Brewer's Lair - Fine Beer and Brewing

Design Beer


Make Beer

Beer Basics

Know Beer


Enjoy Beer


Find Beer

About Us

Promote Beer

Enjoy the beer that you deserve.


Brewing Process
Malts, Grains, and Sugars
Brewing Tips

Oak Flavor

What it does :

Remember that, for many of the centuries people have been brewing beer, the exclusive use of hops to balance beer's malty base is relatively recent. Brewers have long added special flavorings like flavorings to make unique brews, and that tradition continues today. The craft brewing and homebrewing movements provide daily examples of this inventiveness. If you are reading this, you are likely looking to broaden your beer and brewing palate. You can make use of oak flavor to express your own brewing creativity and make a beer that is uniquely yours. Oak flavoring is used to recreate the flavor and aroma of cask-conditioned beer. Styles that benefit from this include traditional India Pale Ales, some Belgian ales, and British bitters.

When designing a beer recipe that will include oak flavor you must carefully consider the malt, hops, and yeast base that will best complement this specialty ingredient. When brewing with flavorings, many brewers choose a strong malt base, with bittering hops only. By avoiding the addition of aroma hops, this allows the added flavorings to complement, and not conflict with the beer's other ingredients.

What it is:

Oak results in a characteristically sharp, astringent, bitter flavor. To achieve this flavor, oak chips are available in regular and toasted form. Oak flavor is also available in extract form.


For oak chips, use 1 to 3 ounces per 5 gallons. Add to the secondary fermenter. For oak flavor extract, use 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons, and add at bottling. Finding the right amount of oak flavor to use will depend on your particular recipe and your vision for your beer. As always, keep good records of each beer that you make, be willing to experiment, and you will converge on the ingredient mix that yields the flavor and aroma result that you like best.


The chips should be sterilized either by steam or baking them at 350 F for 15 minutes. Do not boil the oak, as this will release excessive tannins to the beer. Place the chips in a weighted nylon bag with a weight to keep them submerged in the fermenter.

Related Links

Volume Conversion
Weight Conversion
Oak Flavor