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What Kind of Oak

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Lurker

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I have never used oak. Now I am about to dive into the oak thing but I know nothing about it. I have been told that oak chips are the best because they impart the flavor faster. OK I looked at oak chips but I see American, French. Then there is toasted or plain, and among the toasted, I can select how well done. And then I see oakwood extract. I'm lost. Help please. Maybe an explanation of what the diff oaks do or just which do you like. I will be using it on big reds. Chianti, Cab, etc. Thanks. :b
 

Wade E

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You don not want to play around with the extracts, they are garbage! Here are links for you to mull over. Hope this helps. I can say that chips arent the best method, I like the cubes better, spirals even better then that and staves the best. The chips arent bad but they work very fast so you can over oak your wine fast if yu dont taste often enough.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_(wine)
http://www.grapestompers.com/articles/oak_wine.htm
 

AlFulchino

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oh boy this is a pandora's box of a subject...i *strongly* suggest you get different types of oak and start experimenting...i.e. take your cab and break it up into different batches and age it different ways

there is a ton of info on the web regaling the virtues of the different oaks and what they do...and then the sizes ie chips/sawdust/staves etc

this choice really depends on what you are trying to achieve...for instance american oak in a med toast is likely to give some spicieness in the front and mid palate...a med+ french toast will likely impart its effect mid and rear palate...i could go on and on

there are almost as many ways to oak as there are grape varieties

this is one interesting read http://www.newworldwinemaker.com/pdf/AWRI_report_oak_chips_and_wine.pdf
 

cpfan

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Lurker:

What exactly are you planning on oaking? I know you said Big Red (Chianti, Cab etc). But are you oaking a kit, juice, grapes? If a kit, please be specific. Remember that kits come with oak if the manufacturer feels it is appropraite. Although you can modify the oaking, as a beginner you might just want to play with quantity or style (chips/cubes/etc) rather than toast and location.
 

Tom

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I concur with Wade. NO NOT USE EXTRACT.
Now I know you have "juice". Just a FYI.. I use toasted chips. 2-3 cups for starters. good for 6 weeks then taste.. then taste... did I say taste? to YOUR taste.
 

Lurker

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Like Tom said, I work only with juice. I have a Cal. Chianti that has been racked twice, a Borolo that has been racked twice and an Amarone that has been racked once. Is it too late? The extract didn't sound good anyway.

Thanks.
 

Tom

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Go ahead add it then let it sit for a while
 

cpfan

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Lurker:

If you haven't been oaking your wine then presumably you will want to be careful that you don't over-oak it. Reviewing the oaks that I have seen in Chianti & Barolo kits provided the following results. Some Chiantis not oaked at all. Light toast and medium toast oak used in others. The Barolos seem to have had lightly toasted oak. Unfortunately none of them seemed to indicate country of origin of the oak.

Steve
 

Wade E

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If you havent oaked a wine yet i agree with cpfan as the chips can impart the flavor very quickly. Id go withn the other options I sugested to you, they are a little more expensive but the product is better and they take their time so you wont be rushed. You can oak your wine at any time and I prefer to do it when its bulk aging and chips at this point isnt really a good option anyway cause they are messy wher as the spirals or staves can be pulled out very easily and the cubes can just be racked off with no little pcs getting racked over like the chips do.
 

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