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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > 55 Gal. Barrel Help?!?!
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
Grancru
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Default 55 Gal. Barrel Help?!?!

I have been offered three 55 Gal blue barrels for $15 each.
They once had red wine vinegar in them and have a slight smell.
The price is great. Is there any way to remove the remaining smell before this falls production?
Given the grapes only ferment in the barrels for 7-10 days if some smell lingers will the juice really pick up the flavor?
Maybe a very mild bleach solution or other soaking for weeks to remove the smell?

All suggestions appreciated!

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Old 03-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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I assume these are plastic barrels. Soak them in a weak bleach solution for a few days. You could try just spraying them down with a stronger bleach solution and rinsing first, if you like.

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Old 03-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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I've always heard that you are supposed to use anything that had once stored vinegar. Also I would make sure that those barrels are food grade. I would make sure just in case. It would suck to lose a 55gal batch. I wouldn't know what to do if I lost that much.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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Yes, these are plastic "food grade" 55 gal barrels originally used for red wine vinegar.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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I have a bunch of those blue barrels. They work fine for wine. My concern would be that they held vinegar. Besides the smell, I'd worry about the acetobacter. If you don't clean them properly, you could end up with your own barrel of red wine vinegar. It would probably be fine, but plastic makes me nervous. It isn't as easy to clean as glass and stainless.

I was fortunate to get some stainless barrels, so I haven't bought plastic barrels in a few years. If I remember correctly, I only paid $30-40 for new ones.

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