Other Bourbon barrel aged Zin

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tjgaul

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Seeking thoughts on an idea.

I have tried a few of the bourbon barrel aged Cab Sauvs and Zins and I have found them to be interesting. I don't think I need a case of this, but I thought I might experiment with a gallon.

Here's what I was thinking. Take an oak spiral and break off three 1" pieces, soak them in bourbon for a couple weeks and then let them dry thoroughly. Add one piece to a 4L jug of Zin that is aging and taste in 2 weeks. If the flavor is coming through then great, rack off the oak and let age a while. If no significant flavor is detectable add another 1" piece and repeat as necessary.

I'm looking to get that nice hint of bourbon, but I'm sure there are other flavors that would likely enhance this, possibly vanilla and maybe tart cherries.

All thoughts, concerns, warnings and advise are welcome.
 

Boatboy24

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Totally worth experimenting, and I think your idea is good.
 

Redbird1

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Fun idea. Personally, I'd start with 1 piece and increase from there. You can always add more, but not the other way around. I don't know what size barrels the wineries use when making theirs (surface area/volume ratio) or how long they it let soak, so I'd play it safe. It will likely be aging for a while, so you'll have time to add more.

All that said, I think your plan would likely work out perfectly fine. If the spiral pieces are completely dry, it probably would be adding flavor rather slowly, but there's no way to be sure. If you do decide to go with three, I'd suggest maybe testing it sooner than 2 weeks.
 

jburtner

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I have started doing this with both wine and spirits. I have three gallons each worth of rum / tequila / whiskey. Solera style - take some out, put some in.... Cycle newly toasted and charred oak / etc through too every so often... I put a handful of blueberries and 1/4cup of coffee and some raisins and little bit of a vanilla bean into the rum along with oak (all fairly subtle)... The tequila just got the toasted and charred oak chips for a mescal type thing...

ie;
- Using wine infused oak pieces and new oak pieces to age more neutral and cheaper spirits from the liquor store. Red wines, White wines, Ports, Sherry's - different flavors and colors.
- Also using spirit flavored oak (borboun etc) as used oak pieces in a wine batch.....

I have found that this elevates your liquor cabinet with some very nice small-batch style spirits for your fun and krafty cocktails and I have started pulling and filtering 750's as soon as two months on oak with good results... Pretty much keep it on the oak though and top up after two 750's or so come out.... Maintaining overall ~65% ABV for aging and extraction...

Basically turns a $20 bottle of corn liquor / etc into a small batch $80-$100 so I spent the $100 on a gallon of the cheap corn liquor instead ;)

Use everclear to proof it up to about 65% for the "barrel or oak aging" then distilled water to proof it back down to 40% for bottling or decanting and drinking... You'll need a hydrometer in that range for measuring proof.

All that used oak is labeled and goes into the freezer for the next batch of "wine or whatever"....

Cheers!
-johann
 

Mismost

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interesting idea....I wouldn't wait for it to dry, you want bourbon flavor, you got it.

I also like strings on my oak sticks or spirals....you can pull it out real quick....it will always get ready when you don't have time to rack it!
 

tjgaul

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interesting idea....I wouldn't wait for it to dry, you want bourbon flavor, you got it.

I also like strings on my oak sticks or spirals....you can pull it out real quick....it will always get ready when you don't have time to rack it!
I've heard of the string idea, but I don't get how you have a string attached and keep the carboy under airlock. Can you get a good seal with a string coming out or do you let the string fall inside and fish it out to pull the oak?
 

Boatboy24

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I've heard of the string idea, but I don't get how you have a string attached and keep the carboy under airlock. Can you get a good seal with a string coming out or do you let the string fall inside and fish it out to pull the oak?
Use a thin fishing line. Preferably one without fish or worm guts on it. ;)
 

jburtner

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I have tested with string and fishing line. These do not keep a seal when used with a headspace eliminator. At least not in my tests. The vacuum was lost within a day. Now When I use spirals I break them up into 1-2" pieces that come out easily. I'll do the same with some staves that I have from a JD 1/2 barrel once I cut those down and toast em up for use as new oak. I'll remove the old char and outside bits with the band saw chop saw and table saw. The 1/2 barrel cost $39 @ home depot so that's a pretty good deal for turning into aging oak compared to LHBS prices on spirals etc...

Cheers!
-johann
 

tjgaul

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I've got my oak spirals soaked and ready to go. I ended up with a 4 gallon batch if Zin blush which got the benefit of 2nd's grape skins from both Cab Sauv and Merlot kits that just completed primary. Only 4 gallons because ai stole 750ml of concentrate to make a gallon of port wine.

Hope to start the experiment this weekend. The 4L I set aside looks pretty clear so I'll rack it and put in the first piece of oak.

I found a side benefit already. The Jim Beam I soaked the oak in has turned a nice deep brown color and really puts a twist on the standard Manhattan. 1 part regular JB, 1 part oaky JB, plus the usual vermouth and cherry. A nice change of pace.
 

tjgaul

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I ran into minor issue with my plan. The oak spirals I have flavored do not fit into the neck of a 4L jug. I had to break the oak up into smaller chunks to get it into the wine, but the first dose has been administered. Now, I will wait 2 weeks and see how it tastes. I also have 3 gallons from the same batch aging in a separate carboy so I will have a control specimen to taste against.

More updates in a couple weeks.
 

tjgaul

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9-27 Tasted the Zin and still barely any noticeable oak or bourbon. Added another 1" of bourbon infused oak spiral. This is number 3. More updates in 3-4 weeks.

The wine is still young, but the flavor is good. It just seems to be missing something . . . oh yeah, the oak and the bourbon!
 

Rocky

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tjgaul

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Tim, here is another approach that might give you what you want. These extracts are very strong and require some good bench testing before scaling up. I have not used the bourbon flavor, but I have used other extracts successfully.

https://www.kitchenkrafts.com/product/bourbon-flavor-1-oz/made-in-usa?p=GoogleProdAd&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Finch Shopping: Kitchen Krafts 31345&utm_term=4580977758221537&utm_content=FL0215: Bourbon Flavor, 1 oz.
Thanks. I bookmarked that site for later use. I'm going to let this little batch progress further, but I will definitely look into using the extracts for the next round.

Appreciate the recommendation!
 

tjgaul

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Rocky,

Just wondering if you have any experience with the peach flavoring. I have a batch of Viognier in primary right now and I was considering splitting it up in a few months and making some oaked and some peach flavored. Any thoughts on the matter?



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