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Author Topic: Treating a wine barrel  (Read 7401 times)

Offline mikeypedersen

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Treating a wine barrel
« on: April 16, 2010, 11:15:38 am »
Picked up 2 used French Oak wine barrels from a winery yesterday for a club project.  The barrels have bungs in them, and the winery said they sulfered the barrels.  They have been empty for about 2 weeks.  Should I fill these with water and treat it with something, or just leave them empty until we are ready to fill.  We are planning on putting a Belgian Quad into the barrels in about 3 - 4 weeks.  Anyone have any experience with this sorta thing?

Offline 1vertical

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Re: Treating a wine barrel
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 12:16:03 pm »
From Vadai World Trade (Vadai Wine)

When you store your empty barrels after use, do the following to insure that the barrel
does not grow bacteria.

Use Sodium Carbonate and hottest water to remove tartrate deposits.
Rinse until water runs clear.
Use Citric Acid, and hottest water and the same exact proportions of Sodium Carbonate.
Rinse until  water runs clear.

(he did not say what the measure of Sodium Carbonate was sorry)

Then use the following options; A, B, or C.

Option A
Fill the barrel with water and the following solution.
(1 tsp Sulfite and 1 tsp Citric Acid per gallon of water.)
Bung hole tightly with the bung.  Top up weekly with more water.
Change all the solution monthly.

Option B
For barrels of 30 Gallons and up, use 3-5 gallons of water.
Put in the water ¼ Cup of Sulfite and ½ Cup of Citric Acid.
Bung Hole tightly with bung.
Roll the barrel around and store it in a cool place on one head.
Roll the barrel around and stand it on the other head every 2 weeks.
Change the solution every month.
Repeat this procedure until the barrel is to be used.

When ready to re-use the barrel…
You’ll need to get the sulfite and citric acid out of the wood.
empty and rinse the barrel well.
Using Boiling hot water 10% of the volume of the barrel,
roll around, stand on each head separately, empty and rinse well.
Carefully smell….the interior of the barrel, you should not smell any S02.
Repeat hot water treatment  if necessary.

Option C
Burn Sulfur to generate S02 gas, sterilizing as it burns.
After Cleaning (option B when ready to reuse procedure)
Let barrel drain 1-2 days until dry.
Plug bung hole with paper towel to keep acetobacter out.
Burn the correct amount of wick or disk every week for 4-6 weeks,
recovering the bung hole after every burn.

NOTE: Sulfur wicks / sticks may drip Sulfur a big NO NO.  Disks burn down to pure ash
and may by this factor be a better product.

Repeat every month. Recover Bung hole. soak barrel water tight just before using.

The best way to keep a barrel sound is to keep it full of wine (beer).
When full, you should check it and top it up weekly with more wine (beer)…NOT water.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 12:18:45 pm by 1vertical »
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