I’ve had several folks ask me about oak aging small batches of wine, beer or ‘shine. Because good oak barrels are nearly impossible to find these days, they are also difficult to maintain. So, what’s a home brewer or home craft distiller to do?
A pretty easy solution is to use a clear, 1 gallon glass jug with a #14 tapered cork or a #16 tapered cork. This provides your oaking storage container. Start with 4 ounces of your choice of toasted oak. Select from lightly toasted, medium toasted or dark toasted American oak chips. We also have medium toasted French oak chips and dark toasted Hungarian oak cubes. The oak chips impart the oak character quicker than the oak cubes. Both give similar oak character to your brew or your favorite distillate.
As time progresses, the oak character and color will increase. The first time you use this method for oaking your brew, wine or shine, it is important to keep notes and to periodically taste-test to ensure it is either progressing nicely or has reached the oak character you want. If you over do the oak, remember you can always blend it with additional brew, wine or shine to make it just the oak flavor you want.
If you want to add oak character immediately, check out Super Smoother. This packet contains liquid oak extract and 15mL of glycerine.
The goal to our hobby is to make wine, home brew, etc. just the way YOU like!