Barrel or stainless steel tank?

Discussion in 'Barrels & Oaking' started by zadvocate, Feb 19, 2018.

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  1. Feb 22, 2018 #21

    Johnd

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    But you continue to miss the point several have made, in response to the OP, even when a barrel is neutral, and it’s oaking ability comes from the same source as the tank, the barrel is still superior, as it still microoxygenates and concentrates, this is a quality duplicated by no other vessel. I find no difficulty in maintaining my barrels in a sanitary fashion, and have an appropriate number that they’re easy to keep loaded.

    Your view of “modern winemaking”, is quite different than mine, though I respect your opinion. You’ve misunderstood my statement if you believe that I’ve said that modern wineries are defined by their usage of barrels.
     
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  2. Feb 22, 2018 #22

    mainshipfred

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    I heard of a few theories for how long to keep wine in a smaller barrel but never this one. It seems to be the simplest though, thanks. But wouldn't that time get extended as the barrel gets used? Not questioning you approach but as others have stated I don't have the means to make larger batches but prefer using a barrel so I'm stuck with the smaller ones.
     
  3. Feb 22, 2018 #23

    Boatboy24

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    I think that rule applies to new barrels, and would therefore be pretty close. My ~6 gallon barrels all held their first wines for about 5-ish weeks. If memory serves, I added a touch of oak later to most of those batches. So a 50 gallon barrel would have its first wine in for about a year.
     
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  4. Feb 22, 2018 #24

    mainshipfred

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    Your view of “modern winemaking”, is quite different than mine, though I respect your opinion. You’ve misunderstood my statement if you believe that I’ve said that modern wineries are defined by their usage of barrels.[/QUOTE]

    IMO the terms "large" and "modern" are relative. What is modern, is it pre 1900s, pre 2000 or the new concept of engineered wines. The same applies to large, are we talking E&J Gallo or others that produce millions of cases a year or a smaller commercial winery that sells primarily local and what I call Artisan Wines. To me we all fall in the artisan category which I feel is where should focus our attention. This post is not to promote or demote wood, steel, plastic, glass containers or oak additives, I just think too much comparison is made to the million case producers which we are not. Might have gotten a bit off track from the OP, sorry.

    @Johnd I had to edit this because the more I thought about it, in using your quote, it might appear I was combating you. Quite the contrary, I was agreeing with you. Hope you dodn't take it any other way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  5. Feb 22, 2018 #25

    JohnT

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    This rule of thumb is just that, a rule of thumb. A lot depends on taste. For planning purposes, 1 week per gallon is a good place to start. When barrel aging, keep in touch with your wine. Make it a point to taste it along the way and let yourself decided when enough is enough.

    The point of the rule of thumb is to reflect the barrel ratio. Take the all over volume in the barrel and compare it to the amount of surface area inside the barrel (in contact with the wine). Believe it or not, the smaller the barrel, the amount of surface area to volume increases, and, the more oak exposure you will end up getting.

    And, yes, I consider a week per gallon a rule of thumb for new barrels. I extend this rule of thumb to 10 days per gallon for 2nd use, 14 days per gallon for 3rd use, etc.

    By the 5th use, I find my barrel pretty much neutral. I still use these barrels but I add an oak adjunct (XOV staves) to the wine as it settles in the SS tank. Once oaked, I then "barrel-up" for however long strikes my fancy. I do pick up concentration of flavors and a wonderful softening due to micro-oxidation.

    Getting back to the OP. It sounds like you do batches under 10 gallons. If this is the case, I would not bother with stainless tanks and go with glass instead. I would get that small barrel and not use it until I had a stock pile of batches that I would like to oaked (say 4 or 5 of them) so that I can keep the barrel full.
     
  6. Feb 23, 2018 #26

    balatonwine

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    Well, contrary to your opinion, I actually did not miss your point. But simply have a different view on it all. And I think that the folks at Flextank may think their product can do micro-oxygenation as well as any wood barrel. ;) That is the beauty of having opinions. :)

    And of course micro-oxygenation and concentrates is still, at the end of the day, just one wine making style. And not the only option everyone wants to do or should do.

    And the OP did say he is getting into white wine making. Many whites actually do better, under some wine making styles, if they never see a barrel. So suggesting barrels means he would have to buy one for use forever for red and maybe one for those whites that do well in barrels, and then something else for whites that do better in non-oak barrel containers. That is getting all rather pricey at the end of the day. And, again, for someone on a limited budget, a neutral container, like steel, is better if one will be doing different wine types, with different and variable volumes over time and between batches, simply because of economy. So I am trying my best to stay within the OP's terms and fiscal limits, for the benefit of the OP, rather than injecting my personal, ideological preference on the perfect container. And do note, I am recommending a variable capacity stainless steel container, even though I mostly use HDPE. So not even really recommending my personal tank preference as I don't think what I use would be the best option for the OP for the OP's circumstances. ;)

    In the end, I think the OP can figure out who, amongst all the various comments and commentators, is trying to given him the best all around and unbiased advice that are in his best interests. I need say no more here on the topic of what container to use. ;)

    If that is the case, then I apologize.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  7. Feb 23, 2018 #27

    Ajmassa5983

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    This sounds more like a question of timing instead of ‘which vessel is is more ideal? insinuating you’ll have both eventually.
    If I’m correct then this same question is also on my horizon so I can relate. It sounds like your stepping your game up with the goal of making more volume and having a barrel to oak as desired. Buying a VC now (along with your current vessels) would allow you age the year in the tank. Hopefully in a position to purchase a barrel and oak the wine before fall 2019. And time it so you can finish oaking and bottle to free up the tank for the 2019’s wine while rotating that tank through the ‘never empty’ barrel.
    I know a couple guys who only get grapes every other year because of the this hassle of timing and vessel space. They also have a stockpile of unused neutral barrels.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  8. Feb 24, 2018 #28

    zadvocate

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    I had hoped for some overwhelming answer guiding me In on direction or the other. I definitely intend to have both options in the future. I love the variable volume functionality of the SS tank but I really want the micro ox and concentration of a barrel. I think I will get a 5 gallon barreleith the following in mind: Chilean Chardonnay for 5 weeks, followed by carmenere for 7 weeks. Then come fall I will put make 10 gallons of cab that I will run through it which should keep me close to spring. Does this sound feasible? I would be buying a vadaia barrel too.
     
  9. Feb 24, 2018 #29

    Johnd

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    You could probably over oak the chard in 5 weeks, since it’s first in, check it frequently til it’s done. Time your barrel purchase right, and you’ll be ready for your fall Cab for sure! I suspect you’ll be pleased with Vadai, the make a fine product, and couldn’t be any more helpful and friendly. Good luck!!
     
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  10. Feb 25, 2018 #30

    JohnT

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    IMG_20180225_105104.jpg But then again, here is a pice from last crush. Look how happy these three are when bringing in a new barrel...
     
  11. Feb 25, 2018 #31

    Johnd

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    That’s always a happy day!! I love the way you and your friends / family do your winemaking together.......OK, I’m jealous!! My winemaking is pretty much in my own little vacuum, but WMT fills the void pretty well.
     
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  12. Jul 9, 2019 #32

    zadvocate

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    I just purchased a 28 L French barrel from artisan barrels. Has anyone ever used them? Their prices were reasonable.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2019 #33

    mainshipfred

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    How much was it, I can't seem to find their price sheet.
     
  14. Jul 10, 2019 #34

    zadvocate

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  15. Jul 10, 2019 #35

    zadvocate

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    Confirmed, the 28L is not waxed. It already shipped and I should be getting it next week.
     
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  16. Jul 10, 2019 #36

    mainshipfred

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    That's a pretty nice price, let us know what you think of it when it arrives.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  17. Jul 10, 2019 #37

    zadvocate

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  18. Jul 16, 2019 #38

    zadvocate

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    Just received the Barrel it looks very nice. IMG_0001.JPG IMG_0001.JPG

    FYI the 2019 come with a cradle and spigot and will be in mid August. This one did not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  19. Jul 18, 2019 #39

    Spudwrench12

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    Has anyone dealt with oakbarrelsforsale.com ? Any option on this outfit ?
     
  20. Jul 18, 2019 #40

    zadvocate

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