how long to soak oak cubes in bourbon

How Long to Soak Oak Cubes In Bourbon? (Find Out!)

You might want to try different flavors coming from the same oak, don’t you? But don’t really know how long should you soak your oak cubes in bourbon. 

This can keep you from having an entirely different experience! 

So, how long to soak oak cubes in bourbon?

Approximately a month of soaking in bourbon is required for your oak cubes. Meanwhile, oak chips might get soaked up faster for having more surface area than cubes. Better cube soaking depends on getting a stainless jar or container. And, having the bourbon fill-in properly gets the process faster.

We share a lot of interesting facts related to soaking, re-using cubes, and so on! Let us spare a few minutes and stick with us till the end!

How Long to Soak Oak Cubes In Bourbon?

Producing a barrel-aged taste coming out of bourbon requires a long time. More specifically, it’ll need almost a month to burst out with that flavor. 

Or even using a keg, you will witness nearly the same wait time. The waiting periods also indirectly keep kegs from carbonating at times.

Soak Oak Cubes In Bourbon
Source: theelectricbrewery.com

Either in Bourbons or beers like Russian Imperial Stout, oak cubes require more time than chips. 

Usually, oak cubes in bourbon get soaked nicely in the bourbon flavors. And, this lengthy process would require you approximately a month to proceed. 

Using barrels often fastens the procedure. However, it depends on the style of bourbon you brew. And, the same goes for kegs! 

That’s why both cases show barrel or keg regulator trouble. So, be aware of this issue! 

In the meantime, there are consumer preferences to get a raw version of the bourbon. 

Getting oak cubes inside a bag can soak the oak cubes without getting dumped into the bourbon. 

Around 7-8 days can be enough to taste and put an end to the soaking process. However, consumers like more soaked oaks eventually. So, keeping them for at least four weeks can bring you excellent taste as mentioned earlier.

You might wonder, how many oak cubes for bourbon is necessary?

We recommend adding 8 oak cubes per quart of bourbon for the best flavor. It all should be diluted to 55% abv in glass jar. After that, you should seal the mouth of the jar with a coffee filter.

Oak Chips Vs Oak Cubes

Most DIY users consider these two oaks the same. But in reality, there are some differences including the duration of soaking up properly. Oak cubes are much more manageable to separate from your beer than oak chips.

Meanwhile, oak chips come with more surface area than oak cubes. As a result, chips start working faster. It fastens the completion time to soak up properly. 

Only 7 to 8 days is enough for extracting it while you don’t need to think about tannins. Meanwhile, oak cubes tannin extraction might take a longer period. However, oak chips do not contain many tannins. Along with that, oak barrels bring the most surface area. And, these are the best options for reusing oaks. Differences between them also clear out the proper ways of using the oak chips and cubes!

oak cubes
Source: bsghandcraft.com

Re-using of Oak Cubes

Re-use or recycling of these oak cubes undoubtedly depends on the duration of their usage earlier. Manufacturers of different oak products produce cubes, beans, spirals, powder, chips, and so on. 

However, they recommend re-using only if the oak cubes have left something still. ‘Left something’ solely indicates not everything these oak materials have brought out. 

The more downward the surface-to-mass ratio is for the woodcuts, the prolonged life they will have! In this manner, staves last longer than cubes. 

But cubes can show more durability than chips, powder, etc. However, picking up oak cubes with 3/4 inches can be good enough. And, these might be suitable ones for 4 to 6 weeks of contact time. 

After that period, you might not get them back for re-usages. Using them for the second time will take a longer extraction time of oakiness for bourbon. 

What Type of Oak to Use?

You will find three major types of oaks available- American, Hungarian, and French. Meanwhile, the French one delivers the mildest flavor coming with a vanilla taste. 

But American oaks can bring out the strongest oak flavor. And the Hungarian can offer mind oak flavor in comparison.

At the same time, oak carries different toasting levels. Dark toasted oaks get you a more carbonized or caramelized flavor. However, untoasted or light-toasted might taste much milder. 

Having a hard time deciding which type of oak cubes to go for? Let us help you a bit to decide! Check out our top recommendations for different types of Oak cubes with different toast levels, available on Amazon:

ProductToast LevelCheck Availability on Amazon
CellarScience American  Oak Cubes Medium ToastCheck Price
Hungarian Oak CubesMedium ToastCheck Price
CellarScience French Oak Cubes Medium ToastCheck Price
CellarScience Oak Cubes – American Heavy ToastCheck Price
CellarScience Oak Cubes – FrenchHeavy ToastCheck Price

Pick the flavor you prefer and let that bourbon make your day! 

People often don’t want to bother themselves about the type of oak cubes to go for. But bourbon soaked oak cubes of different varieties can have a huge impact on your experience.

bourbon soaked oak cubes
Source: lionwings.co

Now you might understand how the variety of toast levels has brought different oak types. 

As now the choosing part comes, you should consider it based on the bourbon style. However, dark toasted oaks are highly preferred for bourbon. More specifically, having American oak will be more suitable. 

Finding oak cubes imparting flavors quickly indicates cutting out the complex flavors and fragrances. And, one-side toasting oak cubes are considered better than other toasted ones. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When Should I Add Oak Chips to Wine?

While finding oak chips racked for bulk aging, you need to consider adding this to wine. Meanwhile, bulk aging directs storing the wine in glass water bottles. A handful of chips is also required to add intricacy to the wine. After two to three days of adding oak chips, you can taste wine.

How Can I Utilize Oak Chips In Spirits?

For each liter of spirit, you might find 10 to 50 grams of oak soaked. And, depending on taste, it might continue for about one to three weeks. The longer you preserve it, the more taste it will bring! Re-using the same chips more than once is suitable. But you need to consider soaking it for longer.

How Can I Infuse Smoke Into Bourbon?

First, you will require a decanter or extensive glass pitcher. Then, add the bourbon, bitters, and syrup. Now, turn the smoking gun on to infuse the pitcher with smoke for a minute or two. Then, close the container with the help of saran wrap pieces. It will trap the smoke in the pitcher.

Final Words

Now you know how long to soak oak cubes in bourbon! However, there might be different cases too which you shouldn’t treat as odds! 

Hopefully, our little effort will make your soaking process more straightforward the next time. 

Still, got more questions? Leave us a comment! 

Best of luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top