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Leaking new barrel

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thruhike00

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Just received a new 50l Vadai barrel a week ago. Finally had time to prep it tonight for wine. Had a major leak in the barrel head. See attached photos. This is not a beeswax repair as the bubble is drawing in boiling water and filling up the barrel. The head has been covered in boiling water for over an hour now and the leaking head has stayed or gotten worse. Based on what I have seen working with multiple distillers and beer mfgs. that age in barrels, and a confirming phone call, beeswax will not fix this large a leak. Never had a leaker from Vadai. Per instructions from distilling friends, I hammered the hoops down for about 30 minutes, with multiple changes of boiling water, and finally the leak sealed. Probably will have to beeswax as well, but if you have this large a leak, you need to address during the prep as wine will pour out of something this large. Just a piece of advice to help all in future. Thirty minutes of no leaks and I am moving on to the barrel interior.

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Johny99

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Thanks for the post. I've never had one this bad. Hope it seals for you.
 

philbard

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In my experience this not uncommon in barrels that are shipped over long distances or that may have been in storage for awhile. I don't fret unless its been full of water for 24 hours and the leak is still present. Wood just dries out and shrinks, even on high end barrels. Don't worry too much until you have let some time pass...
 

Johnd

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I don't worry about barrel leaks until I've been through the entire rehydration process, boiling water on each head twice, boiling water inside for 4 hours, drain and fill with sulfited water for a week. Never had one leak water after that process.

Every one seems to show some red wine stain in a few spots when initially filled, but never a drip, and they have always stopped staining within a few days. A little mist with sulfite solution makes them magically disappear.
 

thruhike00

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I would tend to agree with all but I have never had a barrel that would literally suck water in through the head into the barrel. The head would not stay full with boiling water as it leaked to the inside of the barrel and was filling up the inside. Fifteen minutes of water on the head and most of it was inside the barrel. Tightened the top two hoops and the leak went bye bye.
 

opus345

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I need to see if the significant other will let me locate my barrel in the Living/Dinjing room when i get my first barrel. ;)
 

thruhike00

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I need to see if the significant other will let me locate my barrel in the Living/Dinjing room when i get my first barrel. ;)
I have officially been kicked out of the living area. I started with a 23l and then two, moved them on an over/under configuration stand I made that looked like crap. Kept telling the wife I was going to either make it decent and not an eye sore, or move it. When the 50l hit the porch the hammer of thor came down hard. She has let me do the prep for the weeks cold soak in the area, but then its somewhere else. She is going out of town tomorrow so I have a week to figure out either a place she can live with, or its final resting spot. I really miss my last house with its large basement that I turned the unfinished area into a wine cellar and beer making area. I have some room under the house that I could turn into a cellar and barrel storage area, but its 6" short on head space and no drain. Any suggestions are welcome as I am running out of room for this hobby. House addition is not an option.
 
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