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CabSauv

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I had a beer brewing friend at work go to a beer brewing expo in New York last week and he brought back a bunch of samples of different oak varieties both cubes and spiral staves for me. Perfect timing for my second batch. I'm on a roll for cheap/free equipment and additives. Next on the list is either a press or barrel, in due time. :db
 

CabSauv

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What does everyone prefer...cubes, chips, staves? Of course a barrel would be the preference but do you let the wine determine what you use or just what comes with the kit? I know with my first batch I bought extra wood chips, french oak to be exact, to go in addition with the oak chips that came with the kit.
 

Mismost

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I like chips in the primary bucket...lotta surface area and gives up it's flavor quick.

In carboys I like the spirals or sticks...something I can tie a string on and pull quickly without having to rack the whole carboy if required.
 

jburtner

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So far I've used chips in the primary and both spirals and cubes in secondary for wines. I put some dark chips into a bulk ageing mead cider because I had some. I am looking for white oak sources locally or old barrels so I can run pieces through the table saw and toast them. 400F for 2h. Give or take a little time and temp and you have light medium heavy - charred or straight up toasted.

Cheers!
-johann
 

Brian55

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Chips in primary. During bulk aging I'll use cubes if they came with the kit, but I'll usually add more of my own. Been using Xoakers lately, but I haven't bottled anything that I've used them in just yet. Cubes and spirals are a PITA to remove from the carboy. Xoakers should just roll right out.
 

meadmaker1

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I didnt like the debris from chips, perhaps there are verities that are more uniform, was more like a hand full of course saw dust. Although they were quick. Very noticable in short time.
Have used cubes on last few batches. I can pick um out any time. I prefer the slower release, it keeps me from a tight schedule. Simply add more to speed things up.
 

Johny99

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I use coarse chips in my whites, barrels for reds with spirals or staves when I don't have enough to fill a barrel. Someday I'll actually do some experiments to see which I like best:?
 

cgallamo

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What does everyone prefer...cubes, chips, staves? Of course a barrel would be the preference but do you let the wine determine what you use or just what comes with the kit? I know with my first batch I bought extra wood chips, french oak to be exact, to go in addition with the oak chips that came with the kit.
I Use un-toasted chips or preferably powder in the ferment. I agree with @mismost it provides good bang for the buck on flavor. But more importantly there is evidence that getting the oak to the wine as soon as possible helps structure and protect the wine - specifically in terms of oxidation. So I use this technique mostly for reds I would like to age. I have started moving my wines to 50L Vadai barrels as soon as possible - for micro oxygenation, which should help protect the wines for long term as well. When the barrels are new this can only be done for a few months.

I like to oak my blueberry wines with local white oak. Like @jburtner I use local staves in the carboy. I'll just cut a limb off a tree, rip it to 1x1, drill a hole in it, broil it to toast, sanitize it, tie fishing line and drop it in the carboy. I'll do a dozen or so at a time.
 
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