Fermentation oak chips...

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Bmd2k1

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Looking for some insight/feedback on the use of oak chips during fermentation & whether the end vino will have much difference depending on the type (American/French/Hungarian) & toast used. Focusing on chips for this discussion...

Thanks & Cheers!
 

winemaker81

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Last fall I used shredded medium toast French and American oak for fermentation. For 2 batches of Merlot, I used American in one and French in the other. There was a difference in taste that was obvious at the end of fermentation. We preferred the American -- the French had a bit of a sour taste.

This fall I'm using all American.
 

verdot

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You will have more control over the amount of oak when you have completed primary fermentation and have the ability to rack the wine off the oak when it’s to your taste. Different oak chips will have subtle differences depending on location, but the biggest difference is that they are chips and not a barrel, and it’s easy to over do it and impart too much primary oak flavor / tannin with chips, powder and cubes.
 

winemaker81

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Keep in mind that fermentation and aging oak have very different purposes and effects upon the wine. As @cmason1957 said, fermentation oak provides tannin. This is called "sacrificial tannin" as a lot drops with the gross lees, leaving the natural grape tannin in suspension, which provides more body to the wine. Aging oak is more about flavoring the wine.

In my last post I mentioned that American and French fermentation oak produced a flavor difference. While the wines were clearly different immediately after fermentation, I don't believe that after bulk aging there would be that much difference. I wish I had kept separate samples so I could state conclusively, but I didn't.

IME, aging oak makes a large difference, but fermentation oak much less.
 

Rembee

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I recently have been doing a lot of research on fermenting with oak chips. Throughout my research I've discovered that the use of oak chips in the active ferment helps the longevity of the wines color, lends tannins to the wine and can improve the flavor of the final wine by removing vegetal aromas, reducing astringency, and enhancing the fruit and smoothness.
 

Rembee

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"This fall I'm using all American."
Remember this Jeff, it really doesn't matter which oak chips you use during fermentation. It will not lend any oak flavor to the wine.
For oak flavor, add your oak to the bulk aging where it will sit for 1 to 2 months until it meets your taste requirements.
 
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Khristyjeff

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Remember this Jeff, it really doesn't matter which oak chips you use during fermentation. It will not lend any oak flavor to wine.
For oak flavor, add your oak to the bulk aging where it will sit for 1 to 2 months until it meets your taste requirements.
Thanks. Learning a lot from this site in short order.
 

Venatorscribe

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I recently have been doing a lot of research on fermenting with oak chips. Throughout my research I've discovered that the use of oak chips in the active ferment helps the longevity of the wines color, lends tannins to the wine and can improve the flavor of the final wine by removing vegetal aromas, reducing astringency, and enhancing the fruit and smoothness.
Cheers for that posting. That is the way I have been thinking …
 

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