How much Oak?

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by crabjoe, Oct 19, 2019.

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  1. Oct 19, 2019 #1

    crabjoe

    crabjoe

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    I bought a Fontana Cabernet Sauvignon, which did not come with any oak, so I bought some. Now I'm confused,

    I understand one adds oak to their liking, but it seems most add 3oz+ for a 5 or 6 gallon batch. My confusion is because the package directions say the 4oz of french med toast oak chips I got is enough for 25 gallons. That's a huge discrepancy between what people look to be doing versus what the oak manufacture says.

    What gives? Is LD Carson intentionally using a super light dose, where most can't even tell it's been oaked, to make it seem like their oak goes future or people on this site most oak lovers?

    I was going to add it when I racked to secondary fermentation, but not I don't know if I should use 1 oz or all 4 oz.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  2. Oct 19, 2019 #2

    jsbeckton

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    Keep in mind that time matters. If you add 3oz of oak for 14 days it won’t have the same impact as leaving it in for 90 days. That being said 4oz for 25gal seems really low.

    I’d start with what they suggest and add more if needed later. Can’t take it back once it’s in there. Time will help but I have have a kit I overoaked 2 years ago and it’s still not pleasant.
     
  3. Oct 20, 2019 #3

    crabjoe

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    Not sure if this will work, but I found an old thread with an attachment that basically says oak chips are done in about a week.

     
  4. Oct 20, 2019 #4

    jsbeckton

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    Oak chips in a week sounds about right but typically oak chips/dust are used for fermentation and then cubes are used for actual oak flavor during aging which is what I was referring to.
     
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  5. Oct 20, 2019 #5

    CDrew

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    I recommend you undershoot the oak. By a lot. You can always add more.

    Even 2oz is a lot for 5 gallons. I'd try 1 oz at the most, and then go by taste. I overoaked some last year and it tastes like a campfire. Hoping it fades in time.

    If you use the wine cubes from Stavin, their calculator is helpful, just realize you don't want 100% of new oak. This refers to the winery practice of only replacing a portion of barrels every year. Like 20-30%. ANother tip for using the calculator is to multiply your amount by 100 and then divide the final amount by 100 because the calculator isn't set up for small volume home winemaker amounts.

    https://www.stavin.com/oak-dosage-calculators/
     
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  6. Oct 21, 2019 #6

    pete1325

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    Buy some spirals, they have worked well for me. Just enough after 8 weeks in bulk storage.
     

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