Other Barrels vs Carboys for bulk aging kits

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Eric Huser

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I char my own white oak and put that in carboys. Super cheap and you get the exact aging. Coopers are great, but a huge waste of money IMHO.
 

Johnd

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I char my own white oak and put that in carboys. Super cheap and you get the exact aging. Coopers are great, but a huge waste of money IMHO.
LOL!!! Think about what you are implying. The entire global wine industry is wasting their money on cooperage, and your home charred white oak in a glass carboy produces the same results. You must have been drunk typing.
 
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Ok I have now received both the Vadai Hungarian 20 L and the Bochart Special Edition French 20L barrels. Hungarian is now full and had just a few pin leaks that were easily stopped with some barrel wax. I have not filled the Bochart yet. Comparison: Vadai has 6 hoops, Bochart has four but they are a little wider. Not sure it will matter in this small barrel size. Bochart comes with a spigot and a solid wood stopper in case you don’t want the spigot, Vadai doesn’t come with a hole for a spigot. Both are medium char. Stave thickness are identical on both. Bochart seems slightly larger diameter, but only slightly. Bochart came engraved ($20 option, nod to Bochart!). I will give the nod to the Vadai for the stand, as it is a bit heavier duty. Both were delivered at about $320…..final decision? I’m Glad I have both a French and Hungarian and both seem like good quality products and would tell forum members to not shy away from the Bochart products.
 

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I have now loaded the Bochart barrel as well. I filled it with boiling water and let sit 24 hrs. Not a single leak! Final thoughts remain the same, Bochart barrel seem to be on par with Vadai, just a few slight differences between the two.

-French vs Hungarian oak
-one has spigot (Bochart) one doesn’t
-one has 4 rings, one has six
-Bochart bung opening 1”, Vadai is 1 1/2”
-Vadai stand a little more heavy duty
-Bochart offers $20 engraving, Vadai doesn’t

Bochart ships from Ontario, CAN, where Vadai ships from Portland, OR (this will effect your shipping rates depending where you live)
List Prices are very comparable between the two.

Hope this helps those of you who have been Leary of buying Bochart barrels , or helps you decide which barrel meets your needs.
 

justsipn

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Even if you get a 23L barrel, you will need to top up some. Some will be absorbed by the barrel, some will become the angels share and evaporate. That's why most folks who make kids get a 20 L barrel and have that extra 3 L for topping up.
I'm considering getting a barrel and think I would get the 20 L for this reason. When I would rack into the barrel, if I have a little left over, I would put it in bottles with airlocks, and then top off with that wine when needed.

The main reason I would like to try a barrel is what I understand as the benefit once it becomes neutral. The way I understand it, you can then age for long periods of time and as some absorbs into the barrel or becomes the angels share, you top off and the flavors become more concentrated. You can always add sticks or spirals to the barrel if you need more oak flavor.

My biggest problem is, I hadn't been able to find 20 or even 25 L barrels. Oh....and convincing my wife to let me spend that much on one.
 

ChuckD

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and convincing my wife to let me spend that much on one.
I have two primary methods to deal with this.

1- Squirrel money away, make my purchase, and a: try to hide said purchase from my wife, or b: try to convince her it didn’t cost much

2- Swipe the card and beg for forgiveness!

I can’t really recommend one over the other and The results are pretty much the same! 😂
 
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My biggest problem is, I hadn't been able to find 20 or even 25 L barrels. Oh....and convincing my wife to let me spend that much on one.


Smaller sized wine barrels are available for purchase google is your friend, morewinemaking has Hungarian oak, which is very similar (I have heard to French Oak). Personally, I don't have a wine barrel, I don't think it would add enough for me to justify the cost. But who knows, it might.
 

justsipn

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Smaller sized wine barrels are available for purchase google is your friend, morewinemaking has Hungarian oak, which is very similar (I have heard to French Oak). Personally, I don't have a wine barrel, I don't think it would add enough for me to justify the cost. But who knows, it might.
Yeah, I had actually looked maybe 6 months ago and really didn't find what I wanted. By looking for the brands mentioned in this thread, I was actually able to find a company within a about 2.5 hours from me that carries them at a pretty decent price. Now, I'm excited.

This company sells American oak with medium toast.
 
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Yeah, I had actually looked maybe 6 months ago and really didn't find what I wanted. By looking for the brands mentioned in this thread, I was actually able to find a company within a about 2.5 hours from me that carries them at a pretty decent price. Now, I'm excited.

This company sells American oak with medium toast.

Please be careful, there are more scammers out there than legit barrel companies. Vadai has been known by many on the forum to be trustworthy and now @she'sgonnakillme has found another. There is one more that I'm aware of but can't seem to find it right now.
 
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The main reason I would like to try a barrel is what I understand as the benefit once it becomes neutral.
That's why I purchased used barrels from a known source. When this year's wine is ready to go into the barrel, I bottle last years, clean the barrel, and continue. Keep in mind that the first batch may be in the barrel only a month and has to be swapped out to avoid over oaking. You'll want at least 4 batches in production so you can swap when you need to.

1- Squirrel money away, make my purchase, and a: try to hide said purchase from my wife, or b: try to convince her it didn’t cost much
Seriously? How do you hide a barrel?????

😂
 

ChuckD

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Seriously? How do you hide a barrel?????
In twenty years my loving wife has graced my woodworking shop with her presence fewer than a dozen times! I have purchased large woodworking machines that she can’t even identify! I also have several hunting arms in the safe. If she were to open the door and look in I guarantee she wouldn’t notice another one.

that said, she has taken an interest in the wine making so I probably couldn’t hide a barrel ☹️ Option #2 it is! 🤣
 

justsipn

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Please be careful, there are more scammers out there than legit barrel companies. Vadai has been known by many on the forum to be trustworthy and now @she'sgonnakillme has found another. There is one more that I'm aware of but can't seem to find it right now.
Agree. And that’s why I didn’t just buy one over the phone. I want yo go visit any talk to them. They acted like they buy them from a source. So, I would like to find out what that source.
 

justsipn

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And I have found that some barrel websites are really intended for spirits, not necessarily for wine.

EDIT: meaning they Char the barrel vs toasting them.
One thing I noticed when I called the company close to me is that she kept saying char instead of toast. I asked if these barrels are for wine or whiskey and she said both.

So, what is the difference between char and toast?
 
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One thing I noticed when I called the company close to me is that she kept saying char instead of toast. I asked if these barrels are for wine or whiskey and she said both.

So, what is the difference between char and toast?

A charred barrel is definitely not for wine, that is a spirits barrel. If that was their response I would be leery buying from them.
 
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One thing I noticed when I called the company close to me is that she kept saying char instead of toast. I asked if these barrels are for wine or whiskey and she said both.

So, what is the difference between char and toast?

Others may have more to share on the subject, but my understanding is that Char is a deeper burn set into the wood, whereas a toast is a shallower version.
 

justsipn

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A charred barrel is definitely not for wine, that is a spirits barrel. If that was their response I would be leery buying from them.
Dang it. So, now I would like to have a pleasant conversation with them to see if they can get barrels made for wine. But, if I insult them it won’t go as planned.
 
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