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Fetish for wine barrels.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by yinzer, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. yinzer

    yinzer Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I'd like to add to my mason jar collection of oak cubes. I've done well w/spirit long term aging of cubes (I go many months) and coffee tinctures. I'd like to soak some oak cubes in wine.

    I can see two issues. Unlike spirits wine will oxidize. Second is wine has a very subtle flavor. I do have CO2 and a vacuum sealer. So as an added step I'll purge w/CO2 and then vacuum seal (the jar). I figure that when I open the jar to pitch the cubes if the wine tastes like overly oaked wine and not vinegar that I'm good to go. Sound okay? Second would be should I try red or white first? I'm think both. Red (tannin) to a English BW and White (Chardonnay) to some type of Belgian.. something.

    Oh, what type of cubes? Or what toast? I'm thinking that toast would be the biggest factor. I'm thinking lighter toast.

    Also I want to stay with corny/cubes and not barrels. Which is counter-intuitive with my title, but I always f up the title.
  2. nuggetman

    nuggetman Jul 13, 2011 Massachusetts

    I cannot add any practical knowledge to your post, but I loved wine barrel aged beers and have been thinking of this attempt for a while now. It would be great to hear your findings on your trials!

    One thing I could add is if you get bad results, you may want to try brewing with the grapes you wish, then oaking the beer after to get the oakiness you are seeking. Again, just an idea for down the road if the results are displeasing!

    Good luck and cheers!
  3. darklordlager

    darklordlager Feb 12, 2008 Wisconsin

    Might try Port or Sherry for a little extra protection against oxidation and more intense flavors. (Or you could fortify your own chosen wine with brandy/neutral spirits)

    I'd go with lighter toast French cubes.
  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    French oak tends to lend a milder/smoother flavor. American oak is a little more robust/harsh. I'd go with a light to medium char and go from there. Your ideas of flushing with CO2 and using a ball jar are sound and should work fine for this sort of thing. You didn't mention if the wine was homemade or store bought. I'd have a second bottle around--very easy if store bought-- so that if it becomes too harsh you can blend with the second bottle.
    yinzer likes this.
  5. Winepine

    Winepine Jan 12, 2013

    I agree with inchrisin. Also, American oak also produces wines with a higher tannin content, and around a quarter of the population don't respond very well to excessive tannin (mild headaches etc.) French oak is the best but it's more expensive than American oak.

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