How often do rack/clean your barrels

Discussion in 'Barrels & Oaking' started by FTC Wines, Nov 10, 2018 at 10:44 PM.

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  1. Nov 10, 2018 at 10:44 PM #1

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

    FTC Wines

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    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 at 4:49 AM #2

    Johnd

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    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.....
     
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  3. Nov 11, 2018 at 10:56 AM #3

    FTC Wines

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    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 at 11:26 AM #4

    Johnd

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    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 at 12:13 PM #5

    FTC Wines

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    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 at 4:10 PM #6

    Jared Retter

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    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 at 5:01 PM #7

    Johnd

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    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.
     

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