OakPLUS Chips and Fines At fermentation use the smallest size possible, like our fine chips that are the size of shavings in a pencil sharpener. Our regular chips are like a matchstick broken up into pieces. Chips used during fermentation stabilize color, builds middle body and minimizes vegetal character. Adding OakPLUS at fermentation is a “use it or lose it” magic wand. Chips used after fermentation or clarification will have different flavor. OakPLUS additions post fermentation will tend to be more toasty and oaky with vanillin components, but without the texture developed by fermenting on the chips. Retaining Color The activity must be retaining color rather than making it. The tannins and sugars in the wood glom onto the anthocynanin and polymerize the molecules keeping them in suspension rather than falling out during the settling of the wine during clarification. You will see a noticeable darkening of the wines with the contact of oak.The addition of OakPLUS to fermenting of red grapes is relatively new (within the last five to seven years). Prior to that all oak was added post fermentation with different results. That is why we say “Use it or lose it at fermentation”. You can never get the body, color and texture enhancement obtained during fermentation by adding chips at a later date.