How often do rack/clean your barrels

Discussion in 'Barrels & Oaking' started by FTC Wines, Nov 10, 2018.

Wine Making Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating:

  1. Nov 10, 2018 #1

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

    Senior Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    352
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N. Ft. Myers , Fl
    We now have 3 barrels, a neutral 23L, a semi neutral 40L, and a 5 week old 40L one that’s doing a MLF on a Malbec. We Now are aging wines longer in the barrel but concerned on how often I should be racking/cleaning the barrel. I typically do it every 3 months, is that standard? Thanks Roy
     
  2. Nov 11, 2018 #2

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    4,164
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    Don’t know what’s standard, but will be happy to share with you my process, which is extremely low maintenance. First, I don’t put wine in my barrels until MLF is complete (I coinoculate, so it’s done shortly after AF) and the wine has had a couple months to settle and degas. After the wine (which is normally quite clear) goes into the barrel, it doesn’t come out til it’s done.

    The ‘17’s have been in a 30 gallon barrel over a year, no action to date other than topping / sulfiting / tasting. Don’t intend to take it out til it’s done, whenever that is. The 18’s were pressed a few weeks back, MLF complete, and will go into a 60 gallon barrel in another month or so, don’t plan to take it out for 1 - 2 years.

    Once wine is removed from a barrel that will be refilled, it gets thoroughly pressure cleaned inside, rinsed, sulfite soaked, then refilled. Hope this helps.....
     
    MAJ likes this.
  3. Nov 11, 2018 #3

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

    Senior Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    352
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N. Ft. Myers , Fl
    Thanks John, I thought people kept the wine in their barrels for long periods with out racking/cleaning them. I’ll do that to, except on the MLF Which I’ll clean and sanitize before the next wine. Had no choice on putting the MLF in there. Roy
     
  4. Nov 11, 2018 #4

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    4,164
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    Quite welcome Roy. On that MLF barrel, as long as you don’t put a sorbated wine in there, it should be fine for all of your red MLF wines. I’ve often read here on our forum that it’s pretty difficult to get mlb out of a barrel, so I’ve never worried about it. All of my barrels have had MLF wines in them, so I guess the bacteria is in there too.
     
  5. Nov 11, 2018 #5

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

    Senior Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    352
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N. Ft. Myers , Fl
    Yes only MLF wines go In the 40L barrels. The 23L barrel only has kit wines in it. Thanks again. Roy
     
  6. Nov 12, 2018 #6

    Jared Retter

    Jared Retter

    Jared Retter

    Junior

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    John, what do you store the wine in after AF but before barrel while you wait for ML to complete and things to settle?
     
  7. Nov 12, 2018 #7

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    4,164
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    On all reds, AF in 25 - 50 gallon food safe containers (trash cans), inoculate MLB into the must as soon as AF kicks off and get the first cap to punch. When AF is over, rack free run into carboys, press skins and press run goes into carboys. 3 days after pressing, all carboys are racked off gross lees, still in carboys, and it stays there until MLF is done, which was only a few days to completion this year. The wine will stay in carboys til I barrel and sulfite it sometime in the next month or so. All of this takes place in my house where the temps are 72 - 74 until the wine goes into the barrel in the wine room at 55F.
     
    Dom Lausic likes this.
  8. Jan 10, 2019 #8

    topper9520

    topper9520

    topper9520

    Junior

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hello there so getting back to your original question about racking, my first rack is done after 2 months from press and 2 more times before it goes in to bottle which is anywhere from 12-18 months and the reason that its 12- 18 months is that I do not add yeast or do I add sulfates to my wines or any other chemical and by doing this method you have be diligent on sanitation and temperature, all my wines are reds and all of them are in Oak barrels 30gl & 59 gl the extra for topping are in 54litre demijohn & 5 gl carboys, you must be careful when racking cause oxygen is the #1 killer of wine in total I have 9 barrels of red. The crush is temp controlled the must usually tops out at 84 degrees and I take all of it down to 0% sugar, the barrel room is constant 55 - 68 degrees the bottle storage room is temp controlled year round 54-62 degrees, I do not make wine to age for 5-10 years I make it to drink after a year or so aging in oak and I usually get 2 -3 years after bottling, sorry for the extensive detail of my wine making process but this is a labor of love and a great hobby and I have yet to taste a glass of home made red wine that I did not taste yeast, over sulphiting really high acidity or just plain flabby wine and oh I built this facility in my home in NJ

    Cheers!
     
  9. Jan 10, 2019 #9

    NorCal

    NorCal

    NorCal

    Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,409
    Likes Received:
    2,156
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Placer County, CA
    Rack 1 after mlf is completed in the barrel (Oct-Jan), rack 2, 3-4 months later, rack 3 before bottling at 11-12 months.
     

Share This Page