How to Use Oak Chips and Oak Cubes

How to Use Oak Chips and Oak CubesA good proportion of oak chips for home use is 3 grams of chips per liter. To use oak chips, sanitize them in a 1 gallon of water with 2 oz of metabisulfite dissolved in it. Let them soak for 20 mins then strain with a sanitizer strainer and add to your wine.

Add oak chips to your wine after it has been racked for bulk aging. Use a glass or a stainless steel container. A handful of chips (about one-quarter cup) is all that is necessary to add complexity to the wine.

While the heavy-toast cubes are recommended for big reds that benefit from a heavy, caramelized oak flavor, they may also be used to supplement the medium-toast cubes for a subtler flavoring. Many of our customers use a blend of French and American cubes, usually using the French cubes in a higher percentage. We have had success blending all three oaks, again using the French in the highest percentage.

Recommended usage is 3 oz. of cubes for every 6 - gallons with a contact time of 4-8 weeks. You should taste your wine two to three days after you have added the oak. Continue until you notice the oak flavor. Then taste on a daily basis.

When your wine has reached the level of oak you wish, rack it off the oak into a clean container.

If you think more or different oak is needed, follow these steps again. Remember, you can always add more oak, but you can't remove oak.

Read how to use Oak Spirals for oaking your wine.