Adding Oak & Rehydrating Yeast: Wine Wizard

QI make wine in five-gallon batches from juice that I buy in Canada. I also buy skins, stems, and small bags of toasted oak chips, then let it all age in five-gallon carboys. I have not been able to notice the oak flavor from these small bags of chips. Can you buy an oak plank, cut it into thin strips, and add that to the carboy to give an increased surface area? Also, what does the toasting add to the oak flavor, and can I do that with a blowtorch? Glen AndersonLyme, New Hampshire AAs opposed to heading off to your local lumber mill, it would be better if you head on over to your local home winemaking supply house and pick up a bigger bag (or a few bags) of oak chips especially for the purpose of home winemaking. While you’re right in assuming that some of the oak you can buy at hardware stores is similar to the oak used to make barrels, it is far better to stick to the correct species (Quercus rober or Quercus alba)