when to add oad chips and how.

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chachi44089

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when to add oak chips and how.

Hey gang! Long time no see.. Well, its wine making season for me. I started a batch "5 gallons" of wine from concentrate "welches blueberry pomagranite" a few days ago and just transfered to secondary at .998 gravity. I had forgot that I had bought a bag of french oak chips "medium toast" to experiment with. My questions are.. When should I add the chips? How should I add them "bag, just funnel in, ect"? And about how long should I leave them in? I do have some cheese cloth. Or if put in loose, will I be able to rack them off? Any advise or help appreciated.
 
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robie

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Hey gang! Long time no see.. Well, its wine making season for me. I started a batch "5 gallons" of wine from concentrate "welches blueberry pomagranite" a few days ago and just transfered to secondary at .998 gravity. I had forgot that I had bought a bag of french oak chips "medium toast" to experiment with. My questions are.. When should I add the chips? How should I add them "bag, just funnel in, ect"? And about how long should I leave them in? I do have some cheese cloth. Or if put in loose, will I be able to rack them off? Any advise or help appreciated.

The chips/cubes/etc will sink to the bottom when they are pretty much used up, sometimes a little sooner. None of them last more than 2 months.

However, the oak integrates much better and faster (1 week) if added during primary fermentation. It is integrated much slower after that.

I would add them in a bag, as it makes racking much easier. However, I still do sometimes just throw a small handful into the carboy.

I would do a taste test about every two weeks, just to make sure you don't over-oak the wine.
 

pete1325

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Left my cubes in for two months, still floated, never sank. Racked last week and left them out this time. Usally leave them in for the duration of the bulk storage, six to eight months, then bottled. Big hassle when racking. Gotta get them out of the carboy, rinse, then put them back in. Not sure if it's worth the bother but not sure of any other way to oak the wine.
 

robie

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Left my cubes in for two months, still floated, never sank. Racked last week and left them out this time. Usally leave them in for the duration of the bulk storage, six to eight months, then bottled. Big hassle when racking. Gotta get them out of the carboy, rinse, then put them back in. Not sure if it's worth the bother but not sure of any other way to oak the wine.

I have never seen chips that didn't sink. Something new!

You can leave them in for six months if you like, but all the oakiness will have been extracted long before that much time. Something like staves, being much larger, will give off their oakiness much longer than chips or cubes. Cubes, of course, last longer than chips, which last longer than oak dust.
 

Cowboykoolaid

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My Vitner's Reserve Zin/Cab blend came with oak "chips" but it was more like sawdust. Mixed them in before pitching the yeast, and by the secondary rack they had pretty well sunk to the bottom and joined the bentonite muck. A few straggler floaters made it through the rack, but I think the bottle transfer will catch those!
 

almargita

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DJROckinSteve & I made a fantastic Blueberry/Pom last year using the frozen concentrate. Recieved a lot of complements from it. I believe he still has the recipe in his "blog" here on the site. He has a couple other recipes also, check them out......

Al
 

chachi44089

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Thanks for the help guys. I think I will wait now till I stabilize this in a few days and add the oak chips then. I will check out that recipe. I have made several batches of concord from concentrate and all were pretty good. I cant wait to try this blueberry pom.
 

Turock

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chachi---I see you live about 10 miles from me. There are local vineyards here where you can pick concord and Niagara grapes.

We oak in the carboy. Add 1/2 cup, or so, to the carboy and just leave them in there until ready to bottle. Medium toast is a nic one to use.
 

chachi44089

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Hey Turock! Nice to meet a local! I would love to try a batch from grapes. All I have ever done was concentrate wine. I was telling my wife that I wanted to find a place to pick some and make a family outing of it with our daughters. Where do you go to pick? How much do they charge? How long have you been at winemaking? About a year for me. I have a lot of questions...lol
Later, Sean
 

Turock

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We are entering our 23rd year of winemaking!!!! We make grape wine--mostly concord and Niagara and MANY fruit wines, and quite a few blends,too.

For several years we've been picking grapes at Molly's Vineyard on Rt.60,just a few feet north of Mason Rd. But he doesn't prune his concord well enough and it's like picking in a jungle. So we're going to check out another vineyard we found out about down toward Ashland for this year's concords. Molly's has real nice Niagara vines, so we'll pick those there. I can't tell you what he charges, because he always gives us a price break. But I think it's somewhere around $25.00 per bushel.

I'm sure you have a lot of questions!! We are also members of a winemaking club that meets at Matus Winery on Gore Orphanage Rd. on the 1st Wed of every month. That might be of some help to you. My winemaking buddy and I have trained many local winemakers--a number of them that Pat, the owner of Molly's, refers to us and sometimes right there in the vineyard we are approached by people who want a winemaking lesson!!

We'd be happy to sit down with you, have you taste our wines,let you see our operation and give you some tips on how to get started out in the right way. Once you start using fruit and grapes, you'll never go back. We make, what we call, BIG wines. No water dilutions, all have big flavor and taste like the fruit they're made from. Let me know if we can help you.
 

robie

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Chachi,
By all means, take part in a local wine club. You will meet new friends who share your love for wine making. Also a great place to learn.
 

chachi44089

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I couldnt agree more robie, especially since I want to start making wine with "real" ingredients.
Turock, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from experienced local winemakers. Let me know how, when and where we can get together. I am disabled so I have a good amount of free time, so almost anytime is good for me. I am having some medical issues right now, but should be better in a week or so. Thank you so much for such a generous offer. Hope to talk to you soon. Sean
 

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