Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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Dnderhead
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Dnderhead » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:02 pm

being blind in one eye and cant see out the other,,is that holes i see if so are they filled?

bentstick
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by bentstick » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:24 pm

Dunder, It looks like very porus end grain, some holes.
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Dnderhead » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:58 pm

white oak the holes are filled..red open..

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by blind drunk » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:11 pm

Are those termite or carpenter ant holes - the tiny ones?
I do all my own stunts

Exem
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Exem » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:09 am

I attach the pictures of the side grain. I have no idea where these big holes came from. Some termites or ants? during long years of air drying maybe...
Attachments
014.jpg
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bentstick
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by bentstick » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:11 pm

Looks like white oak to me!
It is what you make it

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Exem » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:12 am

Thanks

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by chris_adams » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:53 am

Cool stuff dude! I was eyeing on doing this to age my alcohol, I was still reluctant not until I came across this post. Thanks! :thumbup:
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Chris, still a rookie :)

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by mrwoody1985 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:13 pm

Hey guys, my mate has a length of oak that was in a wine barrel years ago. It was in with red wine, if I split it and cook it can I use it? Or is it no good because of the wine? Thanks
Excuse my lack of knowledge.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by mrwoody1985 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:01 pm

Never mind guys, I've actually found a guy local to me who uses American oak for doors etc he is willing to give me some off cuts etc. you beauty
Excuse my lack of knowledge.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by RevSpaminator » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:49 am

I've seen a few posts here mention other types of wood that can be used for aging. Has anyone tried apple, cherry or even maple?

I'm still pretty new to this, but I may need to experiment. My first guess would be that anything good for smoking pork should work pretty well. Anyone have some words of wisdom? (I'm thinkin' rum aged with cherry wood...)
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:29 pm

Lot of folks here quite like Apple. All those others have been tried; hardwood fruit woods are generally good, and mulberry can be also apparently. Don't use hickory unless you like bbq flavor booze!
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by mrwoody1985 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:45 am

just stumbled across this, makes sense but is it correct?

Soaking times:
If making authentic Rum with molasses, 2-4 months
If using with neutral spirit, 2-4 weeks as it is not as rough as authentic Rum.
The longer you soak, the smoother the flavour, it all comes down
to personal preference.
I use 100g per litre of 80% spirit, If soaking in spirit that has been diluted to 40%, only use half as much,as you are aging the spirit, not the water.
These can be used several times.
Excuse my lack of knowledge.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by That Guy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:55 pm

Has anyone tried http://www.charcoalstore.com/? They have chunks and planks of different species along with wine and burbon barrel pieces. Unfortunately their sampler packs are all with bark. If no one has anything bad to say about them I'll place an order. I've been using the small oak chips they sell in the brew store for years - now I wonder what I've been missing! :oops:

-TG

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by 1997ws6 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:15 am

Please let us know TG, they look good to me, but I know nothing! :)

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Winger » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:13 am

I have run a batch of oat whiskey recently and am aging with oak from shipping pallets. I have found a lot of hardwood pallets are made from scrap oak. It is a ready source of free wood. I have 11 Litres with various oak pieces and strips, charred, uncharred, toasted and toasted french oak chips. They all have 5 ml of honey in each. Everyone has their own opinion as to what they like so I decided to do a variety to find my preference. They have been on for 2 days already and some are getting good color already. Even the ones with wood strips are starting to acquire a tint.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:27 am

Winger wrote:I have run a batch of oat whiskey recently and am aging with oak from shipping pallets.
This is probably ok if you know that they are national shipping only. I would be wary of internationally shipped pallets; here in NZ at least a fair number (but not all) containers get fumigated with Methyl-Bromide and other fun chemicals.
YMMV
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by bellybuster » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:28 am

Winger, I'd be very careful using pallet wood, a few years ago there was mandated insecticides to all pallets that come into and out of the country. Seeing where you're from and knowing there is a military supply depot there I would be very careful. Pallets are not necessarily marked as being treated

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Winger » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:02 pm

I know treated wood when I see it. I know wood shipped between the US and Canada does not need to be treated, so that is not any concern. People are ignoring this excellent wood supply. I regularly go to the local Home Depot to get "Fire wood" for free. They would not be happy if I said I was making wine racks and rustic shelving with it.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by bellybuster » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:49 pm

Winger wrote:I know treated wood when I see it. I know wood shipped between the US and Canada does not need to be treated, so that is not any concern. People are ignoring this excellent wood supply. I regularly go to the local Home Depot to get "Fire wood" for free. They would not be happy if I said I was making wine racks and rustic shelving with it.
Just lookin out my man. you're right, there is an exemption to ISPM15 for US-Canada shipments.

Treated pallets for those who dont know should and thats a big should, be marked with "MB" for Methyl Bromide. Not sure what they are treating them with now, MB was banned a while back. HT is for heat treated, those ones may or may not have chemical treatments.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Winger » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:52 pm

bellybuster wrote:Winger, I'd be very careful using pallet wood, a few years ago there was mandated insecticides to all pallets that come into and out of the country. Seeing where you're from and knowing there is a military supply depot there I would be very careful. Pallets are not necessarily marked as being treated
Being from Canada and not the USA our economy does not rely on military supplies especially in AB. we have no surplus Military crates.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Durace11 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:39 am

Oak used for aging is typically heartwood, I'd bet my next paycheck that the wood in those pallets is sapwood or partially sapwood. I'd stay away from it just because you don't know where it's been. Hell, it could have had any chemicals used on it during production or daily use. Exhaust fumes, dirty floor, oil from being on a dirty deck...practically anything. I've worked in the shipping industry and I know pallets that are used so badly they are throwing them out are not what I would call "good" wood. They are usually torn to pieces.

Just to be safe, of course, use at your own risk.
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Winger » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:54 pm

Good points made by all and I appreciate the advice.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:15 am

That Guy wrote: Unfortunately their sampler packs are all with bark. If no one has anything bad to say about them I'll place an order.
-TG
Just picked this up!

You would definitly want your 'sample pieces' to be wide enough that you could cut the heart wood out of them to use for aging and throw the rest away - the bark and sapwood are way too high in tannins to be any good for you hooch :D
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Expat » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:19 pm

It was raised earlier in the thread, however it was dropped.... generally speaking is there any value left in wine barrels after they've been used? Local supplier is advertising used 220L french oak barrels (not re coopered) $60 - Question I have is If it were broken down into staves and shaved, Is it usable?
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:25 pm

ExpatLad wrote:It was raised earlier in the thread, however it was dropped.... generally speaking is there any value left in wine barrels after they've been used? Local supplier is advertising used 220L french oak barrels (not re coopered) $60 - Question I have is If it were broken down into staves and shaved, Is it usable?
Absollutly.

I use this source of oak as do many others - wine stain only penetrate 4-5 mm of a total 18-20mm leave it or shave it off - up to you just cut, re-toast and/or char and your good to go.

There is some debate as to weather wine barrels might contain a % of sapwood in some of their stave (as opposed to buying spent whiskey barrels say, which would be more likely to be clear heart due to the poor effect of sapwood on high % alcohol.)

Personally I haven't had a problem thus far - 2-3 years of using staves, X L of alcohol soaked on it, this said i believe that others have come across the odd lump that didn't sit right with them.

This said, given the choice between leaching a bit much tannin into my booze (meaning worst comes to the worst i can re-distill it) or unknown chemicals that some people risk, i know which i would rather choose. :mrgreen:
Even too much tannin (up to a point) will right itself in terms of flavour profile if given enough time undisturbed (for chemical changes) and some careful racking (for the precipitation of some tannin).
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Expat » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:47 am

Thanks FTB :) Much appreciated for that!

Much like others I wen't down the 'chips' path only to result in liquid wood flavor :sick:

Now i'm looking forward to breaking down a barrel and some toasting 8)
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by wfw52 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:49 am

I just picked up on this tread and a few post's back using pallets for making your oak stick/chips and I am all for saving a few bucks when you can . but in IMA your nuts regaurdless if there shipped internationally ! I have bin in the commercial building trade for 30 yrs. Unloaded and watched thousands of pallets get loaded and unlaoded . trust me when I say YOU DO NOT WANT TO USE pallest. (unless the came off the fatory assembly line) pallets get used and reused , contents get spilled all the time with much more harmfull chems than fungus sprays ! it all sokes into the wood and drys and you can not tell whats there, not to mention some truck driver taken a piss in the conner on your pallet !! Its wishfull thinking your pallet was used in a dry clean warehouse its intire life. For something as pure as we make to drink and enjoy and give to freinds why in the hell would you take a chance ? No one can prove a used pallet is 100 % safe ..........IMA.........wfw

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Winger » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:23 pm

No one can prove your oak wine or Johnny Walker barrel didn't get shipper on an open truck to Canada or New England or who knows where, with the salt roads calcium chloride or what ever sprayed on the roads or leaking from the truck ahead of them. For that matter what proof do you have the fine oak trim finished trim wood is "pure"? It could have been treated at the mill for insects, fungus and/or mold? Get a grip. The Heinz baby food whiskey I made may be GMO as far as labeling shows.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Winger » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:26 pm

That's genetically modified organism.

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