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Old 09-17-2017, 08:46 AM   #1
Mbogan
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Hi All (first time poster) -

So, I need some opinions or strategies before I proceed with my barrels. I have been making wine annually since 2010. Due to new job and other reasons, I have not been able to make wine the last 2 years. After emptying my barrels last, they were thoroughly rinsed with hot water and Soda Ash/Sodium Metabisulphite. After drying they were sealed with bung. Unfortunately, I skipped the next 2 seasons. Both barrels are fairly new, only 2 batches each. I have a 27 gallon French Oak and a 6 gallon American Oak.

I just started process for this year and would like to prep the barrels again for wine, but am fearful there may be an issue since they were not stored with proper solution.

I opened them up and did the "sniff test". Both barrels smell like wood, with NO Oder that I would consider foul. Doesn't this mean the barrels are ok to reseason? I was going to rerinse with sodium metabisulphate again and follow up with citric acid.

How can I be sure they will not spoil my new batch? Any opinions or tips and tricks I can use to verify?

Thanks a million for any advice

Matt

Reason: Grammar

 
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:33 AM   #2
ibglowin
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I would fill them both up with sanitizing solution. Use one-half pound (0.23kg) of citric acid and one pound (0.45 kg) of sodium or potassium bisulphite for each 50 gallons (190 L) of barrel capacity. Do not use less than the stated amounts. Let them sit for a few days to let the wood swell once again and check for any leakage. Drain, rinse well and you should be good to go.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:58 PM   #3
Mbogan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibglowin View Post
I would fill them both up with sanitizing solution. Use one-half pound (0.23kg) of citric acid and one pound (0.45 kg) of sodium or potassium bisulphite for each 50 gallons (190 L) of barrel capacity. Do not use less than the stated amounts. Let them sit for a few days to let the wood swell once again and check for any leakage. Drain, rinse well and you should be good to go.


Thank you!! I will follow this approach.

 
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:08 AM   #4
Mbogan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibglowin View Post
I would fill them both up with sanitizing solution. Use one-half pound (0.23kg) of citric acid and one pound (0.45 kg) of sodium or potassium bisulphite for each 50 gallons (190 L) of barrel capacity. Do not use less than the stated amounts. Let them sit for a few days to let the wood swell once again and check for any leakage. Drain, rinse well and you should be good to go.


I have a follow up question. Are you suggesting to do this in one step or two? I cant tell from above.

I just read another article that was similar to your solution, however, they suggest two separate steps:

First, fill partially with cool water. Add a solution of either sodium carbonate or sodium percarbonate in water at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon (or use 1 g/L) for mild spoilage problems or up to a maximum of 3 tsp for more serious problem.

Let the barrel soak overnight, empty it and neutralize any remaining alkaline residues using a citric acid solution. Prepare the citric acid solution by dissolving citric acid powder in one gallon of water. Use 1 tsp of powder for each gallon of barrel volume. For example, dissolve 15 tsp for a 15-gallon (57 L) barrel.

Fill the barrel two-thirds with cool water, pour in the citric acid solution, top up with cool water, and let the barrel soak overnight. Then, empty the barrel and rinse it thoroughly. Drain the water completely and let the barrel dry. Smell the barrel for any off odors to ensure the treatment worked.

I'm assuming that I probably shouldn't be putting both the potassium metabisulphite and citric acid in the barrel at the same time as that would neutralize each other.

Let me know which I should be following.
Thanks
Matt

 
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:20 AM   #5
sour_grapes
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Matt, your post references THREE different chemicals, but you seem to be equating two of them.

The suggestion from Mike referenced citric acid and potassium (or sodium) metabisulfite. These should be used at the same time. The reason is because the citric acid lowers the pH, and that affects the action of the potassium metabisulfite. The potassium metabisulfite is being used here as an anti-microbial agent (i.e., disinfectant).

The suggestion that you quote from your other article references citric acid and sodium percarbonate. The latter is used as a cleaner. (It is likely what you use in your dishwasher.) But because it is alkaline, you want to neutralize its residue using citric acid.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:31 AM   #6
ibglowin
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Paul is spot on in regards to the combination of citric acid and KMETA. Citric acid is cheaper and is only needed to lower the pH further and make it a better/stronger sanitizing agent.

Since it sounds like you cleaned out the barrels well before you let them sit I didn't think they would need a second cleaning with soda ash. It would not hurt to do it again but make sure you rinse well/neutralize before moving on to sanitizing with Citric/META solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbogan View Post
I have a follow up question. Are you suggesting to do this in one step or two? I cant tell from above.

I just read another article that was similar to your solution, however, they suggest two separate steps:

First, fill partially with cool water. Add a solution of either sodium carbonate or sodium percarbonate in water at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon (or use 1 g/L) for mild spoilage problems or up to a maximum of 3 tsp for more serious problem.

Let the barrel soak overnight, empty it and neutralize any remaining alkaline residues using a citric acid solution. Prepare the citric acid solution by dissolving citric acid powder in one gallon of water. Use 1 tsp of powder for each gallon of barrel volume. For example, dissolve 15 tsp for a 15-gallon (57 L) barrel.

Fill the barrel two-thirds with cool water, pour in the citric acid solution, top up with cool water, and let the barrel soak overnight. Then, empty the barrel and rinse it thoroughly. Drain the water completely and let the barrel dry. Smell the barrel for any off odors to ensure the treatment worked.

I'm assuming that I probably shouldn't be putting both the potassium metabisulphite and citric acid in the barrel at the same time as that would neutralize each other.

Let me know which I should be following.
Thanks
Matt
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Disclaimer:
The opinions expressed in this forum are strictly my own,
and should not be construed as the opinion or policy
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Location: Lost Almost, NM

 
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:26 PM   #7
Mbogan
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Sep 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sour_grapes View Post
Matt, your post references THREE different chemicals, but you seem to be equating two of them.

The suggestion from Mike referenced citric acid and potassium (or sodium) metabisulfite. These should be used at the same time. The reason is because the citric acid lowers the pH, and that affects the action of the potassium metabisulfite. The potassium metabisulfite is being used here as an anti-microbial agent (i.e., disinfectant).

The suggestion that you quote from your other article references citric acid and sodium percarbonate. The latter is used as a cleaner. (It is likely what you use in your dishwasher.) But because it is alkaline, you want to neutralize its residue using citric acid.


Thank you for the explanation. This clears up the confusion I was having.

 
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:30 PM   #8
Mbogan
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Sep 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibglowin View Post
Paul is spot on in regards to the combination of citric acid and KMETA. Citric acid is cheaper and is only needed to lower the pH further and make it a better/stronger sanitizing agent.



Since it sounds like you cleaned out the barrels well before you let them sit I didn't think they would need a second cleaning with soda ash. It would not hurt to do it again but make sure you rinse well/neutralize before moving on to sanitizing with Citric/META solution.

Yeah, I was getting confused and didn't realize the different chemicals that were mentioned. I'm following your original suggestions. Thanks again!!

 
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