Originally Posted by LtCellars
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?
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.