Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For beer aged either in oak barrels or on oak chips/cubes, does the contact with the oak noticeably affect final gravity, and if so, what is the direct cause?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Not really. In a discussion of the subject on the AHA forum recently, it was brought up that using barrels will increase the "angel's share"...the beer that evaporates. But it's such a small amount that it's negligible in terms of increasing the alcohol. Using chips or cubes should have no effect whatsoever.

share|improve this answer
+1. Alcohol evaporates more quickly than water. Water won't evaporate through the barrel and leave a higher abv beer behind. – JackSmith Mar 4 '11 at 20:42

Not as long as the wood isn't infested with Brettanomyces, anyway.

share|improve this answer
Even if it was that would be the brett not the wood causing a change in gravity. – brewchez Mar 5 '11 at 15:27
True, but if you saw a significant change in gravity after racking to a barrel, that would be an indication that you have something in the barrel that will eat "unfermentable" sugars. It addresses the "direct cause" portion of his question. – baka Mar 5 '11 at 15:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.