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View Full Version : Oak chips vs tannins



McJeff
09-07-2013, 09:45 PM
I'm confused is there a diff?

fatbloke
09-08-2013, 05:07 AM
Different original sources. Different resulting tastes. Etc etc...

McJeff
09-08-2013, 05:52 AM
Is one easier to use vs the other? Do you need extra aging time for the oak chips? When would put those in? Or when for tannins?

theEnvoy
09-08-2013, 09:30 AM
It all depends on what, when, and why.

Jim H
09-08-2013, 10:07 AM
Is one easier to use vs the other? Do you need extra aging time for the oak chips? When would put those in? Or when for tannins?

McJeff, on my current batches, I am planning on fermenting them until I reach my desired strength (in my case, dry, at the limit of the yeast's tolerance). Then, I will introduce my flavoring components, such as oak (and others like acids, herbal tinctures, and honey) to balance the flavor. I want to use oak because it makes it more tannic, and (just as important to me) it produces other flavors that I like, such as subtle caramel and vanilla.

My planned use will be 3/4 of an ounce of mixed medium and heavy toast oaks from France and the US, for at least a week, but I will be tasting to check. Maybe I will leave it in longer. I once left an ounce of heavy toast chips in for almost a month in a gallon -- and it didn't taste bad at all. Quite nice. I think if I had used medium or light toast oak left in that long, it might have been too woody.

I have not tried powdered tannins, but I am guessing that you would use them at the end as well, and then slowly add small amounts until you reach the tannic level that you want. I don't know what other flavoring components the powder might bring along with it.

Also, I have used oak to improve the flavor of bottles of spirits that I think may be lacking. Once they've done their job, the oak cubes or chips can be re-used immediately to impart flavors from that spirit to my latest batch of beer or mead. Just a thought on recycling. Gotta save the earth, you know. :)

McJeff
09-08-2013, 01:32 PM
So are Tannins and Tannic Acid the same thing? these two things are confusing me.

fatbloke
09-08-2013, 01:45 PM
So are Tannins and Tannic Acid the same thing? these two things are confusing me.
Tannic Acid. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannic_acid)......

and Tannin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin)......

So there is a difference. Up to you to work out the confusion though...... ;D

McJeff
09-08-2013, 01:53 PM
Tannic Acid. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannic_acid)......

and Tannin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin)......

So there is a difference. Up to you to work out the confusion though...... ;D

yeah i googled the same stuff, so i see you have no idea either :p

fatbloke
09-08-2013, 02:05 PM
yeah i googled the same stuff, so i see you have no idea either :p
No, if I just want some tannin to balance a batch a bit, give it a bit more mouth feel etc, I just use powdered tannin (grape tannin I believe it is).

If I want the more complex oak/wood/tannin/vanilla sort of woodiness, then I just chuck a pack of oak chips in (about 100 grammes in a pack and it's basically toasted saw dust), then keep an eye on it.

Of course, you can really kick the arse out of it, and track down a barrel and make a batch that will fill it. Just remember, with barrels, the smaller they are, the higher the wood to liquid contact ratio it is and the faster the batch will take up the oaky flavour.

Industry standard barrels are the ones that you might find proper guidance about, but they're about 225 litre capacity and that's a lot of mead to make without a set/fixed recipe and resulting product.....

McJeff
09-08-2013, 02:57 PM
So how about the diff between Tannins and Tannic Acid ;)

Medsen Fey
09-08-2013, 03:09 PM
Tannins is a broad group of phenolic molecules, usually found in plants.
Tannic acid is one specific type of tannin molecule.

Wine tannin additives are usually derived from oak galls. They add astringency, and may help with mouthfeel but can leave your mead very bitter if overdone.

The tannins from oak wood generally don't add as much astringency, and with wood you get a lot of other aromas and flavors that add character (or ruin) a mead.

Use any of the above very judiciously with small amounts and you will be happier.

McJeff
09-08-2013, 03:49 PM
hmmm well ok then ty