Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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wfw52
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by wfw52 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:01 pm

thanks winger, I got a good laugh at your aproach to common sence ! :D

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by gobucks85 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:11 am

I have lot of Oak fire wood can I use chips from.that

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Smokey52 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:50 am

I work in construction doing site work and it just dawned on me that the grade stakes we use are white oak. It is used because its resistant to rotting. They're generally 1" x 1 "x 48" and come in bundles of 25 stakes. I think we pay $20-25 for a bundle. We get ours from construction supply companies where you need an account, but I've also seen them at some hardware stores. I wouldn't expect to find them at someplace like Lowe's though, more like mom and pop stores. You've gotta look them over before buying though, because they're also sometimes sold in red oak and maple.

I'm still in my research phase, so I'm a ways off from trying this. But If you can get your hands on these, I don't see why they wouldn't work.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by highpower » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:46 pm

Food for thought… whiskey barrels are only charred on the inside. The entire inside I think. When the flame has the entire inside surface aglow, steam is used to quench the coals. That produces activated carbon, not regular charring.
So, if this is true…?
The liquid inside the barrel never gets to tuch the toasted oak without going in and out of activated carbon.
Am I totally off on this or what?
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by rickw » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:27 am

Can someone explain how oak "powder" is used in place of chips. I saw a rum receipe that called for 1/2 to 1 table spoon of oak in the bottle to help it mature. I sure they didn't mean chips
Thanks
Rick

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:26 pm

rickw wrote:Can someone explain how oak "powder" is used in place of chips. I saw a rum receipe that called for 1/2 to 1 table spoon of oak in the bottle to help it mature. I sure they didn't mean chips
Thanks
Rick
It isn't.

Wine makers sometimes use it to impart an oaky-tannin flavour to red wine. It is a poor substitute for toasted and charred staves even for this however.
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by sgtjjmayle » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:24 pm

Wass reading up on everything here and it seems like getting oak from a reputable source is obviously important if you aren't cutting the tree down yourself. Just did a search the internet for rough cut oak planks and came up with this site.

http://www.woodworkerssource.com/sample ... White.html

They sell sample planks so you can test stains and varnish on, but they ship to you straight from the warehouse/lumberyard. These sample pieces seem like they are big enough to cut up into quite a few strips so you can stretch that $8 (US) a good ways if you just toast them yourself!

Just sharing what I found! If anyone has feedback on this idea let me know because this seems like something I might order here soon. A lot of our oaks in this region are getting an "oak bore" that is killing them off quickly. We just lost all of our ash trees over the last 8 years from the "ash bore". Made it illegal to even move ash fire wood across county lines fearing the spread of it.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by jeremy38541 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:37 am

I'm having an awful lot of trouble finding some white oak sticks for sale in Canada. Most places I find don't ship to Canada and those that do cost an insane amount for shipping. Any ideas?

The link posted just above me does ship to Canada but I haven't heard any opinions on it yet.
http://www.woodworkerssource.com/samples-whiteoak.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Also there's a guy on Ebay that I have seen linked to before. I didn't see any opinions on that though either.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/200702272501?ssP ... 165wt_1397" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks.


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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Winger » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:20 am

You could also check http://www.homedepot.ca/product/red-oak ... eet/940975" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by wineboxwilly » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:10 pm

I am sipping on some whisk now, and toasting some 3/8x1x4 pieces of white oak in the oven right now. I am toasting 36 pieces at 200c I took 12 out after an hour, 12 out after 2 hours and the final 12 will be in there for the full 3 hours. My plan is to make 12 one litre jars ranging from 40, 45 and 50% each with a different baked oak in it. Should give me 12 different tastes to sample.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by wineboxwilly » Mon May 06, 2013 7:05 pm

I am not claiming to be an expert after all these years of store bought whisk. But after two weeks of ujsm on oak sticks. I am set for life. I took a pice of 1x4 and cut it into 3/8 strips. I put 36 sticks in the oven at 400 and pulled 12 out ever hour. Here is the key. Take one litre mason jars and fill them with some 125 proof and drop 2 sticks in. I like the 1 hour and the 3 hour stick blend the best. ( make sure you snap the sticks in half or they might expand and break your jar open..... dont ask.) The different flavor blends you get from the blend of cook times real makes it magical. Dont be afraid to try new stuff, this hobby is amazing for that. I can express how thankful I am for the people on this forum and the wealth of knowledge and how willing people are to share. It makes it that much more fun.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by ELT » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:53 am

I read this entire thread and here is what I intend to try:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/use-oak-cubes.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

A mix of the French and American of different toasts into 120 proof much like American Bourbon whiskey is treated. 6-8 weeks with the cubes in.

Thoughts?

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Woodpile » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:46 am

wineboxwilly wrote:I am not claiming to be an expert after all these years of store bought whisk. But after two weeks of ujsm on oak sticks. I am set for life. I took a pice of 1x4 and cut it into 3/8 strips. I put 36 sticks in the oven at 400 and pulled 12 out ever hour. Here is the key. Take one litre mason jars and fill them with some 125 proof and drop 2 sticks in. I like the 1 hour and the 3 hour stick blend the best. ( make sure you snap the sticks in half or they might expand and break your jar open..... dont ask.) The different flavor blends you get from the blend of cook times real makes it magical. Dont be afraid to try new stuff, this hobby is amazing for that. I can express how thankful I am for the people on this forum and the wealth of knowledge and how willing people are to share. It makes it that much more fun.
You did not wrap them in foil?

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by chad2011 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:49 pm

I am thinking of trying red oak in 4" lengths , these are taken straight from the tree. The logs have been cut for a year. How long should I let them dry? Can I get by without toasting , if not how do I go about toasting my strips???

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Woodpile » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:24 pm

I am certainly not an expert, but I understand red oak is not like white oak at all. The grain structure and chemicals are not suitable for aging. I am still trying to find out if live oak (type of white oak) is close enough to be useful.

I also don't think you should avoid toasting- it provides flavor and sweetness.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by chad2011 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:04 pm

I do know that the "live" oak is in the same genus or family as the white oak. It is a southern tree that used to be used a lot in ship building. It is very dense and I would guess it to be a good wood. I do not know of the different flavors it could possibly have.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by humbledore » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:02 pm

chad2011 wrote:I am thinking of trying red oak in 4" lengths , these are taken straight from the tree. The logs have been cut for a year. How long should I let them dry? Can I get by without toasting , if not how do I go about toasting my strips???
I should probably let someone more experienced respond, but I have heard several hours at 350 in the oven will get a decent toast. Depends on the size of the wood of course.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Woodpile » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:14 am

Supposedly, Old Ironsides was made of live oak, as it is stronger than white oak. Both oaks from that family (live and white) have the same structure blocking flow along the grain - red oak does not have this property. Live Oak has been traditionally used in barrel making, but I have yet to find direct evidence of its value in aging.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Prairiepiss » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:22 am

If you don't toast or char it. You will just get wood flavored spirits. It would be like chewing on a piece of wood. Toasting and or charing carmalizes the wood sugars. Giving you the nice flavors associated with wood aged spirits.

You will also only want to use the heart wood. Not the sap wood. In all actuality 100 year old heart wood is preferred.Let it air dry for a year or two. out side covered from the rain.

There are all kinds of threads regarding red oak. Personaly I wouldn't use it. I would find some good white oak or sugar maple.
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by scout » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:08 am

Woodpile wrote:Supposedly, Old Ironsides was made of live oak, as it is stronger than white oak. Both oaks from that family (live and white) have the same structure blocking flow along the grain - red oak does not have this property. Live Oak has been traditionally used in barrel making, but I have yet to find direct evidence of its value in aging.
Live oak barrels, normally small in size, are usually meant to be for dry goods storage,(nail barrels, etc.) it has also been used (after iron ships became the norm) for pickle barrels in the old days. The stands of live oak were traditionally held in reserve for ship building and ships masts. In fact there are still some stands of live oak in the USA that are owned by the federal government today. White Oak is the traditional wood for tights (liquids ie: alcohol), they will induce flavonoids for around 5 years for wine makers, 8 years for whisky makers (starting with a new barrel), at which point the barrel would be emptied into another barrel for more aging or bottled up. The old scotch makers usually got hold of used barrels (cheaper for them to buy) from wineries or port/sherry makers, these barrels were recharged by scraping and charring the interior before their whisky went in to rest. The Scots still do this today for their best products.

For an example; Glenfiddich 21 year old Gran Reserva Scotch gets to age 20 years 6 months in white oak barrels to get the vanilla, floral and banana flavors, this flavor combination can only come from a used barrel that has been scraped and re-charred. Then the whisky gets the last 4 months of aging in a used white oak rum barrel that has not been recharged, which deepens the complexity of this particular Scotch. Each turn (re-barrel is done at the 5 year mark till it's ready for that finishing rum barrel).
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by humbledore » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:27 pm

That is an interesting read, thanks for posting that Scout!

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Woodpile » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:55 pm

Fascinating

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by scout » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:21 am

chad2011 wrote:I am thinking of trying red oak in 4" lengths , these are taken straight from the tree. The logs have been cut for a year. How long should I let them dry? Can I get by without toasting , if not how do I go about toasting my strips???
Red oak is much more porous than white oak and is not used for barrels, but that doesn't mean it won't work for aging. I'd let the pieces age for about 6 more months then give them a nice toast or maybe even a medium char (alligator craze to about 1 mm in depth of the cracks). The structure of red oak, large tubes with no structure within them, is why it isn't used for barrels ( they make the wood to weak in a bend).
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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by smoken » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:49 pm

Just wondering if anyone has tried to blend an over oaked product that has maybe too much flavor with a neutral to see if it would balance out. If so does this work or would I be wasting my time and spirit.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by bellybuster » Thu May 01, 2014 5:38 am

smoken wrote:Just wondering if anyone has tried to blend an over oaked product that has maybe too much flavor with a neutral to see if it would balance out. If so does this work or would I be wasting my time and spirit.
thats exactly how to do it, blend a little at a time and let it rest before deciding on the flavour.


Just for interest, I use red oak. makes a wonderful drink. Much more bold flavours than white oak but no noticeable tannins. My favourite is red oak and cherry in the same jar, both heavily charred.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by smoken » Thu May 01, 2014 6:54 pm

Thanks bellybuster. Will have to try the red oak and cherry combination sounds awesome.

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by smoken » Tue May 20, 2014 7:46 pm

Just picked up about 20 board ft of red oak off the ole lady's grandfather going to try it out. Thanks again bellybuster

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Fidget » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:56 am

Are there any European vendors of "premium" oak product bigger and better than chips?

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Re: Everything you need to know about oak alternatives.

Post by Ramen Tamer » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:50 am

Hey there, guys.

I've been having a hell of a time finding a cheap, yet effective, oak source. I don't really have access to my own fresh oak. Also, I wouldn't really know where to begin with charring my own. I've tried charring a few different ways and I always fudge something.

Anyways, I found this guy on Ebay and was wondering what you think, just based off of his video and what he says about his oak.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Charred-White-A ... 0292&rt=nc

I already bought a box of the oak, and I'll let you guys know how it turns out in a week or so...But is 350 degrees for 4 hours enough? I suppose the broiling until flame would take care of it, but I seem to know nothing about oak, based on previous experiments.
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