Liquid Oak - Tincture experiment

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brewpirate
brewpirate's picture
Liquid Oak - Tincture experiment

I stumbled onto a technique for rapidly aging whiskey by microwaving the spirit to just under boiling then adding oakchips in a mason jar and sealing it. This accomplished 2 things with the heat opening the pores of the wood and then creating a vacuum forcing the spirit into the wood. In a week you can create a tincture that has massive oak flavor. When I added this to my cider the alcohol was changing the flavor and I couldn't impart the flavor I wanted so I got the bright idea to burn off some of the alcohol!

What I ended up was a liquid that tasted like you were licking a piece of oak, it was crazy! When I added this to the cider it added the tannin I was missing and produced a wonderful cider. This past weekend we brewed a sahti and when I added some of this liquid oak it changed the flavor into something amazing.

So now its time to experiment with types of wood and various spirits to see what is possible to make.

Right now I have the following woods, is there any you would like to see tested?
- Light American Oak
- Dark Amerian Oak
- Hungarian Oak
- French Oak

drew
drew's picture
I'd say go for it at all

I'd say go for it at all since it doesn't seem to require much in the way of investment.

I'd be curious to see what characteristics are retained and whether the flaming boots any of the more subtle things like the big Vanillin character of American oak, the spiciness of French or the chocolate tones of Hungarian!

brewpirate
brewpirate's picture
I did have a homebrew store

I did have a homebrew store employee do a blind tasting on it not knowing what it was (very trusting) and one of the first things he picked up was vanilla in the dark american oak but that would be something to test.

I was also thinking about testing proof to see if that had any major impact with something like a generic vodka, a high proof (120+) and water. Any other factors you think I should test?

Owly
Consider Everclear...... It

Consider Everclear...... It is almost 200 proof and is not sugared like vodka. Dilute it to the proof you want. It's pretty darn cheap.

H.W.

drew
drew's picture
Well, the important parts of

Well, the important parts of any extraction are time, temperature, concentration (both your ethanol percentage & the amount of substrate), pressure.

So you have tests for different extraction substrates and media. Differing amounts would be highly practical (does extracting more stuff in less alcohol yield better results, etc). I have my sneaking suspicions about what you'll find, but I'm going to make like a good sciencey type.

Owly
I've done a very similar

I've done a very similar procedure on home distilled whiskey. My procedure was to char splinters of oak, or maple, put them in the whiskey in an Easy Cap bottle. I would heat the bottle by setting it in a pan of water on the stove to near boiling temp, then remove it, and discharge pressure by flipping the top, reseal, and throw it in the snow bank outside my door. When well chilled, I would bring it in and discharge the vacuum, then reseal, and reheat, then discharge pressure.... etc I repeated this numerous times, and as the alcohol heated and cooled, it drew flavor and color out of the wood. Both oak and maple give good flavor. I was using very little wood, as it had not occurred to me to do a concentrate....... Now I have to try it with vodka to use in beer. Thanks for the idea!!