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New to this, could use some suggestions from people with experience!

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SerTimtheJailer

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So I just bought a american oak 1 liter barrel and I'm curious as to what wine I could possibly use that would be good for aging. The barrel is charred and I didnt do my research and put moscato in it. Im gunna assume if I let it stay in there for 2 or 3 weeks it probably isnt gunna have the desired effect I want. I'd like to have a smoky kind of effect but a vanilla or caramel would be nice too. Anybody have any idea on what kind of wine I would put in there to get that kind of effect, Thanks
 

Pyg

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So I just bought a american oak 1 liter barrel and I'm curious as to what wine I could possibly use that would be good for aging. The barrel is charred and I didnt do my research and put moscato in it. Im gunna assume if I let it stay in there for 2 or 3 weeks it probably isnt gunna have the desired effect I want. I'd like to have a smoky kind of effect but a vanilla or caramel would be nice too. Anybody have any idea on what kind of wine I would put in there to get that kind of effect, Thanks
Your big bold Italians will work well in the barrel, so will a Cab or a merlot.

Be aware that your first batch in the barrel will get oaked quite quickly. be prepared to have a few batches to go in consecutively.
Over the past year I put the following wines in my 5 gallon barrel:
Barolo-2 weeks
Tuscan-4 weeks
Brunello-8 weeks
Barolo- 20 weeks (more)

The barrel is now neutral.
:fro:
 

bernardsmith

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Never used a barrel- how difficult are they to keep free of mold and fungi? How important is it to keep them filled to ensure that the staves don't shrink and leak?
 

Pyg

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Never used a barrel- how difficult are they to keep free of mold and fungi? How important is it to keep them filled to ensure that the staves don't shrink and leak?
In my opinion, not very difficult. You have to keep a barrel filled at all time, never let it dry out. I was topping up once a month due to evaporation, but the micro evaporation adds something to a wine that I can not describe. It is really beneficial to getting rid of the dreaded "kit taste".

When I ran out of wine to keep in my barrel I simply filled with water and added sulfite.
 

DoctorCAD

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A 1 liter barrel???

Heck, you could almost whittle that out of a small log.
After eveporation and soaking into the wood, I bet you would be hard pressed to get 1 bottle of wine out of that.

Seems awfully small.
 

pumpkinman2012

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Ok, now for something that isn't negative...
I have 6 oak barrels and love what they do for my wine, the smaller the barrel, the less time you will need in it the first time around, there is more surface contact with smaller barrels, however, take a taste every two days and when you reach the desired oak level, let it go another day and rack out of the barrel, the oak will dissipate over time.
American oak will impart more vanilla flavors, I use Hungarian oak, and I'll be switching to Romanian oak, this is the same oak used to make french barrels.
I oak all of my reds, the length of time depends on the varietal.
The key is to keep the barrel filled, so now you have the opportunity to plan your batches of wine. You can keep them filled with water and meta, it isn't recommended, you waste a lot of oak in my opinion.
Aging in oak not only adds a level of complexity, but it can also help to correct some faults, the wine that I made from Chilean grapes had a strong vegetal (green pepper) taste, after putting it through my barrels, the pepper taste was gone and the fruit came forward, not to mention the benefits of the micro-oxidation.
Once you taste what the barrel can do for your wine, I have a feeling that you'll be in the market for a larger barrel as well!
 
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