cedar wood aging

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by AndersRM, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. AndersRM

    AndersRM Member

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    Does anyone know anything about aging beer, wine, or whisky on wood chips from a western red, or yellow cedar?

    Much the same as american white oak imparts a pleasant flavour and aroma to alcoholic beverages, i'm sure cedar could do the same. My question is in regards to toxic compounds found in cedar. I know the oil from cedar leaves can be toxic if ingested, but are any of these toxic properties found in the wood? If so, are they alcohol or water soluble?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Cedars (Cedrus) are native to the Mediterranean region - if they had been suitable for barrel use, the people of the region would have done so long ago.

    The woods you are talking about are other species misnamed, not cedars. Not sure if they'd be toxic or not.
     
  3. AndersRM

    AndersRM Member

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    Sorry,

    Thuja Plicata of the cypress family is the tree I meant.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Pojar & Mackinnon, Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (1994, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lone Pine Publishing) say redcedar was used by First Nations peoples for drying fish, because it gave off little smoke. They also list other uses involving contact with food, including dishes and barbecue sticks. And they report it was "used for a variety of ailments" but do not go into detail on that point.

    They say the more stinky yellow-cedar was also used for dishes and medicinally, do mention in this case specific ways such as tea from branch tips and boiling with spruce roots to make a drink etc.

    None of them involving recreational beverages, however.

    And in the preceding, introductory discussion, Cedars: Trees of Life (page 41) they mention the yellow-cedar bark had to be processed to get the pitch out.
     

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