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Old 10-22-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
LtCellars
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I have a Sangiovese in two 5 gallon barrels. One is on it's second vintage, while the other is new as of the first week in September. I transferred from a neutral barrel to this new one at which time I sulfided as well.
When would be a good time to pull the bung and sample and to top up on the new barrel?
Thank you.
Steve

 
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
sailavie
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Steve - I view the following as one of the better guides for the use of oak barrels. The key thing to note - it depends on the type of oak and for new barrels you should taste often. For new barrels I would check to make sure it's topped up and there are no leaks on a weekly basis, and I would sample every 3-4 weeks. I don't use oak barrels at this point but any wine that I have aging I check on it weekly. It only takes a few minutes - unless I have a glass or 2 while I'm checking :-)

http://morebeer.com/public/pdf/wbarrel.pdf

Dan

 
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:16 AM   #3
ibglowin
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I have 2 23L Vadai's. I would taste every 2 weeks for a new barrel. First few batches should probably only be in 2-4 weeks max. The oak level on these wines will fall back after a few months so you can actually reroute back through a second time down the road if it settles back too for.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:18 AM   #4
robie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtCellars View Post
I have a Sangiovese in two 5 gallon barrels. One is on it's second vintage, while the other is new as of the first week in September. I transferred from a neutral barrel to this new one at which time I sulfided as well.
When would be a good time to pull the bung and sample and to top up on the new barrel?
Thank you.
Steve


I would top-off any barrel weekly. You can get by topping off every two weeks. I live in a dry climate and my 6 gallon barrel is kept at a temperature of 66F to 68F. I have to top-off between 5 and 8 ounces each week.

Until you get experienced with using a barrel and start getting a feel for how things happen, I would taste test on 1/4th cycle intervals. Ex: If first cycle is 2 weeks, I would taste test every 3 or 4 days. If 2nd cycle is 4 weeks, I would taste test weekly. That might be overkill, but you will start getting your own feel for it. A new barrel can over oak very quickly.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
LtCellars
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Thanks for the comments.
I was a little worried of exposing the wine to too much oxygen removing the bung that often, but I will taste and top up later this week.
Thakns again,
Steve
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