The result is a much more dry flavor and it lets the E Kent Goldings through a little more. I’ve also been oaking half of my batches with oak chips, with good results. The oak adds another layer of flavor and depth. It’s particularly fun to run a glass of oaked and un-oaked ale and taste them side by side.
I’m not sure how authentic the flavor added by the chips is, though I’ll bet it’s close to actual barrel flavor. As it turns out, the chips are gathered from the barrel-making process and are toasted with the barrel in a perforated can. It’s not clear if there is any residual oak sugar still in the chips, as they’ve never been exposed to alcohol before. A little research is in order.
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