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Old 09-25-2007, 10:46 PM   #1
Sep 2007
Posts: 1

Hi all I have a quick question regarding oak barrels. This is my first time in attempting to do a primary ferm with an oak barrel. Unfortunately the barrel I am getting is going to be the full meal deal (59 gallon) and I have only ordered 75 lbs of grapes this year. I really want to attempt to ferment in the barrel for flavor and added tannins, but am unsure exactly what will happen if the amount of juice is signifigantly lower that the entire contents of the barrel. I'm willing to support the process by piping in C02, but I'm unsure that this will even work to avoid spoilage. Any suggestions on how to put such a small amount of juice in such a large vessel, or should I just forget it and keep to my carboy this year?

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Old 10-02-2007, 02:13 AM   #2
Oct 2005
Posts: 153

Though my experience with all grape wines is limited to what I've read,I've read a lot and have a few varieties on order to be picked up soon...

Your 75# of grapes will net around 4.5 gallons of juice and your barrel is 60gallons... I'm guessing you are doing a red?

While you may be able to primary in this, you would certainly not want to age any wine in this for any length of time. And you will be transfering to a secondary fermenter, too, right? And then a third? You'll end up with 3-4 gallons in the end. Use carboys with a stave of oak if you want some oak flavor.

Next year order more grapes (like 1,000#) and use the barrel to age the wine, not primary.
A fool and his money are soon partying.

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