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How do you oak your wine?

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skyfire322

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My wine is getting ready to go into bulk aging, and I'll be aging with French oak cubes. I'm curious, do you make a cheese cloth "sock" (essentially a filter) and boil for 10 minutes or do you just drop them right in?

I'm sure the latter of the two may result in a bit of sediment.
 

salcoco

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just wash and spray with a k-meta 10% solution and then drop in. they will float for awhile then once saturated drop to the bottom. sediment is minimal
 

Mismost

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I just finished a Trinity White batch and was under-whelmed with it...I split it and "oaked" half of it with a LD Carlson product called Dual Smooth. It had a package of glycerine and package of liquid oak extract. American Instant Gratification at it's finest....so far. It did make an immediate improvement in my book...will see how it holds up over time.

Was wondering if anyone else had used this product? Or in a beer? I bought it to use in a beer.
 

mainshipfred

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I just bought some for a cheap 10l Malbec at the recommendation of a local wine supply company. I'm a little afraid to use it but you seem to have liked the results. I know it's only been a month but have you tried it lately?
 

Bodenski

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I have used oak chips from LD Carlson. Soak for an hour and then drop in. I’ve just soaked in water, and so far I haven’t noticed any funk coming from the carboys. I think I’d rather use spirals, but I haven’t gotten around to ordering any yet.
 

skyfire322

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I think I’d rather use spirals, but I haven’t gotten around to ordering any yet.
I'm thinking I'm going to use spirals or planks for my next batch of red. The red I currently have has been sitting in 3 oz of heavy toasted cubes for two months with no oak aroma/flavor at all.
 

Ajmassa

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I'm thinking I'm going to use spirals or planks for my next batch of red. The red I currently have has been sitting in 3 oz of heavy toasted cubes for two months with no oak aroma/flavor at all.

I used cubes and never noticed much either. But got some great oak extracted with a spiral sitting for the full 3 months. Tied onto fishing line hanging in the carboy. (I'll even change the height of the spiral every few weeks). After a couple successfully oaked reds using spirals I cannot see myself using cubes ever again. Though I am intrigued by the Xoakers.

As far as you original question, I might be in the minority. Cubes and spirals I just put right into the wine. I used to rinse first, but now I put in dry directly from the package. I wasn't worried knowing my wine is properly sulphited, and any particles or sediment will be left behind on the next rack.
 
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NorCal

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I've used powder (never again), cubes, staves, spirals and barrels.

In rank order, I like:
60 gallon barrel
30 gallon barrel
Staves
Spiral
Cubes
Chips (Never used, but would put them here)
Powder
Oak flavoring (Never used)
 

NorCal

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Do you think adding something like a light oak spiral for the last month be overkill?
Depends. A big Cab, no. A delicate Pinot, yes. Add and check each week, knowing that the oak will fade over time, so it's ok to overshoot on the oak a little. I'm assuming you are making 5 gallons
 

skyfire322

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It's a Sangiovese/Merlot blend which is on the light side, so I think it might be worth a shot. If it turns out to be a bit too much, lesson learned!

Thanks all for your input!
 

Ajmassa

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It's a Sangiovese/Merlot blend which is on the light side, so I think it might be worth a shot. If it turns out to be a bit too much, lesson learned!

Thanks all for your input!

I had a bottle of a Sangiovese/Merlot blend last week that was aged in oak. This week I had a different bottle of a very similar blend that was aged in stainless steel tanks. I enjoyed the oaked blend more, and the other one, tho still very good, would have tasted better to me if had been in oak. I gave my Tuscan kit a healthy dose of heavy American and I'm very happy how it's coming along.
For just 1 month personally I'd give it medium or heavy toast.
 

baron4406

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It's a Sangiovese/Merlot blend which is on the light side, so I think it might be worth a shot. If it turns out to be a bit too much, lesson learned!

Thanks all for your input!
If it gets a little too much, age always helps wine. Last week we cracked a bottle of Sangiovese that tasted like crap two years ago. Now its tastes like a $100 bottle of wine. TIME. I Imake 500+ bottles a year and I'm starting to set aside 3-5 bottles for the future on every batch.
 

skyfire322

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Well, I splurged and bought some medium+ French oak spirals, which should be coming tomorrow. Once I get them sanitized, I'll plop them in for a few weeks and start doing weekly tastings! :D
 

sdelli

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Really takes months not weeks.... But it really depends what taste you are looking for. A few months of a spiral will really not make or break.
 

David A. Day

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My wine is getting ready to go into bulk aging, and I'll be aging with French oak cubes. I'm curious, do you make a cheese cloth "sock" (essentially a filter) and boil for 10 minutes or do you just drop them right in?

I'm sure the latter of the two may result in a bit of sediment.
I use Xoaker balls from XtraChene. They are round and are easily removed from barrels when done. They go great on the smoker after your done too.
 

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