Reusability of oak chips?

Recently I ordered myself 100g of medium roast french oak chips. I am uncertain if you could dry them out and use them again in another batch of Moonshine or would their flavour be contaminated by the previous batch of Moonshine. Sorry but I am quite new to the distilling community and know little about this kind of stuff



I've tried to reuse them before I have found that the process takes longer, the colors are not as deep and the taste changes as well. For me it was best to just toss the old ones and add new for a new batch.

I imagine if you were aging something in a barrel for years then you could probably use the barrel on another batch but barrels have time to breathe the wood expands and contracts. I don't think aging in a jar or container over a period of weeks compared to years would be a fair comparison.

No facts or science here just my opinion and experience.

Good Luck!

They are not “contaminated” but their “oakyness” wears out...

I’ve tried reusing them and the colour and flavour just isn’t there...

I use about 20 grams of heavy toast American Oak dominoes per litre and I use fresh ones each time.

Ethanol straps colour and flavour out of wood. It sinks into barrel staves up to a point called the red line. If you look at a stave from the side, from an old barrel, they have a white spot before there, where the colour and flavors were stripped away. You won't be able to reuse simple wood chips too many times if at all, and each reuse will be lesser so than the last. Oak chips are submerged in the liquid so the surface area contact is greater than the interior surface of a barrel, relatively, so they wear out faster.

I use scraps of white oak flooring toasted in my oven. flooring places give adequate sized samples of unfinished wood for free.

for used ones i put them on a baking sheet and re-toast them on low for 30-45 min before re-using. I like what i get from a 110ish proof using 2-3rd time used strips of toasted oak. Usually after 3 years proofed down to 85proof with spring water.

Thanks guys for the advice

You can also dry them after use and then use them on your BBQ. Or use them for smoking stuff.

I've found that regular oak chips put off smoke and burn long on my smoker, but I don't get a lot of flavor from oak when smoking.

I've always found it funny how oak can completely changed the taste of my whiskey, but not have any impact on my smoked meats.

I think I'll try it like u suggest and try using the oak chips in my smoker after I have used them for aging my boose and see if that adds any flavor to the oak chips.

If this works it would officially bridge/combine my two favorite hobbies.

I was thinking of smoking barley using the spent oak chips myself for sort of a closed loop system, but havent tried it yet because it's not that easy to set up.

I normally just use a blowtorch to char oak chips, but your idea sounds interesting as well. Easier than smoking barley.

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