Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

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kiwi Bruce
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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by kiwi Bruce » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:21 pm

spiff wrote: I have about 2 lbs of charred/toasted slivers in the 6 gallon carboy. About 2 fat handfuls of finger sized 6in slivers.
The plan was to get the light golden color I wanted, then rack off to remove the wood and then let age for a year.
But now I'm wondering if I'm better off adding more. What lengths of time do you guys usually keep the wood fingers in yours and what ratio's when using the chip in jar method vs barrel aging?
TIA
There isn't a general rule for us to follow at the hobby level...the wood will release it's flavors depending on three factors...the grain of the oak (look at what PR did on the fist page...this exposes the long grain of the oak to the spirit) the amount of char given to the oak. If your oak is only lightly toasted then it can't give you a great depth of color or flavor...you'll need a LOT of oak it this is the case, the the amount of oak used. My oak staves are similar to PR's design, 6" X 1" X 1" cross cut to expose the grain... I use a moderate char and two pieces per quart for six weeks alternating 1 week hot and 1 week in the freezer with a 5 week "Oden's" cold fridge rest at the end, still on the wood, test sipping all the time...BOOM! DONE!
So with your six gal you need 24 of PR's design, 6" X 1" X 1" oak staves... or your equivalent, BUT... I think you may just need more toast on your oak...AND if you take the wood out of the spirit and let it age alone for a year, you'll be very disappointed, leave a couple of used oak pieces in it and the spirit will age nicely.
Have a look at this...viewtopic.php?f=4&t=43367
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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by Craftdstllr » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:25 pm

I also do the three different level of toast/char and blend to taste after aging. I use a syringe that was sold as a turkey injector for measuring the amount of each sample to blend. I am accurate to about 1/4cc. Over time, I have pretty much found the blend I like to be about 3 parts light toast, 3 parts medium toast, and 4 parts heavy toast & charred.
To make life easier, I made a jig for splitting my seasoned oak. It is a steel plate about 1/8" thick sharpened on one side and mounted to a base plate. I hold my chunk of oak over it and pound it with a hammer. I can split a 16 inch diameter log into 3/4 x 3/4 sticks in about 45 minutes.

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by liqrlkr » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:00 am

Good Afternoon. I haven't posted here since some time in 2017. I read your posts all the time and have learned very valuable information from all you fine folks. I am used to my daily foo pahs and mistakes but I did one this week that has me wondering where my brains are sometimes!! I bought a I X 8 X 12' oak board ripped it cut it to length and profiled it all fine and nice. I proceeded to char the oak. About 40 pieces. THEN! I realized it had not made a trip through the oven yet. Dumb and Dumber comes to mind at this point. I had some clear ready to oak ( just 12 quarts) so I decided to throw the charred oak in and see what happens. It has started to color and the little bit of taste that has developed is not bad at all. So has anyone just charred the oak and used it and to what results? Do you supposed it will stink up the house badly if I try to roast them in the oven already charred? Any help in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. liqrlkr

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by kiwi Bruce » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:27 pm

Welcome back liqrlkr...your confusing yourself...toasting and charring is an either/or situation with your oak, if your looking to toast your oak, then your looking for a mild oak flavor with a lot of caramel and vanilla notes in your spirit, very good for a well made UJSSM. If your looking to char your oak you'll get a more robust taste of the oak with more smokey and leather like tastes, well suited to a good AG bourbon. You haven't ruined your wood by charring it...relax, pour yourself two fingers of your best and be cool! No harm...No foul!
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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by liqrlkr » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:29 am

Thank you Kiwi! I have been reading this forum for two years and can't remember this subject coming up. I am now looking forward to trying my spirit with just charred oak. I started out doing NChooch's Bourbon but found the Sweet feed recipe easier and very tasty. It's funny you mention UJSSM because I am waiting for a couple more buckets and I am going to try that recipe too. Thanks again and I will continue reading a maybe participate more. Let ya know in a few weeks how my new found oak turns out!!!

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:44 am

I do not believe, myself, for it to be an either/ or situation. I have always toasted, then charred, but there is nothing wrong with doing it the other way around. It's not going to char the outside anymore.

But since you have so many, why not throw a few in the oven now and report back the difference?

MCH did a whole experiment on toasting and charring, and I believe the agreed upon best practice was a balance of light toast and heavy char? I don't quite remember. But I do know that each variation of charring and toasting gave different results. None of them wrong. Except maybe the mega char acrid jar. :wtf:

1 personal experiment is worth a thousand what if questions :thumbup:
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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by OtisT » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:00 am

+1 to what SCD said. I personally either toast only or toast then char most of my oak and am happy with the results. I have not done char only, but i know others who do it as a finishing soak and it’s on my list to try. From what I have tasted of this method, it quickly ups the color as well as the char/smoke profile of a bourbon. Should be nothing wrong with a char only. Give it a try. :thumbup: If you like it, it’s good.

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by liqrlkr » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:58 am

Thanks Otis! The char only has quickly developed color and taste. Can't wait to test in a few weeks. I will keep yall informed on the progress report!!

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by liqrlkr » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:34 am

Well I guess my "charred only" oak is working better than I thought it would. The taste is developing very well and compares nicely with the toasted and charred wood. How many times do you use your sticks? I am on my second use of them and they seem to be working just as good as the first time only maybe a bit slower to color, the taste is still very good though. Thanks.

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:19 am

I use one new one for whiskey. After that, I use 2 used ones for my rum. There is no third use generally.
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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by pigroaster » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:02 am

Well Christmas Greetings all you serious aging distillers. Thanks for keeping this post alive. I hope that you all have improved products from reading this long thread.

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by Old_Brian » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:03 am

I love these forums, each of these long rambling threads is a mine of useful snippets that answer some questions, but drive my thirst for more understanding.

A big "Thank you" :clap: to everyone who has offered their thoughts and discussed their methods, I am truly in your debt, for helping me to learn from your experiments, and narrow down the range of experiments I need to do to understand where my preferences in whisky meet the methods available to create them.
T500 boiler with Alembic pot still head. My main aim is to create 'Scotch'.

A few videos can be found at my YouTube channel 'Aged New Make'.

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by The Baker » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:22 pm

pigroaster wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:02 am
Well Christmas Greetings all you serious aging distillers. Thanks for keeping this post alive. I hope that you all have improved products from reading this long thread.
I would certainly qualify as seriously aging! And thanks for the Christmas greetings.

Geoff
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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by liqrlkr » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:29 pm

Well I just gave the batch of UN toasted charred oak a taste test and indeed it has a milder and sweeter taste than the ones that were toasted AND charred. I was pleasantly surprised with the difference in flavor. I think I will try some toasted only to see the difference. I recently bought 4 ounces of medium French oak chips and added one ounce each to four quarts of clear. I was amazed that after five days it already has developed a good color and in nearly ready to drink. I realize the chips have way more surface area but was very pleased of the flavor in such a short time frame. Just wanted to bring you up to date. Thanks for all the help. liqrlkr

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by pigroaster » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:55 am

Well it is neat to sit in Fungal on Medeira Island off Portugal escaping from our igloo in Canada to read this. Thanks for posting. Your chips will bite you if you are not careful. Six sticks per gallon is the key. Patience my new friend is the key!i also know in time that straight hearts is not as good as scotch taken near or at 58 ABV after ten years aging! Recap collect in jars before 75 ABV and below 60-62 then small jars. Cover with coffee filters and taste next day. I ovoid heads at all costs. Just taste Johnny Walker and you will know why. Even the gold 90 dollar bottle tastes of heads. You need some tails at the top end to give flavours in time. If you are in a rush keep a hearts batch and it will be fine in a short time but 22 months time makes it shine. The other one will simply get better on sticks all the way. Shake , air and wait!!!!

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Re: Pigroasters new optimal profile for oak aging sticks

Post by Sabiki » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:20 am

I really like your way to maximizing surface area while keeping the distance from the outside surface to the 'center' constant. I am going to try this with some white oak scraps I have. Thanks for the inspiration. I used some 0.004" thick hand plane shavings that I toasted at 385 deg F for 1 hour in 1st batch. Seemed to work OK, I like the color and taste is OK. I like this idea better and will be using in on the next batch.

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