French Oak Chips produce a milder flavor in beers, meads, wines and ciders and are less "aggressive" than chips created from American Oak. French oak is typically aged once the tree is cut down before processing, leading to a less aggressive flavor.
While barrel fermentation and aging provides complexity to flavors and aromas in red and white wines, inexpensive French Oak Chips provide quick and simple means of introducing oak qualities to finished wines and beers.
With the French variety, use 1-1 1/2 cups for white wines while red wines typically require 2-3 cups. For aging beer on Oak Chips, 2 - 4 oz. will provide moderate to more assertive oak aroma and flavor to the finished beverage.
Fermenting and aging both white and red wines on French Oak chips provides numerous improvements over simply aging or fermenting in glass or plastic without oak. Oak Chips impart woody and vanilla notes to beverages.
For oaking beers with French Oak, soaking the chips in a sanitary medium such as Scotch, Bourbon, Rye or Whiskey will provide addtional flavoring to the oak. Soak the chips in the liquor for about 1 week, allowing the oak to absorb the flavors of the alcohol. Following the soaking period, decant most of the liquor from and add the chips and a small amount of the oak flavored liquor to the aging carboy. Once the chips are in the carboy, siphon the beer into the carboy and prepare the beer for aging and conditioning.