Where to buy oak?

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Sailman
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Where to buy oak?

Post by Sailman » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:57 am

First off I know that I can buy it from homebrew stores and anywhere on the internet. I guess what I'm looking for is recommendations to some suppliers that have good quality and that you have used and can recommend. I have a sweet feed that I'm going to age in a 1/6 Barrel keg. So whatever I purchase needs to be able to go down the 2-inch fitting. I've done some figuring and I think I'm going to need somewhere in the neighborhood of 285 Square in. I'm looking for either cubes or sticks in a medium toast / char. Order some of that suppliers that you guys have used with good success?

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by jonnys_spirit » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:28 am

I've used barrel staves and heads that I've cut up into finger sized pieces and toast/char myself. Leave the staves and ends stacked out in the yard until I need some then clean em up and toast/char as needed. A 1/2 barrel oak planter from home depot has provided plenty oak for the next few years but I like some variety so pick up some interesting pieces to add to the seasoning pile whenever I come across some white oak. Also keeping my eyes open for a bit of fruit wood that I can mark and season. Doesn't take much and i'll reuse it too in some cases.

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Demy
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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Demy » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:46 am

In the past I toasted pieces of wood myself to make a particular beer, I think the same can be done for spirits. If you want to buy them, also consider the wine supply stores in fact they are also used for wine.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Bushman » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:57 am

Along with the mentioned wood staves a Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Lowes that carry bbq equipment probably sell Jack Daniels Wood chips. Like Demy I usually give them a quick char with my torch.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Sailman » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:07 am

I'm not really looking to use wood chips as I have some on chips right now and I really don't want to have to buy a planter to be able to get what I need.. I was looking more for new white oak cubes or strips.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Demy » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:36 pm

Bushman wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:57 am
Along with the mentioned wood staves a Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Lowes that carry bbq equipment probably sell Jack Daniels Wood chips. Like Demy I usually give them a quick char with my torch.
I had them roasted in an electric oven, they are evenly cooked. I have modified a small electric oven with a spinning basket, I use it for special malts for beer and I have also used it for wood.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Demy » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:40 pm

Sailman wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:07 am
I'm not really looking to use wood chips as I have some on chips right now and I really don't want to have to buy a planter to be able to get what I need.. I was looking more for new white oak cubes or strips.
As mentioned, you could try it in a wine shop or if you have access to a timber shop (untreated, natural wood).

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by 8Ball » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:48 pm

As mentioned earlier, get a half-barrel planter at a home improvement store. Another option: Find a firewood pile and pick through it for heartwood. https://homedistiller.org/forum/downloa ... &mode=view

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:30 pm

Unless you know someone in the wine industry who has acess to quality pre toasted oak sticks your easiest option is to buy some from the range that some of the Still Dragon fellas stock.
Ive found those to work well.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Sailman » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:40 pm

https://www.ebay.com/i/173862907755?chn ... tOEALw_wcB

I found this on eBay what did you guys think?

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Bushman » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:27 pm

Another option is the heartwood of a fruit tree, oak is not your only choice.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 pm

Sailman wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:40 pm
https://www.ebay.com/i/173862907755?chn ... tOEALw_wcB

I found this on eBay what did you guys think?
Seems reasonable.

I am not sure where you live. But if you have White Oak in your area I can assure you there is a local saw mill that has some. There are guys that are charging people to remove trees, especially after storms. If the trees are of good quality they take them back to a mill yard and will cut them into boards and sell the boards. Or they will sell them to a mill yard that will turn them into boards. Lot of demand for these rough cut type of boards. Here is a link of a guy doing exactly what I am talking about. You can find them on google, facebook or even craigs list. https://www.facebook.com/SniCreekSawmil ... _todo_tour

You have to cut it, and dry it yourself. Get a few big boards and you'll be set for many years to come. Hell, if you get good at it, have the time, and space, you can start selling on ebay like the guy in your link. :D

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 pm

Sailman wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:40 pm
https://www.ebay.com/i/173862907755?chn ... tOEALw_wcB

I found this on eBay what did you guys think?
Seems reasonable.

I am not sure where you live. But if you have White Oak in your area I can assure you there is a local saw mill that has some. There are guys that are charging people to remove trees, especially after storms. If the trees are of good quality they take them back to a mill yard and will cut them into boards and sell the boards. Or they will sell them to a mill yard that will turn them into boards. Lot of demand for these rough cut type of boards. Here is a link of a guy doing exactly what I am talking about. You can find these mills on google, facebook or even craigs list. https://www.facebook.com/SniCreekSawmil ... _todo_tour

You have to cut it, and dry it yourself. Get a few big boards and you'll be set for many years to come. Hell, if you get good at it, have the time, and space, you can start selling on ebay like the guy in your link. :D

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Saltbush Bill » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:46 pm

Do an online search for " oak adjucts" lots comes up.....might help. Some of them are real quality stuff.....problem is unless you know someone in the right place most needs to be bought in bulk.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Demy » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:00 am

Bushman wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:27 pm
Another option is the heartwood of a fruit tree, oak is not your only choice.
I agree. I also toasted chestnut wood considering that here where I live they produce many wine barrels with this wood.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Demy » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:03 am

I also saw something on amazzon, did you take a look there? https://www.amazon.com/s?k=wood+chips+f ... _ss_i_1_19

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Sailman » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:22 am

My plan is to in the future get some Oak because it's really prevalent in my area but for now I am looking for something that is already pre-seasoned. I think I'll shoot the guy on eBay a message and see.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by SuburbanShiner » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:36 am

I got this from Amazon a couple of years ago: CharcoalStore Bourbon Barrel Wood Smoking Chunks (5 Pounds)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OB ... UTF8&psc=1

Works well for me.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by greggn » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:02 am

Sailman wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:22 am
I am looking for something that is already pre-seasoned.

Do you have a HBS in your area ? Mine sells single staves from used barrels and the barrels come from both wineries and distilleries. On my last visit there were staves from red wine, tequila, and bourbon barrels. A few passes with a sander, a few cuts with a saw, and I now have plenty of seasoned oak that can be toasted/charred on demand.
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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Bushman » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:58 am

Lots of good ideas, I found some good prices and some expensive prices on a craigslist search using white oak furniture in the search.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by TDick » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:38 am

WithOrWithoutU2 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 pm

Seems reasonable.

I am not sure where you live. But if you have White Oak in your area I can assure you there is a local saw mill that has some. :D
You have to cut it, and dry it yourself. Get a few big boards and you'll be set for many years to come.
I may have shared this a couple of years ago.
It was about lunchtime when I pulled up to a small saw mill/lumber yard.
Old guy standing out front. His company.

I told him I was looking for a piece of oak, untreated and the older the better.
He thought about it and we walked over to a small shed with some boards.
He asked what I was using it for.
"Well I got a buddy - always blame your buddy - and he wants us to age some cheap bourbon and some of that moonshine they sell at the State store"

He just smiled a little bit and the conversation evolved into when he was a young buck and they made moonshine in 55 gallon drums.

I got a 10 foot board for $2-$3 bucks.
WithOrWithoutU2 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 pm

Hell, if you get good at it, have the time, and space, you can start selling on ebay like the guy in your link. :D
:idea: Not a bad idea.
Last edited by TDick on Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by jonnys_spirit » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:19 am

Buying pre-toasted/charred sticks is perfectly fine for a quick fix but keeping a small stack outside seasoning with some different oak and fruit woods lends itself to more options IMO and it's pretty easy. I've used cubes (from LHBS), chips (BBQ and other), spirals (LHBS), and done my own. I definitely prefer my own because I can toast and char them differently to get a broader range of product with more depth. It's way cheaper too so win from all sides.

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water into whiskey into water
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16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:44 am

TDick wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:38 am
WithOrWithoutU2 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 pm

Seems reasonable.

I am not sure where you live. But if you have White Oak in your area I can assure you there is a local saw mill that has some. :D
You have to cut it, and dry it yourself. Get a few big boards and you'll be set for many years to come.
I may have shared this a couple of years ago.
It was about lunchtime when I pulled up to a small saw mill/lumber yard.
Old guy standing out front. His company.

I told him I was looking for a piece of oak, untreated and the older the better.
He thought about it and we walked over to a small shed with some boards.
He asked what I was using it for.
"Well I got a buddy - always blame your buddy - and he wants us to age some cheap bourbon and some of that moonshine they sell at the State store"

He just smiled a little bit and the conversation evolved into when he was a young buck and they made moonshine in 55 gallon drums.

I got a 10 foot board for $2-$3 bucks.
WithOrWithoutU2 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 pm

Hell, if you get good at it, have the time, and space, you can start selling on ebay like the guy in your link. :D
:idea: Not a bad idea.
I've posted this before, but I had a similar experience.

When I found my local saw mill. When I pulled up, there was an old guy and a young guy. The young guy came to help me and I told him I just needed a couple boards. I told him I was looking for just a couple board with as much heart wood as possible. I told him ideally it would have been seasoned for at least two years. The old guy then looked up and told the young guy to grab a couple specific boards. Then he looked at me, gave me a wink and a nod, and said "That's what you are looking for". As I am paying he just asked, "Infusing"? I gave him a wink and a nod back. LOL.

This was about 2 years ago. I think I paid $40 for 2 boards. Each about 1 1/2" thick and 18" wide and 10ft long. I cut them to about 3ft length boards and have seasoning outside is stack. I need to clean them up and then bring them in the garage to finish air drying over the winter. Then plane them down, and cut down into stick size. I can't imagine I will need more for another 5-10 years as I only run maybe 6-9 batches a year including my neutrals.

It could total be a nice side job for someone that has a halfway decent wood shop and a little space for seasoning the wood. It would take 1-2 years before someone would have properly seasoned product. I do not have a shop and will probably have to go over to a buddies place to cut my own boards down to size. What I do know to do is build a website and know how to get that website found by people looking on the internet for oak sticks for aging/infusing. Happy to help anyone with this part of it if they wanted.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:50 am

It you do find a lumber yard/sawmill you just want to make sure the boards have not been kiln dried. You want them dried/season just by they air.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Corsaire » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:56 am

I've never seasoned my own oak but shouldn't it also be out in the rain to wash excess tannins out? So not just air dried?

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by SaltyStaves » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:40 pm

Corsaire wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:56 am
I've never seasoned my own oak but shouldn't it also be out in the rain to wash excess tannins out? So not just air dried?
You can start out with kiln dried or air dried pieces, but both need to be put through cycles of wet/dry seasoning. As well as washing out some of the more undesirable tannins, fungi that grow on the wood break down cellulose into hemicellulose which turns into delicious brown sugars when charred/toasted.

I'm in an area where there is drought and my own oak hasn't had the rain it needs this year. Its got very little mold growth and I'm predicting a shortage in my stocks unless spring is going to start raining every other day.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:12 pm

Corsaire wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:56 am
I've never seasoned my own oak but shouldn't it also be out in the rain to wash excess tannins out? So not just air dried?
Yes. This is why I've had mine outside for the past two years. I've also read some have just rinse off with hose or submerging in barrels of water multiple times of the course of a year or so.

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by WithOrWithoutU2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:23 pm

SaltyStaves wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:40 pm
Corsaire wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:56 am
I've never seasoned my own oak but shouldn't it also be out in the rain to wash excess tannins out? So not just air dried?
You can start out with kiln dried or air dried pieces, but both need to be put through cycles of wet/dry seasoning. .....
Salty, I have read if Kiln dried, it can "lock" in the tannins and then putting them through the wet dry cycles do not really work well in getting rid of the tannins. But I do not have practical experience, nor do I recall reading it from expert per se. It could have just been from someone like me repeating "what they heard".

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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by SaltyStaves » Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:04 pm

WithOrWithoutU2 wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:23 pm
Salty, I have read if Kiln dried, it can "lock" in the tannins and then putting them through the wet dry cycles do not really work well in getting rid of the tannins. But I do not have practical experience, nor do I recall reading it from expert per se. It could have just been from someone like me repeating "what they heard".
I haven't heard that before. There is at least one big cooperage that I know kiln dries first (think it could be Brown Forman, but don't quote me on that). They are probably too massive to have a seasoning yard that can hold vast stocks for 12+ months.

For my own oak, I kept aside some of it that never saw the weather and there is a noticeable difference. If I run the kiln dried piece under my nose it doesn't really smell of much and my top lip feels like I've just had some chilli. Same thing if I make tea with it. The weathered stuff gives me no irritation and smells very nice when I'm planing it.
Having said that, there could be different degrees of kilning which make a significant difference to the outcome.
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Re: Where to buy oak?

Post by Sailman » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:09 am

https://midwestbarrelco.com/shop/20-aut ... -narrower/

Does anybody have any experience with this company, it looks like it may be a better option to me.

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