« on: February 14, 2013, 12:38:52 pm »
I recently came into possession of my first barrel (a 60 gallon oak barrel, previously used for aging cab) by way of a local winery. The barrel has a slight vinegar smell, and I'm wondering if there's any way I can cure it. I got the barrel for free, presumably because of the vinegar smell, so I'm not really in a position to try to get it replaced. I'm hoping to use it for aging sours, so pulling out any oak flavor that's left in the process of sanitizing it isn't a concern. I saw something under one of the other topics about possibly using steam to kill off any bugs...something about needing to maintain a temperature of 150, I believe. One of the replies said that that may kill surface bacteria, but that getting deeper into the wood may be more difficult because it would take longer to get the internal temp of the wood up that high. Could filling the entire barrel with boiling water and letting it sit overnight be a possible solution? Is there a better way to go about this?
Your help is much appreciated.