Other Added Oak at Wrong Time

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QuiQuog

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Sommelier Select
Old Vine Merlot
4.2 gallon kit
I misread the instructions and added all of the oak to primary ferment. It was supposed to go into secondary. I didn't weigh it, but it was 4 small packs of light oak, and 1 larger dark oak, both unlabeled. I removed it after 4 days of the 6 days of primary fermentation when I realized my mistake. As I recall, oak added to the primary adds tannins and maybe some other stuff, but does little to add oak flavor. Is that true of secondary also? My question is if I want to add oak cubes while in bulk aging for flavor, would it increase tannins to something unpleasantly tannic? I know this may be subjective, but maybe you could share your experiences with this kind of mistake.

Incidentally, this same kit said to rack into secondary when it was between 1.01 and 1.02 SG. It had stopped frothing by day 5 of primary, then it said to add yeast nutrient. Then it started frothing pretty heavily, probably an inch or two of foam. I went ahead and racked anyway. I had to rig up an overflow into a jug of water due to the heavy activity. Would you have let it go dry in the primary rather than racking while it was frothing so heavily?
 
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ChuckD

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I would not have racked with that much activity. Use the SG instead of a schedule.

what form was the oak? Cubes, staves, or spirals take a few weeks to give up all their tannin and taste. Powder and “sawdust” give it up quicker.
 

Ohio Bob

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If you saved the oak and kept it rinsed and clean you should be able to add it back for the secondary. If you tossed it you’ll have to estimate the volume or weight and add it back in. It was originally intended to be the correct amount so adding it back in at secondary will give you the right amount. There should be no problems.
 

tmcfadden932

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Oak added during fermentation will help in color retention not much else. Get some more cubes or the like and add during the aging process. You can rack the wine off the oak when it gets to your liking.
 

QuiQuog

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I would not have racked with that much activity. Use the SG instead of a schedule.

what form was the oak? Cubes, staves, or spirals take a few weeks to give up all their tannin and taste. Powder and “sawdust” give it up quicker.
That's kind of what I was thinking. Although I didn't rack because of a schedule, I racked because it was the right SG. It said to rack between 1.01 and 1.02. It was at 1.016. At the rate it was going, it would be dry in a couple of days. I decided to rack because I needed the active slurry for a prepared batch of skeeter pee that I immediately started last night. Which by the way was also foaming pretty heavily already this morning. The oak was in fairly splintered chip form. Almost shreds.

I tossed the oak chips but I did get some medium toast American cubes to add to it while bulk aging depending on the suggestions I get here. Looks like tmcfadden932 and I are thinking along the same lines. I though I would start with an ounce or two and reassess in a couple of months.
 

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