From the HBD Archive
From: Tom Hotchkiss <trh@hpestrh>
Subject: Wood Beer
Date: 1989-07-28 14:06:54 GMT

I'd like to add my 2 cents worth to a topic that came up a few days ago.
Someone inquired about the use of wood chips in beer. Well, I tried adding
some oak chips to Charlie P's India Pale Ale recipie. I steamed the chips
about 15min. before adding to the primary fermenter. I added a large
handful (probably more like 2 handfuls) to a 5 gallon batch. When moving the
beer to the secondary 3 days later, I was afraid that a fat handful of chips
for 3 days wasn't going to do much. So, I added another fat handful of
steamed oak chips to the secondary (the first set of chips was left behind
in the racking process). I left the beer in the secondary for about 1 month
(I know, too long) and bottled.

Last night I tasted the first bottle and...

The combination of a dry, high alcohol (OG = 52, FG = 02), oaky beer nearly
knocks you over. I'm pleased with the results but the oak flavor is too
intense. So, if you try wood chips, I'd suggest using a modest quantity
on the first attempt since a lot of flavor comes out of those little
buggers.

Tom Hotchkiss

P.S.- I don't know if this made any difference, but I steamed the chips
using a small quantity of water. When adding the chips, I also
added the water used for steaming. I also don't know how long you
have to steam the chips, but it appears 15 min. was enough.

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