Leaving Oak cubes in carboy

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by Berry Juice, Jul 10, 2019.

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  1. Jul 10, 2019 #1

    Berry Juice

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    How long can I leave oak cubes in the carboy?
    Any harm with leaving them in there for 6 months or 1yr?
    I've got some bottles that's it's been in there that long...
     
  2. Jul 10, 2019 #2

    GreginND

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    No problem leaving them in there. After they give up their flavor, they will just sit happily until you rack.
     
  3. Jul 10, 2019 #3

    tjgaul

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    The manufacturers and resellers say the oak gives up all it has to give in 6 weeks, but I think longer is better. I agree that there should be no harm in leaving it in longer.
     
  4. Jul 10, 2019 #4

    Berry Juice

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    Perfect information!
     
  5. Jul 10, 2019 #5

    salcoco

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    would suggest monitoring the taste. might over oak the wine if left there to long.
     
  6. Jul 11, 2019 #6

    CabSauv

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    For what it's worth, I left about 8-10 my cubes in the carboy with my cab for at least 4-5 months during bulk aging and it was fine, but I was looking for a dry cab. I felt with my kits that after a certain amount of time with the cubes doing taste testing and tinkering to get the flavor and mouthfeel that I wanted, the cubes kinda stopped increasing the dry mouthfeel after a certain amount of time. So with that being said, in terms of cubes, I would expect that the more cubes you add has a bigger effect on the wine compared to fewer cubes for a longer period of time. If you wanted to go a different route completely, you could try tannin powder, this would allow you to add some, stir it in, let it settle for 24-48 hours and taste test again - repeat as needed.
     
  7. Jul 11, 2019 #7

    tjgaul

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    I was online looking to order some oak and remembered someone on this forum recommended the Xoaker brand/style. Just looked them up on MoreWine and they have a much longer use period than the chips and cubes. I'm thinking of giving these a try for the next few kits.


    upload_2019-7-11_13-14-8.png
     
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  8. Jul 12, 2019 #8

    Brian55

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    I've been using them for about 2.5 years now. Bulk aging for 12 months. I like them better than cubes or spirals.
     
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  9. Jul 17, 2019 #9

    kuziwk

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    I usually Leave them in oak for 2-3 months, my super Tuscan that just came off now tastes super oaky...but oak fades. I oaked a Chardonnay with 50g American oak cubes for a week and it was already overoaked...another week or two it was blended and now you barely taste any at all...it's like magic.

    I really like the oak staves rather than cubes...they release more slowly over time and they can be reusable after racking since they are easy to get out of the carboy.
     
  10. Jul 18, 2019 #10

    CDrew

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    I've only used the cubes and a (few wine stix). They work well. They are easy to get out of the container since they are under 1/2 inch on a side.

    But, I feel the MorWine recommendations for dosing are too high. Go to the Stavin website and use the calculator. Then aim low at first-maybe 40-50% of "new oak" dosing and less if the wine is on the lighter flavor side. The MoreWine recs are definitely at the higher end of the oaking recommendations from Stavin.

    I also thought that at 2 months, the taste was mellow and oakey, but at 3 months was more overtly oakey. I'm waiting for it to fade a bit.
     
  11. Jul 18, 2019 #11

    kuziwk

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    How much time do you think the stavin needs compared to cubes? I've only done two staves, both have been in for 8 weeks so really hard to tell from my end at least
     
  12. Jul 18, 2019 #12

    CDrew

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    I don't know. I thought the cubes were good at 2 months and over at 3 months. But that's just my opinion. I think the Stavin cubes need 4-8 weeks. But at a lower dose, you could likely leave indefinitely. Honestly, if I were making carboy volumes, I'd use winestix which are spendy but excellent. But my 'carboy" size is 15 gallons, so the cubes are more practical. I've never used spirals. But I think the cubes are easy to measure and so it's just a matter of finding what works for you. I see this as a learning curve. I know next (this!) year to use a lower dose of cubes. But I think the cubes from Stavin are the way forward, better than spirals, staves, etc. The measure of excellence is a barrel, but that is not practical for me.
     
  13. Jul 19, 2019 #13

    kuziwk

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    Oh by staves I meant the long oak prices, they are about 6" long by 1" X1" they come in around 60 grams each.
     
  14. Jul 20, 2019 #14

    CDrew

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    So maybe there's a misunderstanding here. Stavin is the company that makes the staves, cubes and other oak barrel substitutes. I'm a fan and I think once I learn the proper dosing, will allow me to adequately oak the wine without barrels which unless I build out a wine room, are not practical for me in my present house.

    https://www.stavin.com/

    In an ideal world we'd all have oak barrels, but poly and stainless are more practical at the home winemaker level.

    For 2019, I'm looking at cutting the oak I used by about 1/2. Eventually, I'll learn the method. Though it's funny, I'm drinking a French Rhone blend tonight and it has plenty of oak! It's only 3 years old, so I'm sure that will fade in time.
     

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