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Oak Kegs: Charred or Toasted?

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  • castillo.alex2008
    I think I´m buying an oak keg instead of oak chips but I don´t know which is better between a charred oak keg or a toasted one. Which is the difference?
    Message 1 of 3 , May 1, 2008
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      I think I´m buying an oak keg instead of oak chips but I don´t know
      which is better between a charred oak keg or a toasted one. Which is
      the difference? which is best? why?

      Alex
    • Harry
      ... Think breakfast. What s the difference flavour-wise between burnt toast & brown toast? Or as we bakers used to say... when it s brown it s cooked, when
      Message 2 of 3 , May 1, 2008
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        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "castillo.alex2008"
        <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I think I´m buying an oak keg instead of oak chips but I don´t know
        > which is better between a charred oak keg or a toasted one. Which is
        > the difference? which is best? why?
        >
        > Alex
        >


        Think breakfast. What's the difference flavour-wise between burnt
        toast & brown toast? Or as we bakers used to say..."when it's brown
        it's cooked, when it's black it's f#@ked.

        Toasted kegs give caramelisation. Charred kegs do this also, but with
        a little added smoothing (and flavour change) due to the char.

        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • jamesonbeam1
        Hey Alex, There are 4 or 5 different levels of char here in the US. The Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey makers around here like to use a heavier char. This is
        Message 3 of 3 , May 2, 2008
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          Hey Alex,

          There are 4 or 5 different levels of char here in the US. The
          Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey makers around here like to use a
          heavier char. This is a posting I made to Bill a while back:

          "The influence of bourbon barrels can be further sub-divided
          according to the degree of charring. The scale ranges from one to
          four, beginning with a `burnt toast' effect, and culminating in
          an `alligator char,' the popular term for a number four, as the
          surface resembles alligator hide. Various malt distilleries have an
          inventory of bourbon barrels with a range of char levels, with a
          heavier char typically giving greater amounts of vanilla, creme
          caramel, toastiness and hint of smoke, not to mention more intense
          colour. Alternatively, a milder char promotes greater sweetness,
          honey and vanilla, while also endowing the spirit with more body."
          From ( http://www.homedistiller.org/aging.htm )

          However:
          "Heads and barrels are now ready for the flame. "The majority of our
          customers go for the #4 char level," said Wickham. "We do them to the
          customer's specifications." There are five levels of char, grades 1-
          5, but every distiller in the industry uses levels between 3 1/2 and
          4 1/2. It takes about 60 seconds per barrel to do a #4 char; the
          flame is pulled through the barrels with blowers to get an even char.
          The heads simply move along a conveyer over the flame."
          From ( http://www.whiskeypages.com/classics-bourbon-char.asp )

          Also theres an article in Harry's Library (also in the Info base) on
          Oak's effect on flavors, smoothing and aging. See:
          http://distillers.tastylime.net/library/TheCompositionOfOak/index.htm

          Vino es Veritas,
          Jim.

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "castillo.alex2008"
          <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > I think I´m buying an oak keg instead of oak chips but I don´t know
          > which is better between a charred oak keg or a toasted one. Which is
          > the difference? which is best? why?
          >
          > Alex
          >


          Think breakfast. What's the difference flavour-wise between burnt
          toast & brown toast? Or as we bakers used to say..."when it's brown
          it's cooked, when it's black it's f#@ked.

          Toasted kegs give caramelisation. Charred kegs do this also, but with
          a little added smoothing (and flavour change) due to the char.

          Slainte!
          regards Harry
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