higher in tannins compared to Am White Oak so longer seasoning is required. I have some seasoned Or Oak and in my experience so far the Or Oak has a lighter touch than the Am White Oak.

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by corene1 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:05 pm

OtisT wrote:I can’t recall where I read it, but I did read somewhere that California black oak is not good for aging spirits. If you have access to it, it may be worth a try yourself but I would recommend testing on a small batch. Full disclosure, that warning I read may have been in reference to using black oak for barrels due to grain issues, so don’t just take my word for it. (I’ve done a lot of reading on this and can’t always keep it all straight. CRS Syndrome.)

Where I’m from we have an abundance of both California Black Oak and Oregon Oak. I have been using Oregon Oak and comparing it to Am White Oak and I’ve had some early success with the Or Oak. Also I found a chemical analysis of Oregon Oak for use in wine aging that says it is similar to French Oak. Like French Oak it is higher in tannins compared to Am White Oak so longer seasoning is required. I have some seasoned Or Oak and in my experience so far the Or Oak has a lighter touch than the Am White Oak.

Otis
I did some reading on California black oak as well and it was saying it is very close to red oak in it's basic makeup. We have a bunch of different oaks in our area , thankfully white oak is one of them.

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by Oldvine Zin » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:04 pm

just saying - putting wood into jars is just making tea, for the full effect a real barrel or a Bad Mo,

just my thoughts
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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by Shinerfortyniner » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:22 pm

I've used locally sourced valley oak. I split it and seasoned it on the woodpile turning it occasionally. Then I cut it into 3/4 x 3/4 sticks and toasted it. I used the toasting chart to try and get a vanilla character. Can't remember the temp.

I haven't been very happy with it. It seems to make the spirits a bit rough. I thought maybe it was too much tannin, but when I put the already oaked spirits into a small barrel my wife gave me for xmas, they started tasting better pretty quick.

Anyone have a different experience with valley oak?

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by 8Ball » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:26 am

Bobdoe wrote:
Mon May 04, 2015 6:15 pm
I hope this question is on-topic. Bear with me here: I enjoy a nice cigar now and then and I can taste a definite difference when I light a cigar off a lighter vs one lit with a piece of burning wood.

So, is charring a piece of wood with a torch going to give different flavors to a drink compared to a piece of oak or other wood that is charred with wood flame?

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I think, yes. I had a conversation with a cooper from whom I’ve obtained stave cut offs and shavings. He advised to make a little stack of “bones” with the split stave ends and then start a fire in the center using the shavings. He said to get it all burning good, then douse them in a bucket of water. I do just that and am happy with the results. BTW, I use foreshots to start the fire.

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Re: Oak and whiskey

Post by Twisted Brick » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:25 am

8Ball wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:26 am
Bobdoe wrote:
Mon May 04, 2015 6:15 pm
I hope this question is on-topic. Bear with me here: I enjoy a nice cigar now and then and I can taste a definite difference when I light a cigar off a lighter vs one lit with a piece of burning wood.

So, is charring a piece of wood with a torch going to give different flavors to a drink compared to a piece of oak or other wood that is charred with wood flame?

Bobdoe
I think, yes. I had a conversation with a cooper from whom I’ve obtained stave cut offs and shavings. He advised to make a little stack of “bones” with the split stave ends and then start a fire in the center using the shavings. He said to get it all burning good, then douse them in a bucket of water. I do just that and am happy with the results. BTW, I use foreshots to start the fire.

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Good to know, 8ball. Thanks for sharing.
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