Oaking Malt Whiskey

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Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:42 pm

Hi All,

I am after some advice on oaking malt whiskey.

I recently distilled a batch of AG malt whiskey. I split in 500ml glass jars off the still then made cuts based purely on taste and smell. Samples were diluted to approx 35% ABV. I blended back the keep jars and ended up with around 65% ABV just under 5L. At the time this tasted reasonable but I wouldn't pour a glass and drink straight up. I added 4.5 oak staves (American med toast). It has only been around 3 weeks since adding the oak. The whiskey is in 5L glass demijohn with the lid off. I just tried a sample and it definitely tastes worse than before oaking.

Has anyone experienced this and is it likely to improve or simply get worse with time and oak.

Considering putting back through the still.

Cheers.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby username » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:57 pm

If you ended up with 65% ABV just by mixing your cuts i would suggest you have picked up a lot of tails, would expect hearts off the still to be above 70% ABV.

Was this the product of a spirit run or cuts from a first run.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:00 pm

Hey mate. Was a pot still spirit run. Low wines were at around 25% abv.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby The Stig » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:37 pm

I find oaking goes through differing stages, some good some not so good and some are great.
How much oak did you use?
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:43 pm

G'day Stig. Around 110-120gms in about 4.5l. I was a little suprised. I kept some late heads and early tails and popped them in a jar together just as an experiment with an oak stave and a couple bourbon cubes. They actually taste better than "hearts" cut I made.

Definitely not aiming to drink this immediately.....just really disappointed with it atm.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby The Stig » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:49 pm

Might be a little heavy there George, the “norm” is about 10grams per liter so it could well be over paling real quick.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:54 pm

Copy that mate. Appreciate the advice. I have a second lot fermenting. May strip it next weekend and add it all back into the spirit run.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Andrew » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:02 pm

I just sent you a pm George :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Plumby » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:03 pm

I had a batch of ujssm that I over oaked, I added some fresh spirit from my next spirit run and it improved it immensely.
I now stick to 10 grams of oak per litre of spirit @ 65% for ageing.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:31 pm

Thanks Plumby sounds like a decent option. Do you normally get a spirit that is drinkable straight away? (excluding neutral). I have never produced whiskey before and assumed some of the imperfections I could taste when the spirit was white would evolve with age into potentially something with a nice character.

Would it be safe to assume if the spirit isn't very appealing immediately after blending, age and oak will do little to help?
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby The Stig » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:34 pm

Aging and oaking do wonders for the end product
Something that tastes bad off the still will often become some of the best after 6 months on oak
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby db1979 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:35 pm

You could also try aerating it. When it's over-oaked, too much tannin gets into the spirit and tannins taste really bitter. Bubbling air through the spirit helps to oxidise the tannins. This is a process that will occur over time anyway but the bubbling will speed it up. There's a thread or two (or more) about it somewhere. Just don't use plastic.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Plumby » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:00 pm

The Stig wrote:Aging and oaking do wonders for the end product
Something that tastes bad off the still will often become some of the best after 6 months on oak

:text-+1:
I've had whiskey that's rough as guts when fresh but after 12 months on oak its very, really nice. Ive had whiskey thats drinkable when white and after 12 months its awesome. Rum is the same I find, white is drinkable but you know it needs time. 3 months and its ok, 6 months and its good, 12 plus months and its great.
I know first hand that its hard too keep all the spirit run on oak for 12 months so I do a staggered aging process. I lable every jar with what is in it and the abv as well as the oak used. Then I add another label with a bottling date, 3,6 and 12 months after the spirit run. That way I always have something decent to sip on at home and some stock to take to a bbq or whatever.
I usually do a spirit run once every 6-8 weeks so when winter comes I don't have to worry about keeping washes hot and standing out in the cold running the still.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:23 pm

Thanks for the advice. Feeling more positive now. Will rip some oak out and try to get O2 into it. ^:)^ ^:)^
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Cols15 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:36 am

Already once used corn whisky (bourbon) oak is the norm for oaking malt whisky, otherwise the oak is to strong and overpowers the malt flavour..
I also have some pre soaked sherry oak i use for finishing. I normally add it a couple months just before i think the whisky's finished.
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby bluess57 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:53 am

Have you got a charred dominoe in the demijohn with your spirits?
These days I add a used & charred dominoe to my spirits.
I reckon a charred dominoe
1) can give a slight hint of smokiness
2) provides a small amount of charcoal filtering
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:51 pm

I actually have Med toast american dominoes. I think I called them staves in the original post. Are the charred dominoes you refer to charred bourbon barrel off cuts or are they toasted then charred pieces of American Oak?
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby bluess57 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:35 pm

Just char up one of your dominoes on a gas stove/gas burner
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Andrew » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:48 pm

I char 50% of my oak using a map torch
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Re: Oaking Malt Whiskey

Postby Georgio » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:53 pm

Still maintain around 10gm per liter?
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