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Oak chips instructions needed

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Donatelo

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I am thinking of adding a package of oak chips to my next batch of Dragon Blood. What should I add and how much and for how long. Thanks in advance for your reply.
 

Stressbaby

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I've never used them in DB, but when I use chips in the primary I generally use 1 cup in a 4-6 gallon batch and leave them behind after primary fermentation when I rack to carboy.

I say in another thread someone used 4 cups in a juice pail, presumably 6 gallons. I think that is too much.
 

Donatelo

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Thanks , Stressbaby, I've never used them in anything, so that info helps. Just thought, since I have them, why not?
Thanks , Cmason, I won't expect much and hope for a lot!
 

Ajmassa

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I've never used them in DB, but when I use chips in the primary I generally use 1 cup in a 4-6 gallon batch and leave them behind after primary fermentation when I rack to carboy.

I say in another thread someone used 4 cups in a juice pail, presumably 6 gallons. I think that is too much.
Agreed. Chips after primary are a huge hassle for little payoff.
4 cups is excessive. But in that context it was just said ‘not too much’ to necessitate racking to carboy halfway through fermentation.
 

Donatelo

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Thanks , I added a package of chips to the dragons blood. that is only about a cup of chips in a three gallon batch.

We'll see what happens after fermentation.
 

GreginND

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Agreed. Chips after primary are a huge hassle for little payoff.
4 cups is excessive. But in that context it was just said ‘not too much’ to necessitate racking to carboy halfway through fermentation.
Why do you say there is little payoff to oak wine after fermentation? Oak chips added during fermentation adds very little oak flavor to the wine but helps to preserve tannins from grapes. That is not necessarily applicable to dragons blood but it can provide an underlying tannin structure even to a DB. That being said, nearly all the benefits we taste in terms of oak comes from oaking wines during aging (e.g. barrel aging). Thus, if you are looking for oak flavor, you want to add them after primary. I don't find it to be a huge hassle at all. You can just add chips to the carboy and they get left behind the next time you rack it.
 

Ajmassa

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Why do you say there is little payoff to oak wine after fermentation? Oak chips added during fermentation adds very little oak flavor to the wine but helps to preserve tannins from grapes. That is not necessarily applicable to dragons blood but it can provide an underlying tannin structure even to a DB. That being said, nearly all the benefits we taste in terms of oak comes from oaking wines during aging (e.g. barrel aging). Thus, if you are looking for oak flavor, you want to add them after primary. I don't find it to be a huge hassle at all. You can just add chips to the carboy and they get left behind the next time you rack it.
Not oak in general, just in terms of chips vs other options during aging. With cubes/stix/spirals etc being much easier to remove as well as extracting more oak.
We’re all after that ‘barrel aged’ taste right? But with no barrel, in my experiences at least, the spirals had better results. But I think my newest batch I’ll take it a step further with staves. I can fit a decent sized stave through a demijohn neck. Likely going to grab some used, cut em to fit and give it a shot. (Unless I get myself a barrel soon)
 

Donatelo

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Sometimes you just gotta go with what you got. Kinda like run what you brung at the dragstrip. It's all just a big funny learning experience. No biggie.
 

Ajmassa

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Oak chips benefitting a primary I think is universally accepted. With the chemistry to back it up, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees.
Curious to see how it this DB turns out with em. Expecting a full report Donatelo!
 

Scooter68

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Chips aren't a big problem even in a carboy, Most will settle to the bottom and if you have the cap on your siphon tube they shouldn't clog it as long as they are not real small pieces. You can always sort out the larger pieces for this batch, Most references tell you to leave them in 4-6 weeks. I used them on a blueberry wine and could definitely tell the 'oakey' influence. A lot will depend on how sensitive your palate is to the finer points of wine. I find I notice differences but without a real 'education' on what to expect, i probably miss some of the finer points.
 

Donatelo

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Came home and stirred the primary. Took the SG at 1.034. Boy , does that look like a red bloody mess! ABV is already at 5%. Great smells.
 
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