Instead of aging spirits in oak barrels,

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why not just filter the spirits though oak sawdust?




Re: Instead of aging spirits in oak barrels,

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Hehe...  During 5 to 15 or more years ageing the liquid absorbs compounds
from the wood.  A part even evaporates through the wood.  Compounds in the
liquid react with each other and form new ones - very slowly.

anders



Re: Instead of aging spirits in oak barrels,
wrote:
-672b-49d7-806c-5ba224910658@i14g2000yqe.googlegroups.com...> why not just filter the spirits though oak sawdust?
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Increasing the surface to volume ratio of oak by using small particles
will increase the rate at which compounds in the oak leach out into
the liquor.  All reactions, very slow or not, between compounds in the
liquor may just as well occur in glass bottles instead of oak
barrels.  And, why would anyone want liquor to evaporate?

Re: Instead of aging spirits in oak barrels,




wrote:
.com...> why not just filter the spirits though oak sawdust?
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Increasing the surface to volume ratio of oak by using small particles
will increase the rate at which compounds in the oak leach out into
the liquor.  All reactions, very slow or not, between compounds in the
liquor may just as well occur in glass bottles instead of oak
barrels.  And, why would anyone want liquor to evaporate?

There once was common practice with US wine makers to flavour wine with =
wood chips, largely because of customers insistence on a heavy wood =
taste with the wine which at that time (up to 10 years ago?) was =
perceived as a sign of quality.  It seems that this practice today is =
abandoned and that the US public today is better educated in this =
respect.
The demand today is more for fruity wines and wine makers in Europe use =
much more steel tanks. Germany is an example of large scale abandonment =
of classical barrels.
It must be noted, though, that these barrels were reused for decades and =
thus left little oak flavour anyway.
On the other hand, higher-level producers in Bordeaux and some other =
areas still make extensive use of oak and introduce something like 20% =
new barrels every year.  These higher-level wines carry more fruit in =
themselves (riper grapes, better climates, better selection) and seem to =
need wood as well as bottle aging.  However, time in wood for these =
rarely exceeds 2-3 years.  

Now, there's a huge difference between wine and spirits in that the =
former does develop after bottling, for better or worse. Spirits are =
frozen in time, so to speak, provided the closure is tight.
So, a bottle of 17 years old whisky should taste the same in 50 years =
time.  

The difference between 5 and 17 year old whiskies is quite remarkable - =
and the difference between single barrels of the same 'vintage' is also =
stunning!  So, the blender will have to juggle batches to keep a =
consistent house style.  An expert might tell you more, all I know is =
that whiskies very often use second hand barrels (old port, sherry or =
madeira wood for instance).  Bourbon wood is charred (toasted) on the =
inside - one of the things making a difference against whisky (another =
is American oak vs French).

Evaporation through barrels depends on the porosity of the oak used - =
one might surmise that volatile compounds and small molecules would be =
those going and that this effect throughout centuries of experience has =
been found beneficial in some areas, depending on the local wood - =
Limousin or Troncais oak for Cognac is an instance).  

There is an extensive research literature on this subject and if one is =
comfortable with expressions like b-methyl-g-octalactone or gallic =
acid:vanillin ratio, a bit of Googling might be helpful

Anders








Re: Instead of aging spirits in oak barrels,
Hallo zusammen,


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They do with wine. Store it in stainless steel tanks and throw in wood
pellets for maturing. Wouldn't want to see that with whisky. First
distillery I wouldn't buy from.
--
tschŁss
andy r.

Re: Instead of aging spirits in oak barrels,
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The question was why?  Have you tasted scotch filtered through oak
sawdust?

Regarding wine, there is ample evidence that putting cork stoppers in
bottles is a very stupid practice.  But, in the name of tradition,
corked bottles of wine are still widely marketed to suckers.  I bet
some scotch manufacturers market other traditional gimmicks to
suckers, maybe, such as aging in oak barrels.

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