Anyone made oak wood chips from oak boards?

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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speedfreaksteve
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Anyone made oak wood chips from oak boards?

Post by speedfreaksteve » Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:14 pm

I have an almost limitless supply of oak boards. Can I hack these up and toast them to use just like oak chips?

These are unused boards that are about 4 years old at least.

rezaxis
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Post by rezaxis » Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:42 pm

I read in here somewhere to cut them up in 1 X 1 pieces, toast them in tin foil. Use them in glass and in used barrels.
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Uncle Remus
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Post by Uncle Remus » Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:47 pm

I run em through a jointer and collect and toast the chips.
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Aidas
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Post by Aidas » Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:46 pm

If the oak boards are untreated -- go nuts. Use 'em.

I split the oak into strips about 10 cm long, 1.5 cm x 1 cm. wide. I wrap them into aluminum foil -- up to two layers of 5-6 strips. The packet ends up looking like a sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil.

I bake them in a 200 degrees celsius oven for two hours (light toast) or 4 hours (dark toast). Next time, I'm going to toast for 3 hours, as I've noticed that 2 hour toast is a little too light for my taste, and 4 hours produces a strip that gives sooooooo much color to the distillate, that it turns almost black (though the taste is very nice).

This toasting brings out vanilla flavors in my oak, and I'm very happy with it.

Aidas

level Joe
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Post by level Joe » Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:54 pm

If you can be sure they are white oak, yea, go nuts.
If your not sure , I wouldnt use em or I would try a small sample to see if its something youll like.
In cut boards it is very hard to tell what is white and what is red oak (its not as easy as the names imply).
The wood of red oak is not always "red" and the wood of white oak is not always "white".
Some people can tell by the smell when the boards are cut.
Some who dont do much with wood are fooled by look of ash.
I have never used red oak, some here have and say its not good.
I hope you got the good stuff :D , good luck.
Salus populi suprema est lex. [L.] The safety of the people is the highest law.

speedfreaksteve
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Post by speedfreaksteve » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:21 pm

I'm pretty sure that it's all red oak. :(

It has that very deep pink color.

Aidas
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Post by Aidas » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:48 pm

Ah, the advantages of living in Europe... No red oak. Though we don't have quercus alba (white oak), we have the traditional quercus robur, which does me just fine.

Everything I've read points away from using red oak.

BTW I know there was another thread about telling the difference between oaks, so do a search.

Aidas

speedfreaksteve
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Post by speedfreaksteve » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:15 am

I own a good sized property with 100's of trees. I just wish I could identify a white oak. Then I'd pull out the chainsaw and go to town.

Uncle Remus
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Post by Uncle Remus » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:44 am

Do a search on oak trees, there's lots of info, I'm sure you could figure out what you got.

My partner uses red oak all the time for aging his whiskies on. It tastes just fine. I usually use white oak chips for mine.

I read somewhere that white oak is used for barrels over red oak because of the structure of the wood, it's too hard to make staves out of red oak that will seal. .....so if it was written as a lie, I'm repeating it as a lie :wink:
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.

sherriff Buffoerd pusser
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Post by sherriff Buffoerd pusser » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:51 am

White oak will have a loose bark that you can pull away.red will have much tighter bark.make sure it isnt what we call piss oak I think name says all dont think you would wont to use it for flavor.
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goose eye
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Post by goose eye » Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:40 am

look at the leaf an bark . if you cut a oak that smells like cat pee it
probably red

TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY
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Post by TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY » Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:36 am

When you look at the bark on a white oak, the structure changes from top to bottom. Bottom of tree has large (slaby if you will) sheets of bark. As it gets to the top, the bark will tighten up to small sheets, almost as small as a dime.

If your gonna cut a tree, it'll be a while before you can use it anyway unless you have a kiln available to ya. :wink:
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arkansas
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Post by arkansas » Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:44 pm

Speed, I was just reading and wondered if you have been able to figure out if you had white oak or red oak?
After sawing heading for several years, it is pretty easy to tell the difference. Make a fresh cut, on the end of the board, across the grain, and look at the end of the board. If you see the the little rings with little holes in between the rings, this is most likely red oak and in the barrel business, won't hold whiskey, if you see the little rings with just more rings between them, it is most likely white oak or a varation there of, many, many barrels have post oak, white oak, and even some other oaks that the name seems bad for whiskey but never know and none will ever tell.

arkansas
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Post by arkansas » Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:52 pm

I will try to figure out how to post some pics. if you interested.

junkyard dawg
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Post by junkyard dawg » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:10 pm

I'm very interested. I've got live, spanish, blackjack, post and some others too. Seems like the more i learn about woods the more I realize that I don't know much about wood... :shock:

arkansas
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Post by arkansas » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:46 pm

Will get some pics. in the morning and see if I can get them here.

arkansas
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Post by arkansas » Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:53 am

Here is a web address for a pic. of white shown on top and red oak just under it, the pic. really doesn't show the detail like I would like, but think you can see the difference. Red oak is like a straw, you can blow soap bubbles through a fairly long piece, where you can't with white oak. http://www.geocities.com/md_chitwood/in ... 4555959509" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

MORGAN
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OAK

Post by MORGAN » Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:11 pm

Ain't I lucky. I've got a three foot diameter white oak down and dry on my property. Look out, here comes the chain saw. Will see how it works in my sour mash. It's already so good I can"t hardly stand it. Ya'll come. M.

pintoshine
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Post by pintoshine » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:19 am

I read all the stuff about oak barrels a long time ago.
White oak used here in america is mostly because it is one of only ones that makes water tight barrels. The french oak has to be cut in a special way to keep it from leaking. I think the rumor is that the wood type is the flavoring component but I believe it is to keep the spirit in the barrel for so many years. Most wood wicks water through it quite readily.
I have a friend at Kevin Cooperage and he says that ash and hickory are also used as a stave or two by accident but go unnoticed.
I go down to the amish just for oak boards for keg making and charring.
I like a nice shallow alligator peel. I use a propane torch to lightly char staves that are just small enough to slip into a 750 ml wine bottle. They are usually 1x1cm x 10 cm long. I use about 4 of them to a bottle and they will color up in a few days and flavor up in about a month.
I light them up really good so as to char the outside well but not burn them up. I'll make some pictures over the next few days.
I have used red and white oak with not much difference in taste. Post oak is a bit sour, and the one we call "Piss" oak (if you smell this one cut you will know why it is called that) has a real high vanilla flavor. Hickory makes it spicy like bar-b-que. Mesquite is nice but kinda smoky. Sugar maple, ash, beech and sycamore makes a real nice pleasent mellow coloring but no real flavor.

arkansas
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Post by arkansas » Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:41 pm

It is a matter of ,if it will hold, when it comes to making a barrel, the family of the white oak has the right grain, barrel makers are not worried about taste. Many of the oak family can not be determened after being sawn, but if it leaks, problably a knot or not sawn right. Taste, bet you have drank out of that barrel too. :shock:

Aidas
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Post by Aidas » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:15 am

Pintoshine:
I think the rumor is that the wood type is the flavoring component but I believe it is to keep the spirit in the barrel for so many years. (...) Hickory makes it spicy like bar-b-que. Mesquite is nice but kinda smoky. Sugar maple, ash, beech and sycamore makes a real nice pleasent mellow coloring but no real flavor.
You're being inconsistent... the wood type is just to keep the spirit in the barrel? Or does your laundry list of different flavor effects of different woods stand? :wink:

In any case, conventional wisdom, history, and experience show that different woods, toasted at different temperatures, for a different amount of time, will impart different FLAVORS to a distillate.

As I like to experiment with European oak (quercus robur) and with apple, I always age my product on both in different containers. The result is essentially two differnt drinks.

Aidas

pintoshine
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Inconsistency

Post by pintoshine » Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:36 am

I am sorry to sound Inconsistent. I didn't make clear my delineation between barrel aging and infusion methods.

The first statement about the keeping the spirit in the barrel was due to the fact of my limited exposure to manufactured barrels. Seems there is only a choice of two woods. Where I live there are surplus barrels everywhere. If you show up at the right time at some of the distilleries, they will give you the barrels. Every barrel I have ever gotten has been deeply charred, and white American oak. There has been no variation in the thousands of barrels I've (excuse me) burned for firewood.

There are sources of different available charring available. Independent Stave will make you any level of charring/toasting you want from no char (scraped) to excessively deep charring. Variable chars must exist but I’ve never seen one.

The laundry list is of ones I have personally tried. This is for infusion materials, which isn't done at a commercial level here in the USA. The laws in the USA forbid it even for wine making if you want to label it as aged. It is a huge labeling nightmare. If there one thing we do have in the USA is an unlimited supply of legal limitations on commercialism.

The only reason the bourbon made here has to be in a new, charred oak barrels is because the cooper's guild had enough lobbying power to make sure they had infinite demand for barrels. There are a few very good whiskeys made here in Kentucky that utilize used barrels. Early Times is one of them but the label doesn't say Bourbon just sour mash on the whiskey aged in used barrels. Of course there are quite a few blends that come from used barrels.

Excuse my frustration with too many laws.

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