Sunday, October 23, 2005

Are We Making Banana Bread Here - or Wine?

After planing and splitting the oak barrel staves, it's time for the toasting. Trial and error teaches me that you get a nice, medium dark toast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. (You'll know when they're done -- smoke will start streaming out of your oven, your fire alarms will start wailing and your dogs will start barking.) Here the split staves are in the oven, then stacked for cooling. A deep breath tells you something wonderful is happening. It's a warm, yeasty, toasted banana bread smell. Banana Bread Syrah - hmmm, sounds like a bit of a specialty wine at best. But somehow, I just know this aroma will knit wonderfully with the fruit. Can't wait for them to cool off so I can drop them in the carboys.

Note, I've updated the toasting process, here.

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