My son got me a 1 gal. oak barrel for Christmas a couple of years ago. Decided I may try to put something in it finally. I have done some reading on WMT about barrels, etc. but still have a couple/few questions.
I know I have to fill it with water, let it seal/expand, etc. and then use wax to seal up any leaks. Beyond that I am not sure how to move forward.
Once sealed, I gather I can put wine it in.
1. How often should I be checking to make sure it is topped up?
2. How long do you typically leave the wine in the barrel? and will a 1 gal. barrel oak the wine quicker than a 6 gal. barrel?
3. After you empty the barrel, what do you clean the inside with, ie: just water, k-meta solution, one step, etc.?
4. My instructions say to store it 1/4 full of water when not using it with wine in it, sound correct?
5. What type of wine would you start with in this new barrel?
I do realize a lot of the above questions are subjective and up to personal preference, just looking for experienced answers and guidelines.
Thanks for any help or any additional tips/tricks.
"Coffee by day, Wine by night"