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Oak Barrel Chips

nate4g63

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I bought a 5 gallon kit over the weekend brewed up everything and fermentation is going well. The kit I bought was a whisky barrel stout.  I'm concerned about the oak chips.  I haven't been racking to a secondary with any of my previous brews, and I've been happy with my results.  What are your thoughts on opening my primary and just adding the chips after fermt. is complete?  Obviously I'm trying to avoid any contamination.  I'm not against racking to a secondary just havent.  Or should I just skip the chips completely? Thanks in advance...
 

Cicerone

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Depending on how long you're going to leave the beer in secondary, you may want to tie the chips up in cheesecloth with some marbles to weigh it all down, so that it doesn't float and start growing mold. If it's only going to be in secondary for two weeks it's probably not worth worrying about though.
You can sanitize the whole thing if it makes you feel better, but I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Cheers,
Brian
 

porterwagner

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You might try steaming the chips to sterilize before placing in either primary or secondary (if you decide to use secondary)- soak them in a small amount of water, steam (even in microwave)- and you will have pre-dampened sterilized chips.
 

MikeinWA

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Soak them in whiskey before adding them.  That will kill anything.
 
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