Barrel thoughts

Discussion in 'Barrels & Oaking' started by pgentile, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. Oct 24, 2018 #81

    Ajmassa5983

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    Na I’m glad I did it. Was necessary. The solid bung popped off on the 1st ring. I replaced with an airlocked bung with a tiny bit of water. Proceeded to tighten all the rings up to even 1/2” without issue. But leaks were substantial. I wasn’t even counting stains as leaks
     
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  2. Nov 5, 2018 #82

    George Burgin

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    Just wondering how this went and if you're happy with the results. I'm starting a similar process today with similar sized barrels. The variances are: 6.1 gal Hungarian oak barrels with first wine being a Negroamaro, second will be a Pinot Noir, third will be a Zinfandel and fourth will be a Merlot.
     
  3. Nov 5, 2018 #83

    pgentile

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    So far the sauv blanc is out of the barrel two weeks, sightly over oaked, but after 6 months or so hoping it fades a bit. Pinotage is in the barrel now, will taste in another few weeks.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2018 #84

    baron4406

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    Just tasted my Syrah in the 25l barrel i got from Fred. Been 6 weeks and still not too oaky, I might stretch it to 9 weeks then filter/bottle and jump right into the Petit Syrah for around 12 weeks. Again if you gonna bottle age don't worry about over oaking. That mixed black I brought to our get together was so over oaked last fall it was almost undrinkable. After 9 month in the bottle you couldn't taste any oak. I was gonna take the Syrah out earlier but forgot to add Tannin Riche so I added it and they say wait three weeks.
     
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  5. Nov 6, 2018 #85

    mainshipfred

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    The mixed black was very nice, probably will be on my list for next year. Beside the Petit Syrah what else do you have to go in.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2018 #86

    David A. Day

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    I would be very careful with the smaller barrel. They have a tendency to over oak very fast. In the future, I would try using oak alternatives to add the kiss of oak with out overly powerful oak.
    Also, make sure that the water you are using does not contain chlorine. This can give birth to TCA.
    Any questions about oak, feel free to ask. I work for a cooperage and have years of wine making experience.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Nov 6, 2018 #87

    Johnd

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    What cooperage do you work for, if you don't mind me asking???
     
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  8. Nov 6, 2018 #88

    pgentile

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    I still haven't seen mixed black grapes offered anywhere here in Philly or SJ.

    Think I got the sauv blanc just right, slightly over oaked. In six months it shouldn't be, hopefully.

    I have Pinotage in the barrel now will taste in another 4 weeks or so.
     
  9. Nov 6, 2018 #89

    pgentile

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    Thanks for the heads up.
     
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  10. Nov 6, 2018 #90

    David A. Day

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    I work for Canton Cooperage. We are based out of Kentucky and are part of the Chene & Cie group.
     
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  11. Nov 8, 2018 #91

    George Burgin

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    Thanks for the info and warnings!!
     
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  12. Dec 17, 2018 #92

    Ajmassa5983

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    Couple more barrel questions.
    1.— regarding the vented bungs, once the co2 has released from the wine, is there any reason not to use solid bungs as I’ve been?? With the evaporation rate it doesn’t seem like it would be an issue.
    2. Does a sample straight from the barrel give an accurate example of the wine? I’ve got an 8 gal barrel filled for +10wks now. And it’s too much oak. (The wine was fantastic before any oak). I know oak fades in time, but is there an initial quick oak drop off once removed from the barrel?
    I know I could just wait to make a decision, but I want to keep the barrel filled. Just gotta decide what’s goin in!
     
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  13. Dec 17, 2018 #93

    David A. Day

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    A sample straight from the barrel is what the wine is. Straight forward.The main problem with small barrel, is they will almost always over oak your wines. There is a small amount of wine for the surface area. It will drop after time, but not much. If you are only making these small lots of wine, I would think about oaking with adjuncts in carboys. Using Xoakers( little toasted oak balls) is what I think would be the best for your wine.I am not a fan of small barrels. Their impact is so crazy strong.
    I would move towards a solid silicone bung. Fermenting bungs should really only be used for primary and secondary fermentation.
     
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  14. Dec 17, 2018 #94

    Johnd

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    1. Vented bungs - I use them in my small barrels because I don''t like the wooden bungs that came with the barrels. On my large barrels, which came with solid silicone bungs, the wine still releases its CO2 just fine, the barrel is porous enough to not inhibit that part of the process, and as you stated, with evaporation, there's almost always a little empty space in there between top ups.

    2. I've found that when I've pulled the wine out just when I think the oak is perfect, it drops off a bit in bottle aging and wish it'd sat a bit longer. Just be vigilant on your smaller barrels that you don't overdo the oak. Once they're neutral, you still get all of the great microx and concentration effects, plus you'll have more control over the type and quantity of oak you desire. I've personally gravitated to the Fr M+ Wine Stix for the oak flavoring.
     
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  15. Dec 17, 2018 #95

    mainshipfred

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    David, with all due respect and I'll try to word this as politely as possible, most if not all of us who use barrels are aware of the consequences of over oaking with new small barrels. You are entitled to your preference to use them or not, however, those of us that do use barrels find it benefits our wines. I looked at the Canton Barrel website and it appears they make a quality product but limited to the commercial sizes. It also appears you are promoting the only product your company sells that is of any interest to the home winemaker. While you are not directly selling them you're probably getting close to crossing the line without being a sponsor. I would think if Canton sold small barrels that were affordable to the home winemaker you comments might be a little different.
     
  16. Dec 17, 2018 #96

    Ajmassa5983

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    From week 8 to 10 the change was way more than I anticipated. I do have 20 total gallons of this wine so all is good. Hoping for ideal oak after blending. Silver lining— an unexpected opportunity to get some barrel time on another batch.
    And @Johnd I’m looking forward to going neutral actually. So I can barrel age without stressing about the oak. This is what makes me hesitant towards American oak- so much more “umph” and requiring even more attention. And in line with David’s thoughts- I’ve never even viewed American barrels as an option for small volume.
     
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  17. Dec 17, 2018 #97

    mainshipfred

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    AJ, I can't seem to find what wine you put in it. My SA Cab was in the new barrel for 12 1/2 weeks. When I first took it out it was because I thought it might be on the border of too much oak. But since these were grapes from Stollenbosch I thought I might want to put it back in the barrel once it started to go neutral a bit. Any how I just tasted it along with 3 gallon that never saw the barrel and really think it needs more oak. For the record I took it out of the barrel on 10-20-2018 and thanks for the excuse for doing a tasting.
     
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  18. Dec 17, 2018 #98

    Ajmassa5983

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    It’s my 254/80 Malbec from May. The wine is better than I ever anticipated, and I definitely want to be careful not to mess it up!
    TBH tho it’s not even debatable on being overoaked. Though blending 8gal oaked with 12 gal unoaked I’m thinking will end up right on the money. It really didn’t need much- if any. And I don’t wanna keep messing with a good thing!
    Thinking of giving some of the newer “family red” a turn in there. (Saving my Paso cab for a 55L French that is just about time to finally order)
     
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  19. Dec 18, 2018 #99

    mainshipfred

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    Are you going to blend it now or wait. I would like to see if the oak mellows in 2 months like mine did.
     
  20. Dec 18, 2018 #100

    Ajmassa5983

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    That’s a good question. I’m Not partial. My plan was to just let my available open vessels determine that- but after seeing your question and now looking at the my carboy/demijohn situation I could do either.
    The 34L demi I got to compliment the barrel came in handy-
    I’ll probably just blend all right away. But would like the knowledge so going to try and keep a couple 5L jugs of oak/noOak to see the differences in time.
     
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