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Old 07-06-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
Turnerdude1
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Default New Oak Barrel

Bought a New 10 gal oak barrel and was wondering how long to age my red and blackberry wines. Was thinking 3 mo. and then rack in another wine. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-08-2013, 01:13 AM   #2
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I don't have a direct answer for your question, but I have read a little about oaking. It seems there are a few variables to consider.
is the barrel toasted? To what degree? There are a few levels of toasting and each will have different effect. Also the size of the barrel comes into play, the ratio of wine in contact with the barrel. Then there's what you actually expect in the end, what flavors do you want from the barrel?

Sorry for (not) answering with more questions, but barrel aging is something I'd like to consider as well. I'm doing as much research as I can before even buying a barrel. The most I gathered from what I have read, as far as how "long" to age it is taste it every so often till you achieve the desired result. Having read a bit from Maker's Mark's website, they do exactly that, there is no specified time period for aging bourbon. They have certified tasters that say yay or nay. I don't see how this would be much different for wines.

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Old 07-08-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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The barrel is American Oak and yes was toasted. Paid 135.00 for it for 10 gals. The French Oak Barrels 5 gal go for 299.00. What I have read in this is once you put wine in the barrel keep wine in it. After 2 to 3 years the barrel has given up all it can and from then on is just a storage container. As to how long, I think I will let my blackberry wine stay in there for 2 mo and then rack more wine into it.. The second year might go three mo. As you suggested will taste it along the way. Also read that for first few mos have to top off ever two weeks...

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #4
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the barrel should also be filled with water before the wine goes in, to expand the staves and seal it. Not sure how long, a week maybe should do it. If ya don't have to rack directly into it, it should also then be filled with water. Def let me know how it all turns out.

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Old 07-09-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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What I have read said to fill it with 20% hot water standing on its end then soak for 20 min and turn over on the other end then soak in cold water for 24 hours. If no leaks ready for wine if leaking soak for 12 more hours if still leaking might have a bad barrel.....Thing is the guy I share the blackberries with likes his real sweet so will only put his in barrel for approx. two months as it will take away from sweetness....

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