barrel noob

Discussion in 'Barrels & Oaking' started by Ryan Hubble, Jan 20, 2020.

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  1. Jan 20, 2020 #1

    Ryan Hubble

    Ryan Hubble

    Ryan Hubble

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    so i have some costco shiraz kits, and im hoping to toss them in a new 100L barrel.

    im tryin to keep things as simple as possible.

    im wondering about this plan:

    make 5 carboys worth, and once the bubbling has stopped, skipping the degassing, stabilizing, potassium sorbate, kieselsol, and chitosan, adding only potassium metabisuplfite, and racking into the barrel at that point, for about a 2 month time period before bottling from the spiggot, a quick sediment flush and filling the barrel right back up with the next batch.

    after a few times, when the barrel weakens and my drinkable supply is sufficient, increasing the barrel time to maybe 6 months, refilling the barrel immediately after emptying it each time.

    my questions are: is skipping all those additives advisable? my thinking is ive read sediment and tannins have antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits, so because im hoping to avoid so2 monitoring and maintenance, im wondering if by not stabilizing and clearing the wine i might be okay, and if theres any remaining sugar it can ferment a bit in the barrel which hopefully helps keep oxygen at bay.

    many questions, total noob, probably shouldnt be barreling, but i tend to go big when i get into a new hobby, so here i am.
     
  2. Jan 20, 2020 #2

    mainshipfred

    mainshipfred

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    If I could make a recommendation I would start by making one kit to see if you liked the wine. From what I can tell they are 7 liters per 30 bottles. Of course everyone's taste is different but I wouldn't think it would not be the best wine.
     
  3. Jan 20, 2020 #3

    Ryan Hubble

    Ryan Hubble

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    i will choke back whatever is safe and alcoholic haha. but i am doing a few batches by the book and straight to bottle first, so i have comparison.

    my concerns are more about the process of skipping a bunch of steps and additives and just tossing it in the barrel when the bubbling stops? will it rot? will it explode? will i die?
     
  4. Jan 20, 2020 #4

    mainshipfred

    mainshipfred

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    If you want it to clear and be ready to bottle in 2 months I would think the only thing you would want to skip would be the sorbate and it's sometimes hard for a wine to clear while it's still degassing. Again, I never made a 7 liter kit so I'm not sure how they react.
     
  5. Jan 20, 2020 #5

    Ryan Hubble

    Ryan Hubble

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    okay so the sorbate is definitely safe to skip?

    only reason im doin 2 months is so i dont over-oak given that its a new barrel and the kit gets oak chips during primary. i could always let it over-oak and save them to cut with less oaky batches later.

    how important is it that i let the wine clear?
     
  6. Jan 20, 2020 #6

    mainshipfred

    mainshipfred

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    Sorbate is totally unnecessary unless you plan on back sweetening. My original recommendation was not going the barrel route on the first batch and just let it clear in carboys. But if you want to go with the 100 liter barrel you won't be close to over oaking in 2 months, 6 months for the first batch is more like it. The oak chips in the primary are sacrificial. To a degree clearing is cosmetic as long as you get rid of most of the lees.
     
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  7. Jan 20, 2020 #7

    Ajmassa

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    Sorbate only needed when the wine isn’t dry to stop residual sugar from fermenting later. It’s a step in instructions just as a fail safe. No need if dry.
    If dead set on bottling in 2 months will definitely want to use the clearing agents supplied. If not tho it isn’t the end of the world. The wine just won’t be too clear yet and likely get sediment in the bottle over time. (Still likely to get sediment anyway bottling at 2mos. tbh)

    Another thing noteworthy - oak chips/dust in fermentation totally different than oak in aging. It won’t give it an oaky essence. It’s actually for the tannins in there. Since some of the juices tannins inevitably become bound during the ferment you don’t get everything out of it. The oak is often called ‘sacrificial tannins’. Helps the wine retain color and more body. So don’t let that be a factor in barrel time.

    I like your style tho. Kinda making me laugh. The ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ type it seems like lol. Whatever you end up doin- good luck and have fun!
     
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  8. Jan 20, 2020 #8

    Ajmassa

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    Jinx!
     
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  9. Jan 20, 2020 #9

    Ryan Hubble

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    i have a couple batches in primary right now that wont see the barrel.

    okay so i can skip the kieselsol, chitosan, and potassium sorbate, just into the barrel with potassium metabisulphate and i'll be fine?
    (cloudy i consider fine, poisonous or undrinkable is all im trying to avoid)

    how long before i start to run out of so2 in a 100L barrel using just the potassium metabisulphate that comes with the kits?
    should i add a teaspoon every month?
     
  10. Jan 20, 2020 #10

    Ryan Hubble

    Ryan Hubble

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    2 months was just so that i dont end up eating an oak tree or drinking vinegar. i figure the quicker i go the less can go wrong.
    i do need to figure out how to slow it down tho, cuz i cant drink 50L every month haha.
    or could i...... hm.....

    i dont mind sediment. doesnt take a chemist to avoid drinking the last 50ml of a bottle. just dont drink it. or drink with your teeth closed. or drink it after youve already drank the top 700ml of 3 other bottles haha
     
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  11. Jan 20, 2020 #11

    Johnd

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    You are fine skipping all of the additives you mention, the only necessary one (in my book) is the potassium metabisulfite (sulfite). Best practice would be to allow the wine to sit a while in carboys after AF is complete, it'll rid you of a lot of sediment and save you a lot of headaches trying to avoid sediment that accumulates in the barrel.

    Once in the barrel, the amount of time is determined by taste, not a predetermined amount of time, so leave it until it has acquired the level of oak you desire, or just a tad more, as the oak tends to fall back in bottles as they sit. You'll need to add sulfite to the barrel and top it up on a regular basis, it'll gobble up a lot of wine in the first few weeks until it becomes saturated. One teaspoon of sulfite per month should keep you on the safe side, just make sure to top up, air space is your enemy in a barrel.

    If you just can't wait for the wine to develop and just have to drink some really soon, make other kits and leave your barrel wine alone as a prize for developing wine making patience. Your wine will probably still be carbonated and not clear in just a few short months. If you intend to drink it early, come hell or high water, don't waste your time or money on barrel aging, just slug it out of the carboy.
     
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  12. Jan 27, 2020 #12

    marino

    marino

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    Kits taste better after some barrel evaporation. Keeping the wine in for 6 months or more (top up as needed) could help you slow down production and make the wine taste much better in the process.
     

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