.....my brown ale at the moment. That is to say I added oak chips to it.
Can't remember what commercial beer I had that had been aged on wood that made me go "man I wouldn't mind doing that myself" but I became fairly convinced that I would love it. I'm gonna say Firestone Walker DBA.
Rather than commit an entire batch to it though I split it in half. Half will be dry hopped with centennial, the other half untoasted american oak. Here is how I did it:
- I decided on 5gms of oak chips per litre of beer. Will this make it too oaky? Not oaky enough? I don't know. The packet (product was made with spirit making in mind) said 1 to 2gms per litre for a strong flavour. Reading over forums I came across people saying as much as 10gms per litre. I went with the medium and chose 5gms.
- I took the oak chips and boiled them in water for 10mins. Some forums said sanitising not necessary, others said boil them. So I boiled them.
- Once boiling had finished I put them in a stocking courtesy of my girlfriend (thanks Mel!) and also a decanter stopper for weight (couldn't find any marbles at home so Mum gave me a crystal decanter stopper/lid. um... okay. thanks mum). Reason for the weight was so the wood didn't just float on top and ultimately not give much flavour.
- Put the oak stocking in the secondary fermenter and added the beer on top. Will leave it on the oak chips for 2 weeks then bottle.
Will it be wonderfully oaky like I hope it would or too subtle to taste or so oaky its like gnawing on a log of wood? Time will tell.