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Old 01-07-2017, 07:21 AM   #1
StBlGT
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I just picked up a pack of medium french spirals for my merlot that is clearing nicely. My question to those who have used these before......should you really use BOTH spirals for 6 gallons and for all 6 weeks?

I love oak, but can that be too much? I know french is more subtle than american, but what does everyone find the sweet spot being for the spirals? Amount vs time.....thanks!

 
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:11 AM   #2
Mismost
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cool thing about the spirals is they go in easy and come easy too. I tie a a piece of fishing line to the spiral....drop it in...taste it in a couple of weeks...when it gets a touch stronger than I want it want it...pull the string and take it out. it is going to mellow out over time.

If you're in no hurry, drop in a half and relax...check it in a couple months...the oak should be finished by then. Toss in another one...until you get where you like it.

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Old 01-07-2017, 09:59 AM   #3
Brian55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mismost View Post
cool thing about the spirals is they go in easy and come easy too. I tie a a piece of fishing line to the spiral....drop it in...taste it in a couple of weeks...when it gets a touch stronger than I want it want it...pull the string and take it out. it is going to mellow out over time.

If you're in no hurry, drop in a half and relax...check it in a couple months...the oak should be finished by then. Toss in another one...until you get where you like it.
Another benefit to breaking them into smaller pieces is not having to use the fishing line. Full length spirals are a pain to remove from an empty carboy without the line, whereas smaller pieces can be easily shaken out.

 
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Old 01-10-2017, 04:45 PM   #4
ceeaton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StBlGT View Post
I just picked up a pack of medium french spirals for my merlot that is clearing nicely. My question to those who have used these before......should you really use BOTH spirals for 6 gallons and for all 6 weeks?

I love oak, but can that be too much? I know french is more subtle than american, but what does everyone find the sweet spot being for the spirals? Amount vs time.....thanks!
Something to think about, when you taste the wine with the spirals in and are trying to determine if it is time to pull them, go a little more oaky than you like, the intensity of the oak will die back slightly as it ages.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:05 PM   #5
FreddyC
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I've used spirals for the past 2 years. Typically use 3 in my 30 gallon barrel, so yes I think 2 spirals is way too much for a carboy.

 
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:12 AM   #6
StBlGT
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Thanks everyone. I think i am going to start with just 1 spiral. The instructions call for both spirals per 6 gallons......but i will add the other if i think i need it.

 
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:31 AM   #7
Johnd
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The only plywood tasting wine I ever made was using 2 spirals in a 6 gallon carboy for 3 months. Even for me (love oak!), it was too much. It's much better now, but still too oaky, so it gets blended with other bottles.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:25 AM   #8
NorCal
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You can always add more; would do one stake for longer and taste every week or two.

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