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Oaking Welches

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steviepointer

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hi all,
this may be dumb question, but does anyone ever add oak to Welches or Old Orchard Concord juice (concentrated or normal juice)?
 

djrockinsteve

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I haven't made that but I don't not oak my frozen fruit type wines. If you want to a little would be okay. Better to oak on the lighter side than too much.

You may want to do 2 batches. One with no oak and one with maybe an 8th cup per gallon. See how you like it.
 

Luc

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For this and in the fiture I will give you an easy solution.

Take an empty bottle, fill it with oak chips and then pour a neutral alcohol over it. Use vodka or everclear at 40% alcohol or something similar.

Now let that soak for a few months.

Any time you wonder wether to oak a wine take a glass of that wine and pour a few drops of the oak-extract in. You will immediately know if this wine is suitable for oaking.

This is called an oak-extract, and you will just need a few drops per glass for testing, so a bottle lasts a long time. Read the whole story here:

http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/11/eiken-extract-oak-extract.html

Luc
 

arcticsid

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LUC, we always hear about oak in the process of making wine. How come we never hear of walnut or birch, etc. There must ba a reason why oak is so special. I realize cedar may be strong but in the right quantities it may have some merit. it sure works nice for cooking on, i.e. cooking a slab of fish on a cedar plank.

So my question: What makes oak so special in the production of wine, and not one of the other varieties of trees that could serve the same purpose?

Troy
 

Leanne

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For this and in the fiture I will give you an easy solution.

Take an empty bottle, fill it with oak chips and then pour a neutral alcohol over it. Use vodka or everclear at 40% alcohol or something similar.

Now let that soak for a few months.

Any time you wonder wether to oak a wine take a glass of that wine and pour a few drops of the oak-extract in. You will immediately know if this wine is suitable for oaking.

This is called an oak-extract, and you will just need a few drops per glass for testing, so a bottle lasts a long time. Read the whole story here:

http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2007/11/eiken-extract-oak-extract.html

Luc
Great tip Luc. That would certainly take the "hit and miss" out the equation. Genius!
 

BobF

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LUC, we always hear about oak in the process of making wine. How come we never hear of walnut or birch, etc. There must ba a reason why oak is so special. I realize cedar may be strong but in the right quantities it may have some merit. it sure works nice for cooking on, i.e. cooking a slab of fish on a cedar plank.

So my question: What makes oak so special in the production of wine, and not one of the other varieties of trees that could serve the same purpose?

Troy
Mu *guess* - tradition. Oak has been the choice for making barrels for A Very Long Time, so oak is selected as an additive to mimic tradition.
 

Torch404

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Thanks Luc, I've been wanting to play with oak but did not really want to deal with wood chips, as they seem messy.

Troy, I just grabbed this off of Wikipedia. It says this is more about barrels then chips. Seems traditionally it was just the best/easiest wood for barrels and the article calls them the "most compatible" flavor.


Other wood types

Throughout history other wood types, including chestnut, pine, redwood, and acacia, have been used in crafting winemaking vessels, particular large fermentation vats. However none of these wood types possess the compatibility with wine that oak has demonstrated in combining its water tight, yet slightly porous, storage capabilities with the unique flavor and texture characteristic that it can impart to the wine that it is in contact with.[21] Chestnut is very high in tannins and is too porous as a storage barrel and must be coated with paraffin to prevent excessive wine loss through evaporation. Redwood is too rigid to bend into the smaller barrel shapes and imparts an unpleasant flavor. Acacia imparts a yellow tint to the wine. Other hardwoods like apple and cherry wood have an off putting smell.[22] Austrian winemakers have a history of using Acacia barrels. Historically, chestnut was used by Beaujolais, Italian and Portuguese wine makers.[23] Some Rhône winemakers still use paraffin coated chestnut barrels but the coating minimizes any effect from the wood making its function similar to a neutral concrete vessel. In Chile there are traditions for using barrel made of rauli wood but it is beginning to fall out of favor due to the musky scent it imparts on wine.[24]
 

Mud

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White oak (Quercus alba) is the ticket for barrel making because of it's working properties and the pleasant taste it imparts. Also, nothing toxic about it. Walnut has some nasties that will irritate eyes and mucus membranes just from dust exposure. Makes me cough for the first few days when working with it. Hate to think what alcohol would leach out. Maple is just bland and it's much harder to work; specifically it doesn't bend well. Red oak can taste sort of like p**s smells. Each species is different.

Balsamic vinegar uses a solera process involving barrels made of different species, (usually oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry, ash and juniper) so it does work. You would just need to check toxicity and then experiment with how each tastes. oh, yeah...Soft woods like cedar and pine have a lot of resin. Most people don't like that flavor, although gin is juniper flavored and ouzo frequently contains mastic.

Only speaking about North American varieties of wood here. European oaks or other hardwoods are outside my experience.

Any spirit drinkers might be interested to know that about 60-70% of what you taste in a bottle of bourbon or whiskey is oak. That's what contributes mouthfeel, too.

(this started as a short post - sorry for the book length lecture - posting same time as Torch)
 

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