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Oak aging

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TikiWine

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I have completed my kits initial time frame, i can bottle now, but I'd like to add some oak spirals to give more oak flavor. How does the oak age in the bottle? Does it increase over time? Decrease or stay the same .I guess I am trying to figure out how long to keep the oak in. If I need more than I need or less to make it right wgewi open a bottle to drink .
 

Johnd

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I find that it tends to drop back a bit after aging a bit in bottle.
 

FTC Wines

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We have a Cab that I Over Oaked. At 1 yr I put a stickie on the bin “over oaked use for top off only” . Not at 2.5 yrs old it’s a nice Cab. Roy
 

cmason1957

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I almost think there is no such thing as over oaking, but I like oakiness. To answer your question about how long for oak spirals, at least 8 weeks, but 3 months isn't too long. Procrastinating is a good thing.
 

TikiWine

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Right. This kit came with 4 packs of oak chips lol. It's pretty oaky but I wanted just a bit more.
 

tradowsk

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The oak flavor will drop back during aging and you will be left with the secondary flavors like vanilla, caramel, spices, coconut, etc. I have a cab sauv going that I added a lot of oak too, but I figure after a year or so in the bottle it will integrate nicely
 

TikiWine

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Ok thanks. Can you reuse the spirals or cubes?
 

tradowsk

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Ok thanks. Can you reuse the spirals or cubes?
I wouldn't reuse them. If you leave them in the recommended 3 months, there will be little flavor or tannins left so it won't really do much for the second wine. And even if you don't leave them in the full time, you risk contamination of the spirals while they sit in between batches.

What I would recommend is breaking the spirals. So say you want a mild oak flavor. Instead of putting in a full spiral for 1.5 months and wasting the rest, break it in half and use that half for the full 3 months and save the other piece for a different batch.
If you really want to get fancy, you can add pieces of different spirals (i.e. spirals of different toast or american vs french vs hungarian, etc) to "layer" the oak flavors.
 

joeycannoli

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Oak chips, cubes, spirals, barrels, etc all have different contact rates for extracting oak flavors. Oak chips have the shortest contact time. Whichever medium you use for oaking, be sure to taste periodically to get the right amount of oak YOU want in the wine.
 

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