How to restore a chardonnay barrel?

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Well-Known Member
Apr 14, 2011
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So my brother got a 5 gallon french oak chard barrel from his neighbor. His neighbor made one batch of wine and decided it wasnt for him. It has been sitting in his garage for a few months now unused. I have plans to eventually use it in a sour but that will be 6 months from now most likely. So in the mean time I have plans for an oaked IPA, Stout ect...The idea is that I can somewhat neutralize the barrel before the sour so I will only get the acetic flavor from the O2 exposure while the sour is in it, not over the top oakieness.

I know this barrel will need a bit of work before it is usable. My question is how should I go about restoring it? Ive read that you can do a sodium percarbonate (PBW) wash follow by a citric acid rinse, or you can burn sulfur, ect...

How should I go about it? PBW wash followed by citric acid rinse, Potassium Metabisulfate soak, Sulfur burn?? a combination of a few?

I know that it may not have been stored under the most ideal conditions but it is not moldy or completely ruined, just needs some TLC and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it.