Wood chips? Wood shavings? Wooden alternative products !
Wood chips or wood shavings – used to be the somewhat derogatory terms for wood alternative products. They were thought of as a waste product that could replace a wooden barrel at low cost.
Today we are much more advanced! Wood chips – we like the name – cubes, sticks and staves are a modern concept for use and maceration in the wine, alcohol and food industries. When used purposefully, they give structure, body and a rounding to the products. Our wood alternative products are subject to strict quality controls and are each marked with batch and lot numbers to ensure complete traceability (when purchased in original 14 or 18 kg containers).
We offer wood chips in various sizes. The rule of thumb is that the smaller the chip, the greater the amount of wood in your product. Just as with the barrels, wood chips are available in different woods. In the case of oak, which is mostly used for wine, we distinguish between American white oak (Quercus Alba) and French oak (Quercus Robur). These woods are available in different toasting levels, such as light, medium, medium plus and heavy. But special profile toasts are also used. In addition to the standard oak aromas of vanilla, toasted bread and fruit, special aromas such as bacon, coffee and caramel are also tickled out.
Interesting for the alcohol industry but also for distillers are our wood chips or wood cubes made of special woods. Chips or cubes made of mulberry wood have a high potential of golden yellow color. Acacia chips give fine, fresh notes of herbs and honeydew melon. Aromas of dark honey give our chestnut Cubes and ash provides balanced aging without giving off color.
Trend is, as with the barrels, wood from a pre-population. We produce the cubes in our own cooperage. We use only freshly emptied barrels. The pre-coating, such as whiskey, bourbon, sherry, cognac or rum is deeply drawn into the barrel staves and so the cubes are also saturated with the flavors “soaked”. Especially brewers and distillers use this kind of alternative products for their beers and distillates.
The innovation at the moment – liquid oak! Yes, you understood correctly – liquid oak. Liquid oak is gently extracted from the hearts of the oaks we saw open for our staves. These woods are first processed into wood chips, carefully dried and then macerated in clear spring water and then distilled. The result is a product that perfectly releases its tannins to your distillate to be aged and rounded.
It is applied during the aging in wooden barrels in a dosage between 1% to 3%, depending on the desired effect and purpose. The distillate, ideally at an alcohol content of about 60% by volume, draws from the liquid wood the tannins for rounding and leaves a deposit at the bottom of the barrel. For rounding, already in use for a long time in the “Eau de Vie”, this product offers a complete elegance in your distillate.
The liquid wood “French oak” brings out the fruity aromas of the base product and gives the product gentle woody aromas. It also provides a balanced sweetness with a finish of vanilla flavors.
The liquid wood “American oak” offers the product aromas of ripe fruit and brings a slight sweetness. In addition, light vanilla aromas can be tasted after using the liquid wood. The results turn out differently, depending on their starting product.
The use of wood alternatives does not replace wood barrel aging. When using these products in glass or other vessels, micro-oxygenation does not take place. However, this is indispensable – at least for professional barrel aging. Alternatives are very suitable for finishing. They give the already barrel-aged wine, beer or distillate that certain something and thus the personal touch of the respective cellar brewer or distiller. They bring structure, body and rounding. Likewise, any off-flavors that may have arisen can be corrected with the help of the right use of these products.
The dosage of chips and cubes ranges between 3-10 g per liter over a period of about three to four weeks. There is no general recipe. The dosage as well as the type of chips/cubes depends on personal taste.
Have we aroused your interest? We offer you our sample set of wood alternatives at cost price. We will provide you with ten different samples. So you can test the different types of wood, sizes and toastings.
We recommend pre-testing in any case and please observe the respective legal regulations.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.