Barrel empty for 3 months, best way?

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FTC Wines

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We are going on a 3 month RV trip. Not sure how to store our 1 year old 6 gal Vadal barrel. Clean & empty? Store full of K Meta water with back up bottle & hose to keep barrel full ? Another idea? Thanks in advance, Roy
 

Boatboy24

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Do you have anyone that can top it up for you? The simplest thing to do is mix up a citric acid/K-Meta/water batch and fill it. Then leave an extra bottle or two for someone who can come top up every week or two. Aside from that, you're looking at emptying it, and burning a sulfur stick in there.
 

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Jim, the barrel & carboys will be unattended . Only have 8 carboys full, they will be freshly racked & treated, with solid bungs taped down. All carboys are a year old give or take. The barrel I'm thinking will be full of K Meta & citric like you say. I will put a one hole bung in the barrel with a hose to a 1.5 liter bottle above it, so as water evaps out it will get replaced. Should the K Meta solution be at full sanitizing strength? Thanks, Roy
 

Boatboy24

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1g of citric acid and 2g of KMeta per liter of volume is what MoreWine recommends. But over 3 months, your SO2 is going to drop - you might consider going a little higher.
 

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I think I am going to have my 6gal Vadai empty very soon as well. I've been rotating some wine a couple times in and out to keep it filled.
 

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Thanks Jim, I'll use those # with a little extra K-Meta.
Varis, I understand your issue. Even with 22 full carboys I put a few wines thru the barrel twice. But now that the barrel is a year old I can leave the wine in a lot longer. Going to buy a 2nd barrel this fall to run run our reds thru & use this one for long term aging. Roy
 

Johnd

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Thanks Jim, I'll use those # with a little extra K-Meta.
Varis, I understand your issue. Even with 22 full carboys I put a few wines thru the barrel twice. But now that the barrel is a year old I can leave the wine in a lot longer. Going to buy a 2nd barrel this fall to run run our reds thru & use this one for long term aging. Roy
You'll lose two those months of oak flavoring, consider burning the sulfur stick, put the bung in, and resume when you return.
 

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John, You have reopened the debate! Didn't think about losing 3 months of Oak flavor. Wow, back to indecision, thanks I think, LOL, Roy
 

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Is burning the sulfur stick a big deal? Technically difficult? Easy to mess up?

One of the reasons I have not pulled the trigger on a barrel is that I don't really have that much wine to put in it. One batch, maybe two in a season at this point. I figured that I can't really leave that first batch in more than a few weeks; after that, the barrel is just going to be sitting around for the rest of the year.
 

Cibb

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Is burning the sulfur stick a big deal? Technically difficult? Easy to mess up?

One of the reasons I have not pulled the trigger on a barrel is that I don't really have that much wine to put in it. One batch, maybe two in a season at this point. I figured that I can't really leave that first batch in more than a few weeks; after that, the barrel is just going to be sitting around for the rest of the year.


That's me as well. The wife gave the all clear for a barrel but I'm just not sure if it would benefit me more than maintaining it during the down time.
 

Boatboy24

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The best time to get a barrel is when you know you can keep it full. You need to have at least 3 batches ready to go. 4 would be ideal.

@FTC Wines I thought your barrel was neutral. You'll definitely lose some oak - just need to decide if its worth it.
 

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The best time to get a barrel is when you know you can keep it full. You need to have at least 3 batches ready to go. 4 would be ideal.

@FTC Wines I thought your barrel was neutral. You'll definitely lose some oak - just need to decide if its worth it.


I will starting this fall but still after that I worry about the storage.
 

FTC Wines

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Jim, I came to the same conclusion a few hours ago. At a year old & with 8-10 wines run thru the barrel I think I'll keep it full of K Meta water. Roy
 

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