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Re: Oak Kegs: Charred or Toasted?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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