Oak cubes vs spirals

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facn1989

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I only make premium kits (RJS EP, WE Eclipse and CC Showcase) but would like to know if the addition of more oak could be beneficial or I run the risk of over-oaking.

Furthermore, if I add more oak than the kit already brings, should I cubes or spirals. what are the benefits of each?

Thanks!
 

Brian55

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I only make premium kits (RJS EP, WE Eclipse and CC Showcase) but would like to know if the addition of more oak could be beneficial or I run the risk of over-oaking.

Furthermore, if I add more oak than the kit already brings, should I cubes or spirals. what are the benefits of each?

Thanks!
I think the premium kits all lack oak. I add to more to almost every kit we make.

Cubes, spirals, Xoakers, all do the same thing. Cubes are the most common and work ok. Spirals offer a lot of surface area to pull from, but are difficult to remove from carboys. Xoakers work very well, but they're on the pricey side. Try them all and figure out what you like best.
 

facn1989

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Thanks Brian55. I live in a small apartment and pretty much bottle as instructed since I only have space for one carboy. When should I add a spiral or Xoaker and for how long? Is this only good for bulk aging (which I can't do)?

How many Xoaker balls would you add for a 6 gallon batch and for how long?

Thanks!
 

Brian55

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If your not bulk aging I would add the oak immediately after clearing and let it sit as long as possible before racking again and bottling. If that time is less then a month or two, you'll need to add more oak to get the same results.
Xoakers recommends 8 per 6 gallon carboy. I sometimes add quite a bit more or slightly less depending on the varietal.
 

facn1989

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Thanks! Have you ever over-oaked any of your wines? I def want to give it some more structure, but don't want to end up with an oak bomb either
 

Brian55

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You're welcome! One time, back when I was using spirals, it was oakey, but it mellowed nicely with age.
 

Mismost

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I add oak chips at primary.....sometimes at secondary. Finally at primary and i like spirals because they drop.into the carboy. I tie on using fishing line and weigh it done with a SS teaspoon. Check it every week...slightly over oak and the pull the line,spiral, and spoon....keep in bulk aging
 

jsbeckton

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The spirals are easy to remove if you tie a fishing line to them. I haven’t found them to be worth the cost vs cubes though.
 

Vinobeau

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Or you can use the grilling oak or cherry wood chips. Be sure to save the chips after they've been in the wine - then put them in the grill smoker.
 
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