Should I use Oak provided with kit or....

Discussion in 'Barrels & Oaking' started by LilChief, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. LilChief

    LilChief Junior

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    I want to age a RJS Cabernet kit in 6 gallon carboy with American oak staves. Should I hold off on adding the oak powder the kit provides and instructs to add during fermentation?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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    no, you should add it during fermentation. It doesn't really provide much, if any oak flavor to the wine, just some sacrificial tannins that are important to have in there.
     
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  3. LilChief

    LilChief Junior

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    Then there would be no purpose for me to age in the carboy, I could go ahead and age in bottles. I have read that many people use oak chips during the aging process to replace the barrel age, do you find that as an useless method?
     
  4. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to to WMT. Cmason1957 speaks truth. That response says it all.

    And It's one of the first things I learned on here:
    Oak and tannins added in primary= helping for color extraction and better/bigger mouthfeel.(via sacrificial tannins)
    Oak added after primary during aging= imparting oak/barrel taste in the wine.
     
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  5. Smok1

    Smok1 Senior Member

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    I think if you search this site you will find that its useful to age in the carboy. More control in the final product, ensures degas and sediment drop out, can tweak with oak spirals, one thing with tempature changes in your cellar too is if you have a temp flucation a small amount of liquid in a bottle is much more suseptable to tempature change vs a large body of liquid in a carboy. I try to keep my reds in a carboy for 6 months, id keep them in carboys for a year if i wasnt so greedy and want to try them (although ive been know to theif a few samples out of the carboys anyways) :)
     
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  6. LilChief

    LilChief Junior

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    Thank you guys so much for the responses! I'm quite eager to learn, as I just started my first kit, a Montepulciano Kit, around 4 weeks ago. I just returned from spending a weekend visiting a few vineyards in Fredricksburg, Tx this past weekend, so it only amplified my addiction to my new hobby. I just returned home with a RJS Cab Sav kit to start tonight. I have dug in and researched about as much as possible so I don't screw up my first few batches. I'm just concerned if a use the oak provided with the kit during fermentation and use additional oak to age in the carboy, will that over oak the wine?
     
  7. Smok1

    Smok1 Senior Member

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    Nice i have an RJS en primeur cab sav aging in the carboy right now i started a few months ago, i might rack it this weekend and have a taste and decide if im gonna throw in a oak stave or spiral. Id say so far out of the kits ive done the cellar showcase amarone and the rjs trio red is probly the best ive tryed yet. With the rjs trio red we blended 20% merlot into it and we soaked oak cubes in whiskey for two weeks and then added them into the carboy for 3 months. The flavor is great.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  8. LilChief

    LilChief Junior

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    Oh my, that sounds very intriguing. I started ferming the en primeur cab tonight and I was actually searching for bourbon soaked wood chunks. 2 weeks soaking is all it took? Did you use American oak or French oak chunks for your trio? Im debating to add the bourbon soaked chunks to age in this batch. Thanks for the info!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  9. sour_grapes

    sour_grapes Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

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    No, the point is that the oak chips you add during primary do NOT add much oakey flavor to the wine. They provide "sacrificial tannins" to help stabilize the color. You don't notice the oak in the final product.
     
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  10. Smok1

    Smok1 Senior Member

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    I used american oak cubes, id like french oak but for some reason it cost a small fortune where i order my supplies from, yeah i soaked about a cup of cubes in about 2 cups of gentleman jacks for about 2-3 weeks.
     
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  11. skyfire322

    skyfire322 Junior Member

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    In regards to using oak cubes, I added 3 oz of heavy toasted French oak cubes to my Sangio/Merlot after primary, and I couldn't detect any oak flavor. It did increase the tannins a little and you could get a very slight "campfire" type of aroma but not much else.

    I love wines with a smoky oaky flavor, so I ended up adding a Med+ French oak spiral the final month before bottling which seemed to do the trick.

    I think for my next batch of red, I'm going to skip the oak cubes all together and stick with the spirals (thinking about soaking them in whisky for a few weeks).
     
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  12. LoveTheWine

    LoveTheWine Member

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    The Hungarian (European) cubes from Stavin are a middling price and have a great flavour.

    http://ecom.bosagrape.com/product.php?productid=17690&cat=444&page=1
     
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  13. LilChief

    LilChief Junior

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    I just received my French and American oak spirals so I'm excited to start aging my first batch in two weeks. I decided to age my Montepulciano/Tempranillo with the French oak spirals. Smok1 convinced me my Cabernet is gettting the American oak soaked in Jim Beam for a few weeks.

    From what I've read the darker roasted oaks provide the smokiness your looking for. What's your favorite wine you have done so far?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  14. LilChief

    LilChief Junior

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  15. LoveTheWine

    LoveTheWine Member

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    I like Medium + Oak beans/cubes. Staves and spirals are great too but hard to source good ones where I live.

    Save powder and chips for primary fermentation
     
  16. skyfire322

    skyfire322 Junior Member

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    The Sangiovese Merlot blend is the only kit I've made on my own so far, but I'll be starting a Riesling Traminer blend next week.

    As silly as it sounds, my thought process on oak is that "old world" varietals (ie Sangio, Tempernillo, etc.) would work better in French oak, where as popular "new world" varietals (Zinfandel, Cab, etc.) would be benefit from the American oak.

    In the end though, it all comes down to personal taste! :h
     

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