Homemade Oak Flavoring

Homemade Oak Flavoring

by The Beverage People

Homemade Oak Extract is a sound alternative to barrel storage. The marriage of flavors takes place in glass or stainless steel storage containers instead of barrels and therefore needs to be racked at least as frequently as a barrel to slowly introduce oxygen. Other than maintaining that program the effects of oak flavor and aroma will very nearly match the tastes imparted from storage in oak cooperage. To make up your extract you will need a few supplies, as well as the oak chips.

You will need:

To Make The Extract:

Fill one Mason Jar with the oak chips and fill the jar completely with vodka or everclear. Cover and let stand for 24 hours. Line a funnel with several layers of folded cheesecloth and place over the second Mason jar. Pour in the oak vodka mixture, stand until well drained. You will normally collect approximately 10 to 12 oz. of Liquid Oak Extract. You may further clarify this liquid by straining a second time through a paper coffee filter. Pour the extract into a clean bottle and store until needed.

Trial Additions:

Measure 100 mL into the graduated cylinder and add .5 mL liquid oak extract. Pour 1 oz. of this flavored wine into a wine glass and mark it .5 mL. Add 1 oz. of wine to a graduated cylinder. Add another .5 mL liquid oak extract. Pour 1 oz. of this second flavored wine into a second wine glass and mark .85 mL. Add 1 oz of wine to the graduated cylinder and repeate this process 3 more times to give you 5 wine glasses marked .5, .85, 1.1, 1.28, and 1.41 mL. Now taste and smell these different wines until you decide which amout is the most desirable.

Treating Larger Batches

To treat five gallons of wine, multiply your facorite amount (in mL) by 188. For example: your favorite sample wine glass is the sample with 1.28 mL added. Multiply 1.28 x 188 = 241 mL. Add this extract per 5 gallons of wine you are flavoring. Taste it now and again in three weeks. The wine will apear to have lost some of its fruitier flavor and aromatic components, but after several weeks, the extract will "marry" to the wine and the fruit will reappear. We recommend you do the extract addition several weeks before bottling, in case you want to increase the amount of oak by making a second addition.

Sample Dosage Add to  5 Gallons
Glass #1 .50 mL x  188  =  94  mL
Glass #2 .85 mL x  188  =  160 mL
Glass #3 1.10 mL x  188  =  207 mL
Glass #4 1.28 mL x  188  =  241 mL
Glass #5 1.41 mL x  188  =  265 mL