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Re: [Distillers] Re: how to toast wood pieces?

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  • fatbloke
    Personally I cut it into small staves about 6 inches long and a quarter inch square section then spread them on a baking tray and bake them on high oven
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 26, 2013
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      Personally I cut it into small "staves" about 6 inches long and a quarter inch square section then spread them on a baking tray and bake them on high oven setting. Keep checking them till they're a light charcoal colour.

      bob@... wrote:
       

      Toast the thin slices of oak in the microwave. You can tell when they are done by the smoke smell.

       

      Bob C

       

    • Derek Hamlet
      ... I had no idea you could do it that way. I toast my oak staves (White American Oak) in the oven. That way I have some control over the degree of toast
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 26, 2013
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        At 11:35 AM 2/26/2013, you wrote:
        >
        >
        >Toast the thin slices of oak in the microwave. You can tell when
        >they are done by the smoke smell.

        I had no idea you could do it that way. I toast my oak staves
        (White American Oak) in the oven. That way I have some control over
        the degree of toast since I like to use both light, medium and dark
        toasted oak depending on what I'm aiming for. I sometimes then put
        the used staves through a thickness planer to re-use later.
        If I want charred oak, I just take some of the oak staves hang them
        up and go after them with blow torch. Everyone around here knows I'm
        a little eccentric. I was changing a tire once on a motorcycle while
        my still was bubbling away over the corner. One of the local
        gendarmes dropped up the driveway for something totally unrelated to
        me. We talked motos for a while, and then he asked it that's a still
        over there. I said, yup, I make natural essences that we put into
        natural soaps, some into food etc. etc. Well, scotch is a natural
        essence isn't it.
        He probably figured it all out, but had way more important things to
        be concerned about.
        We could get into a whole discussion of French vs. American vs.
        Eastern European oaks. I prefer French oak,,,,,,,,,,, but, not
        really available for cheap or free.
        Around here we have lots of Garry Oak which is a very geographically
        small subspecies of White Oak. In my town, if you cut one down they
        will tear of vital parts of your body and feed them to mad
        dogs. Seriously, they are protected. But, occasionally they have to
        have limbs taken off, or they blow over in a storm. Smart old
        bastards like me, have a little arrangement with the local municipal
        arborist. He gives me a call and asks if I need any and believe it
        or not he'll drop off a couple of ten foot branches that are 6-8" in
        diameter. It doesn't take many of those to make up a ton of oak
        staves ready for toasting.
        Sometimes they leave them to rot naturally, if possible, because that
        ends up supporting the entire ecosystem. Other times they get picked
        up and hauled away by the local fine art woodcraft people who cut it
        up into planks for seasoning. etc.
        You've never seen anything quite so purty as a Garry Oak meadow with
        all its wildflowers and grasses growing. Back in the day, the local
        Aboriginal people use to set them on fire. The fires didn't hurt the
        trees, but burned off the grass so they could then harvest the blue
        camas bulbs which were an integral part of their diet. The grasses
        all grew back by the next spring.

        So, there's my long winded thoughts on toasting.


        Derek
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