Other Reusing Oak Cubes (FWK)

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

idahorevbob

Junior
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
25
Location
Idaho
OK, just racked a Cab Sauv from a 6 gallon carboy down to a 5 gallon because I still had too much headspace and didn't want to add ANOTHER two bottles to top up (already added 4 at the start.....no way did I get anywhere near 6 gallons ....but I digress). I had about 1/2 gallon extra that we are drinking and it is the best I've made so far, so I'm happy...so is the wife...my biggest critic.

My question is: after racking, all the oak cubes were in the bottom of the first carboy with the lees. I swooshed 'em out and rinsed the lees off. Now, do I add them back into the second carboy? Toss 'em? Make a very small fire? If I do add them, should I soak in vodka to sterilize? What is the airspeed of an unladen sparrow? So many questions. (probably shouldn't post after "testing" a large quantity of the extra Cab! Too late.)

OBTW, the Cab is from FWK and I had some issues with the instructions, but it's still the best kit so far (4 total). I am at three months in bulk aging and planning on six months. No way my patience level will wait a full year.....lets be honest, might not make six.

I already know that some of the replies will basically ask, "well, do you want more oak flavor"? The answer is: 'I don't know'. Tastes great now. So, I guess this question is more for future kits. Do I keep the oak or not?
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
6,011
Reaction score
15,189
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
I saved oak for a year, drying it well, and used it in smoker!

I concur with Craig. A few years back my son & I did an experiment. I added 6 oz cubes to a 54 liter barrel for 3 months (roughly 2 oz/5 gallons). Racked the wine, rinsed the cubes well, and air dried them.

My son had a 6 gallon batch of Shiraz, so we sanitized the cubes and added all 6 oz to the wine for 3 or 4 months. The net effect was maybe half of the oak flavoring we'd expect from 2 oz cubes in 6 gallons, e.g., about 1/6 of the oak character was left in the cubes after 3 months in the original usage. [This is personal opinion based upon tasting the wine, not any type of hard fact.]

Our take was that re-using the cubes was not worth the effort.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
6,011
Reaction score
15,189
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Damn. I just chucked four spirals. The bbq. a no brainer from now on.
Yeah, I tossed away years decades of expended oak. My wife & son said the ribs I smoked with the expended oak was the best I have ever made. While I can't prove it was the oak, I'm saving for the next time ....

BTW -- I have a large white plastic funnel with a removal strainer. When cleaning primaries that contain oak, I pour through the funnel to catch the chunks. I live on a septic system so putting chunks down the drain is a no-no anyway, but this catches even the finest oak.

I use shredded oak for fermentation oak for grapes and dark fruits -- in the past I dumped it into the must, but my new policy is to use a muslin hops bag to contain the oak, for easy removal ... and easy re-use.
 

wineview

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
797
Reaction score
404
Yeah, I tossed away years decades of expended oak. My wife & son said the ribs I smoked with the expended oak was the best I have ever made. While I can't prove it was the oak, I'm saving for the next time ....

BTW -- I have a large white plastic funnel with a removal strainer. When cleaning primaries that contain oak, I pour through the funnel to catch the chunks. I live on a septic system so putting chunks down the drain is a no-no anyway, but this catches even the finest oak.

I use shredded oak for fermentation oak for grapes and dark fruits -- in the past I dumped it into the must, but my new policy is to use a muslin hops bag to contain the oak, for easy removal ... and easy re-use.
Yeah I am so conscious of the septic system. I get it.
 

Latest posts

Top