WineXpert Which oak chips for an Australian Chardonnay?

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someirishman

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OK so I want to do a cheaper kit WE World Vineyard Australian Chardonnay 10 liter, and Id like to add some oak chips during secondary as a little experiment after seeing people say its a good kit if you oak during secondary, My homebrew store has american oak chips and french oak chips and in both medium toast and heavy toast, and also sherry oak chips from sherry barrels. can anyone recommend which chips to go for and how much should I add during secondary, I don't want to overkill the oak just end up with something a little better than normal. Any advice please fire away.
 

pillswoj

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I would try medium toast french but not in secondary, wait for bulk aging when you can sample to see how the oak is coming, maybe 20 grams for a week
 

Boatboy24

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I would try medium toast french but not in secondary, wait for bulk aging when you can sample to see how the oak is coming, maybe 20 grams for a week
Yep, what he said...
 

someirishman

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I would try medium toast french but not in secondary, wait for bulk aging when you can sample to see how the oak is coming, maybe 20 grams for a week
Ah I don't do bulk aging only 4-6 weeks then bottle age as I don't have carboys and mostly make fast drinking whites, what would you do in that circumstance?
 

Ajmassa

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I needed some oak on a cheap kit that I didn't much care for and needed to free up the carboy. Without 6-12 weeks to extract the oak I decided to add a small amount of tannin powder. Worked well. Too well. I added too much and needed to give it time to mellow out some.
 

Boatboy24

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Ah I don't do bulk aging only 4-6 weeks then bottle age as I don't have carboys and mostly make fast drinking whites, what would you do in that circumstance?
Oak cubes give up their flavor in about 6 weeks. If you have some, it'd be preferable to chips. The chips will probably give up all their oakiness in a few days.
 

jgmann67

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I picked up the Selection Australian Chardonnay - a 16 liter kit now on sale at LP for $100 - as my second wine and dropped about 45gr of French Medium Toast chips in the finish... earned me a Bronze in the NJ great white wine competition last year.

In retrospect, I might have dropped the chips in the primary and added some cubes in the finish. I will suggest that if I were considering the VR World Vineyard Aussie Chard, it may be worth the extra $40 to get the better quality SE International. Also, if it's still there, Homebrew Supply had an Aussie Chard 16L kit @ $90 and is running a 25% off sale.

Better quality going in typically means better quality coming out.
 

someirishman

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Oak cubes give up their flavor in about 6 weeks. If you have some, it'd be preferable to chips. The chips will probably give up all their oakiness in a few days.
Would the chips not be better when I don't bulk age? Id be thinking maybe two weeks with the chips after secondary and before degassing and clearing, if the chips give up there oak flavor quick that would suit better no?
 

someirishman

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I picked up the Selection Australian Chardonnay - a 16 liter kit now on sale at LP for $100 - as my second wine and dropped about 45gr of French Medium Toast chips in the finish... earned me a Bronze in the NJ great white wine competition last year.

In retrospect, I might have dropped the chips in the primary and added some cubes in the finish. I will suggest that if I were considering the VR World Vineyard Aussie Chard, it may be worth the extra $40 to get the better quality SE International. Also, if it's still there, Homebrew Supply had an Aussie Chard 16L kit @ $90 and is running a 25% off sale.

Better quality going in typically means better quality coming out.
I am in Ireland so the prices are higher and i've got a few selection kits made and just going to do a quicker cheaper kit in the mean time, I might try 45 grams of the french medium toast after secondary, I think it may come with oak for primary but am not 100%
 

Boatboy24

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Would the chips not be better when I don't bulk age? Id be thinking maybe two weeks with the chips after secondary and before degassing and clearing, if the chips give up there oak flavor quick that would suit better no?
In general, bigger is better with oak. So chips are better than dust, cubes better than chips, staves better than cubes, and barrels better than staves. Yes, the larger size requires more time to extract the oaky goodness; but is a smoother, mellower oaky goodness. The other nice thing is with the longer release time, you can better monitor the extraction with less risk of overdoing it.
 

someirishman

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In general, bigger is better with oak. So chips are better than dust, cubes better than chips, staves better than cubes, and barrels better than staves. Yes, the larger size requires more time to extract the oaky goodness; but is a smoother, mellower oaky goodness. The other nice thing is with the longer release time, you can better monitor the extraction with less risk of overdoing it.
I see, It won't be long until I talk myself into carboys and bulk aging!
 

jgmann67

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I see, It won't be long until I talk myself into carboys and bulk aging!

That should be a short discussion. [emoji41][emoji485]

My advice - Buy glass, and get a variety of sizes. You can search Craigslist for used carboys in serviceable condition and save a few bucks.

In glass I have 7 - 6 gal, 1 - 5 gal, 1 - 3 gal and 2 - 1 gal jugs. Honestly, I could use a few more big ones.
 
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someirishman

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This kit when I opened it came with 30 grams of french oak chips which I added to primary, when fermentation is complete I will add half a pack ( 50 grams ) more of french oak chips medium toast and allow another two weeks before clearing and bottling and see how that turns out, OG was 1.096 so should should finish around 13.5%.

IMG_20170625_134309.jpg

IMG_20170625_135123.jpg
 

someirishman

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I thought id come back and let everyone know how this turned out in case anyone reads in the future and is wondering. I've bottled and tasted and I am very impressed, the oak really made this spectacular, the oak kills the fruitiness and leaves it tasting like its been in an oak cask its just lovely, I've also fizzed a bottle of this and it reminds me ever so slightly of Dom Pérignon! I will be making this again for sure, It finished fg 0.992 so 13.6%abv. I will age them now and see how they progress but right now its already delicious 10/10 would make again.
 

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