hist-brewing: Re: hist-brewing-digest V1 #246

Jim Liddil jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu
Wed Feb 3 00:44:24 PST 1999

> From: bjm10 at cornell.edu
> Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 08:32:38 -0500 (EST)
> Subject: Re: hist-brewing: Re: corks and barrels
> I've spoken to a local brewer on the subject of oak barrels.  His advice, 
> from a few years of using them:  American oak is too tannic to use 
> without some serious conditioning.  He recommends filling them with 
> diluted vodka or other neutral spirits and letting it leach out the 
> excess chemicals for six months to a year.  Mild French Oak is to be 
> preferred.

As someone who has an american oak barrel, medium toast, let me give my
view.  I soaked my in sodium carbonate for months and the first batch of
plambic out of it was pornounced in it's oaky character.  Ask anyone who
was at my talk at the aha conference.  The barrel is now a few years old
and has  had numerous batches through it and it is now much less aoky and
well infected.  But I also know some one who got a french oak barrel and
the fisrt batches from it were also very oaky.  I think one needs to use a
barrel for years or get a used one froma winery.  But they are usually of
the 200 liter size whcih may or may not be a problem. :-)


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