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Old 08-10-2017, 06:28 AM   #1
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Is there an amount or comparison to apply between using Oak Cubes/Chips etc.. to equate to using a percentage of new oak barrels?

Example: If I want to add oak chips to my secondary that would be comparable to aging my wine in 20% new oak, I would add how much? If the manufacturer reccomends 3 oz per 5 gallons, would that equate to 100% new oak?

I found this PDF from Morewine which would seem to indicate that:

So in my example, .6 oz per 5 gallons would equal 20% new oak.
Thanks for any input.

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Old 08-10-2017, 06:43 AM   #2
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if you were using a barrel the percentage of oak added to the wine would be by tasting, a percentage would be difficult to determine. my point being trying to equate number of cubes to a percent of oak is certainly could start with the concept of so many cubes equate to a percentage but it still would come down to your taste level for the oak. if the smaller amount doesn't suffice then a larger dose would be in order. be aware that the smaller dose could take longer to achieve the level you desire.

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Old 08-10-2017, 07:13 AM   #3
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I was trying to equate how wineries who say that there wine was aged in 20% new oak to home winemakers that do not use barrels but use oak cubes.

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Old 08-10-2017, 09:35 AM   #4
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Make ten batches of wine and oak 2 of them. Blend all. Or 5/1 or similar ratio. I think that generally means that they purchase and incorporate 20% new barrels into their production each year then blend... so 20% new oak also may insinuate 80% old oak.


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Old 08-10-2017, 01:18 PM   #5
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Apples and Oranges are hard to compare.

20% New Oak means that 20% of the wine went into a brand new barrel. The other 80% went into a once used or something other than new. All the wine is then blended together before it hits the bottling line.

Use the biggest form of oak you can afford to purchase if you want your wines to taste like the oak out of a barrel. Chips are the lowest form of oak and produce the least barrel like oak expression. This all applies to oak quality which is not IMHO the main reason to put a wine into a barrel. Micro Oxidation and Concentration through Evaporation is what makes an oak barrel the tool you want to have in your tool box if you are looking to take your wines to that next level and closer to a commercial wine.

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Old 08-10-2017, 05:40 PM   #6
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I understand the benefit of Micro Ox using a barrel and to that end because I don't have a barrel right now I plan on trying a speidel which will provide micro oxygenation.

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Old 08-18-2017, 08:12 PM   #7
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I just did a batch of Zin last Fall and used oak cubes in one carboy and xoakers in the other. I used 8 xoakers for 3 gallons, which is a pretty high rate, but the xoaker batch was much smoother and had less harshness than the cube batch (both Am Med+, 8 xoakers for 3 gallons, 60 grams cubes for the 5 gallon carboy - had chips in the common primary for sacrificial tannins). At this point the batch is only eleven months old, so too early to make a definitive judgement that the xoakers are a "better" vehicle to add oak if you don't use a barrel.

Someday I'll grow up and get a barrel, but I need a cost effective way to check SO2 and the money to pay for it, so for now I'm experimenting with different oak additives to get the wine I like. I think I really like these xoakers (which supposedly add oak character for up to a year in the carboy). More tests are in the pipeline, just not far enough along to comment on yet.

Location: Southern PA

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