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03/08/08 05:51 PM  
Reusing Oak Beans
I'm going to use oak beans with my current batch of beer, and this is the first time that I've used them in a brew. I've had them soaking in bourbon for 4 weeks prior to tossing them into the fermenter.

I'm wondering whether they can be reused after using them for this brew. Or do folks typically only use them once? What is the lifespan for reused oak beans?

If you reuse them, do you soak them again in bourbon (or similar) to "recharge" them?

Thanks for any info!

03/09/08 12:08 PM  
Re: Reusing Oak Beans
Sure you can reuse oak beans/cubes/chips.....I usually don't just because they're a pain to completely get out of the carboy and still handle in a sterile manner. For that reason I usually just buy some more, they're so cheap anyway...but I would like to try reusing them sometime, to get that subtle oakiness - most beers aged on oak are in barrels that have already been used and the stronger flavors have already been leached out by its previous contents. I plan on trying to reuse some american oak chips that I have sitting in a strong dark saison for my next flanders red.

I haven't ever soaked any in whisky or wine, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to soak them again, it just depends on what you want to get out of them. If for nothing else some whiskey will at least sterilize the chips.

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