We started letting him out his crate about 4 months ago but the chewing only started about 1 month ago. Do you still think its just too soon?
Any time they start getting destructive again ("relapses" do happen, especially now that he's hitting the 'butthead teenager phase'), back in the crate they go for a while. I didn't trust my male completely until he was around two. I didn't want to risk it.