17 Brew Crew Forum

Brewing Recipes => Smoked and oaked => Topic started by: DamoNinja on January 31, 2016, 09:55:07 PM

Title: Smoked and oaked - overview
Post by: DamoNinja on January 31, 2016, 09:55:07 PM
Smoked beers
Any beer which has a notable smoke taste, imparted either from smoked malts or other additions. Typically smoky beers are dark and complimentary, however some styles are pale and deceptive in appearance.



Oaked beers
Can be any style that has had oak added at any stage, so if you're brewing a pale ale which has been aged in a barrel please post it here.

If you have added oak to something that is not a beer eg. wine or cider, please post in the corresponding category.

When posting a recipe here, be sure to note the type, form and amount of oak used as well as the time in contact with the beer.


Types of Oak
There are many types of oak though the three most popular are American, Hungarian and French. French oak provides the mildest flavor including some sweet vanilla hints, while American oak gives the strongest oak flavor. Hungarian oak provides a middle ground.

The flavor of oak also can be changed by toasting your oak. The dark toasted oak has a more carbonized or carmelized flavor while lightly toasted or untoasted oak has a much more mild flavor. Toasting is usually graded on a light-medium-heavy scale and you can purchase wood chips toasted at these different levels.

Forms of oak for homebrewing
Chips
– Either used as larger chips or shavings, the most popular form of oak application in home brewing beer. Advantages include their large surface area making the flavor addition quick and efficient as well as controlling precise amounts. Main disadvantage is separating from finished beer. 

Cubes (aka chunks) – Similar to chips but take longer to impart their flavor as they have much less surface area than oak chips. However the advantage of cubes is that they can easily be separated from the beer when you are finished aging. Some chunks are pieces of old barrels which will carry the flavor of what was in said barrel.

Spirals – Less common and more expensive, however they attract the advantages of chips and cubes without disadvantages due to their

Oak Essence and oak powder – Oak essence is a liquid flavor extract that can be stirred in at bottling time to taste. Oak powder is similar – essentially it is a powdered oak flavor stirred into the beer. Both work instantly and can be added in small amounts to taste.

Barrels – Oak barrels offer both unique opportunities and challenges. We won't get too much in to this, but the advantages are worthy as your oak barrel imparts the flavor of whatever was in it before you put beer in it.