Barrel ageing and wine loss from evaporation.

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BBiggi

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I have a 30-gallon barrel with Italian Amarone wine ageing in it.
I test it every 2 weeks and it is coming along nice.
What should I expect in evaporation loss? I've been experiencing about 8 Oz's. every 2 weeks.
I fill it up to the bottom of the bung hole every time.
My question is how much I should expect to lose and how far below the bung hole would be critical to spoiling or losing the batch totally.
The barrel came with cracked staves, and they sent me wax to seal and it works fine, no leaks.
I purchased a 30-gallon bourbon barrel, used once, and the smell was amazing, and the wine tastes good.
The wine has been in it since November, and I expect to use it for Easter.
Then I want to age Italian Valpolicella till Christmas.
Any help would by much appreciated.
 

balatonwine

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I test it every 2 weeks
Side note: Consider spreading out your testings as the wine ages. Every time you test you expose the wine to the environment, and oxygen. For every month after putting into the barrel, I would suggest a minimum of adding at least a week or maybe better two weeks more between testing. Let that time add up between tests. Eventually you should be many months between tests. Trust the wine to mature.
 

BBiggi

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Side note: Consider spreading out your testings as the wine ages. Every time you test you expose the wine to the environment, and oxygen. For every month after putting into the barrel, I would suggest a minimum of adding at least a week or maybe better two weeks more between testing. Let that time add up between tests. Eventually you should be many months between tests. Trust the wine to mature.
I understand, do I top it off every time and should I be concerned if it's too low
 

BernardSmith

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Is it evaporation or seepage? That is to say, the wine being absorbed by the wood? I never make enough wine in any one batch to consider using a barrel. I add the wood to my wine... and the seepage is not significant but I would imagine that new barrels can swallow a large amount of wine.
 

BernardSmith

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OK but liquids e -VAPOR- ate when they become gas and the gas escapes into the atmosphere. Of course, while alcohol boils at temperatures below the nominal temperature at which water boils (100C /212 F) water vaporizes (becomes gas) at far lower temperatures which is why puddles after a rain storm dry.. but that vapor escapes into the air, if it couldn't it would either remain hovering above the puddle or would condense if cooled back into water and the puddle would hang around until hell froze over. If the wine was literally evaporating then the barrel is not acting as a barrier between the liquid and the air in the room. And if it isn't a good barrier, why is the wine not oxidizing even when the barrel is topped up?
 
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