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My New French Oak Allary Barrel Pic

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Donz

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Just picked up this beauty. It is from Tonnerie Allary in France and looks incredible. Any advice on barrel prep? Apparently these do not leak a drop but I am planning to hose full, then add hot water and meta overnight, check for any leaks etc... Fill with vino after.

IMG_2372.jpg
 

Johnd

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My typical barrel prep process is as follows, FWIW:

1. Stand on end and fill the top head with boiling water for 30 minutes.
2. Flip it over and do the same to the other head for 30 minutes.
3. Fill the barrel with boiling water, roughly half it's volume for a few hours, flipping it back and forth from head to head and rolling it around on the ground
4. Fill it with cool water + 1/4 tsp kms / 5 gallons for a week, keeping it topped up daily (it'll suck up a lot of water)
5. Dump the water out and fill it up with wine

Beautiful barrel, enjoy it for years to come!!!!!!!!
 

Donz

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Thanks John, I'll let you know how my prep goes.
 

Donz

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Actually a friend of mine built the stand for me. He is incredible at shaping wood and was nice enough to help me out! he also builds custom Humidors.
 

Donz

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It is a 55 liter French Oak from Tonnellerie Allary http://www.tonnellerie-allary.com/
Cost me $450.

Next year I'll add the 120 liter to my collection hopefully!

I prepped it last night and it barely leaked at all. I'll add meta today and let sit overnight as I will be transferring all of my wine tomorrow to barrels/ demijohns.
 

JohnT

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True, but I am still amazed that French oak cost that much more.
 

ibglowin

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Supply and demand. Supply and demand.

I have been very happy with Hungarian oak (Vadai) especially now that my barrels are neutral and I can add French staves, spirals, Xoakers.......

True, but I am still amazed that French oak cost that much more.
 

Donz

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YIKES!! I have paid less for domestic 225 liter barrels..
I paid $385 Canadian plus tax of course. These French oak barrels have won awards all over the world. Check out Allary and you will see why I splurged! Could have got American or Hungarian much cheaper.
 

AZMDTed

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The folks really getting a price premium are those of us who get the 23L barrels, everything above that has moderate price increases for much greater capacities. I get that there is a basic cost in the fabrication and that the size is less of a factor, and maybe even easier to make as you go bigger. We each have our own needs and preferences and comfort level of value/price to get them.
 

JohnT

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It could also be that they make more (and there is much more availability) of the larger barrels.
 

Johnd

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The folks really getting a price premium are those of us who get the 23L barrels, everything above that has moderate price increases for much greater capacities. I get that there is a basic cost in the fabrication and that the size is less of a factor, and maybe even easier to make as you go bigger. We each have our own needs and preferences and comfort level of value/price to get them.
You are correct, but it's still a great value even for the 23L barrels. If you leave each wine in for a month more than the one before (which lots of us do), by the time your barrel is neutral (+/- 2 years), you will have run six batches of wine through them, or a total of 180 bottles. That only costs you $1 per bottle, and you still have a great barrel that will last for many years to come and will provide micro oxygenation and concentration to boot. They're great for kits and improve them substantially, IMHO.

I have four 23L Vadai's, but as my grape wine making has increased to volumes beyond 6 gallons, I too have started to acquire larger barrels, and as you stated, the incremental cost is quite nice on the bigger boys, if you can fill them. While there is a bit more materials involved as the size increases, the production cost is probably not a linear relationship. For example, if it takes 6 manhours to produce a 6 gallon barrel, it doesn't take 50 manhours to produce a 50 gallon barrel.

And for me, there's the intangible value. Wooden barrel arranged neatly around the wine room, just look bada$$.
 

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