Quantcast

New Barrel(s)

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
6,711
Location
South Louisiana
I've got three 6 gallon Vadai barrels in use right now. They're not neutral for another year or so, but the wines in them now will be in there for 5 months or so, the next wines for six months each. At this rate, I'm not moving wine through the barrels quick enough, and I've got year old wines that haven't been in them yet, and others in line behind them. Carboys are backing up. In short, need more barrels.

I've loved my Vadai's, and am thinking about ordering a couple more 6 gallons, or maybe some in the 12 gallon range, maybe some American or French oak. Are there other sources you've gotten barrels from recently that you're happy with? Just want to consider other good options, your thoughts are appreciated.
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
14,382
Reaction score
12,147
Location
DC Suburbs
3-ish months should be enough is a 23 liter barrel.
 

AZMDTed

Just a guy
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
764
Reaction score
541
I just ordered my second 6 gallon Vadai for similar reasons. I looked for a 12 gallon one thinking about double batches but couldn't find one.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
6,711
Location
South Louisiana
3-ish months should be enough is a 23 liter barrel.
Now Jim, you know I like my oak..... first wine sat 1 month, 2nd for two, 3rd for three, etc.. The fourth just came out of them, very nicely oaked I must say, so number 5 is in all three and I'm planning on 5 months for those. As the imparted oak flavor continues to fall back with each subsequent wine, I'll be maxing out at six to avoid overoxidation in the small barrels. Once neutral, I still plan six months in barrel with wine stix for flavor. At that rate, however, I can only oak 6 carboys per year, but I have 12 in waiting, and 12 carboys worth of must coming in a month or so.......getting the drift?
 

ibglowin

Moderator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
22,439
Reaction score
15,522
Location
Northern Nuevo Mexico
They don't make a 12 gallon size but they do make a 40L which is ~11gal which leaves just enough to top off with for a 3-6 month run. Plus the 40L is only like $23 more than the 23L.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
6,711
Location
South Louisiana
They don't make a 12 gallon size but they do make a 40L which is ~11gal which leaves just enough to top off with for a 3-6 month run. Plus the 40L is only like $23 more than the 23L.
I saw those too and had the same thought. I'm doing some varietals this year that would be accommodated well by the 40's. Do you get all your barrels from Vadai?
 

ibglowin

Moderator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
22,439
Reaction score
15,522
Location
Northern Nuevo Mexico
I have 4 (23L) Vadai's long since neutral. This past Winter I thought about getting a 40 or 50L Vadai but went with two 15G Flextanks as it was not only cheaper but I liked the fact that they passed O2 like a barrel, no angels share to worry about, larger in capacity, ball valve, and you can rinse and store them empty if you don't need them for a season. My 4 Vadai's are still going strong after 3-4 years of continuous service without problems. I nuked them good for a week last Fall with a sanitizing solution of KMETA and Citric Acid just trying to make sure I keep them as clean as possible. The French Oak barrels are extremely pricey. American Oak barrels can be found for pretty cheap but I am not a huge fan of American Oak and find I can achieve what I want from a flavor profile by using oak adjuncts. Vadai's have always been the best bang for the buck. The French may be a little better made but they are hard to find in the smaller size(s) and if you do find a smaller one they are usually 2X the cost of a Vadai.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
6,711
Location
South Louisiana
@ibglowin

I didn't know that about a flex tank Mike. So, how does that work, as the micro oxygénation / evaporation takes place, the lid drops with the wine volume? Then it's just a matter of oak staves, etc. for flavoring I guess?
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
14,382
Reaction score
12,147
Location
DC Suburbs
Flex tanks are not variable volume though, correct?
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
14,382
Reaction score
12,147
Location
DC Suburbs
Now Jim, you know I like my oak..... first wine sat 1 month, 2nd for two, 3rd for three, etc.. The fourth just came out of them, very nicely oaked I must say, so number 5 is in all three and I'm planning on 5 months for those. As the imparted oak flavor continues to fall back with each subsequent wine, I'll be maxing out at six to avoid overoxidation in the small barrels. Once neutral, I still plan six months in barrel with wine stix for flavor. At that rate, however, I can only oak 6 carboys per year, but I have 12 in waiting, and 12 carboys worth of must coming in a month or so.......getting the drift?
Get your micro-ox and concentration from the barrel - 3 months should do it. Then, as you said, get your oak from cubes, staves, etc. Those barrels will be neutral before you know it anyway. ;)
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
6,711
Location
South Louisiana
The new barrels are in, barrel prep is complete, no leaks or any other issues with the 23L or 40L Vadai's. I'm running a kit or two through each one of them before putting any grape wines in them, then designating them as my MLF only barrels, i.e.: no more kit wines in them.

I've got the timing of each wine in/out pretty well in hand for the 23L. For the 40, I'm thinking of roughly doubling the anticipated time of the 23, although the 40 isn't quite double in size. I anticipate first wine 8 weeks, second 16, third 24, etc. Tasting will determine the actual length of time in the 40, but I'm curious about anyone else's experience.
 

AZMDTed

Just a guy
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
764
Reaction score
541
Congrats on the new barrels, a fine compliment to your new wine room. I think doubling time for the 40 is about right, and I'm guessing you might even get a little more than double out of it. I don't have formulas but I'm thinking that the surface area is non-linear to the volume. As you say, judge by the taste.

I have two 23L Vadai's now and both went the thru prep and a kit Chardonnay primary fermentation without any hint of a leak. But as soon as I put a red in both gave me leaks. Manageable, just a little frustrating.

Your 8 week, 16, 24 is that your projection for the 40L meaning that you do 4, 8, 16 weeks on the 23L? I'm still trying to get a good schedule on mine, but for my taste about 16 days for the first red batch was plenty of oak taste for me, though I'm sure that it will pull back over time.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
6,711
Location
South Louisiana
Congrats on the new barrels, a fine compliment to your new wine room. I think doubling time for the 40 is about right, and I'm guessing you might even get a little more than double out of it. I don't have formulas but I'm thinking that the surface area is non-linear to the volume. As you say, judge by the taste.

I have two 23L Vadai's now and both went the thru prep and a kit Chardonnay primary fermentation without any hint of a leak. But as soon as I put a red in both gave me leaks. Manageable, just a little frustrating.

Your 8 week, 16, 24 is that your projection for the 40L meaning that you do 4, 8, 16 weeks on the 23L? I'm still trying to get a good schedule on mine, but for my taste about 16 days for the first red batch was plenty of oak taste for me, though I'm sure that it will pull back over time.
Maybe one day I'll sit down and do the surface area to volume calculation for the 23 and 40, but I'm sure you're right, not a linear relationship.

Had the same experience with all three of my 23's, leakfree til you put red wine in. No biggie, lasted a few weeks and a little mist of KMS sanitizing solution removes the stains almost immediately.

Yes, that's my general time line in the 23L, 1 month, 2 months, etc. all the way up to 6 months. By the time you hit the end of your first 6 month wine, the barrel is 21 months old and approaching neutral, then I'll start adding wine stix. This is all taste dependent, of course, and it does pull back over time.
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
14,382
Reaction score
12,147
Location
DC Suburbs
Your timeline for the 40L sounds like a good estimate. As you said, let taste determine the final schedule.

On my 23's, I go 4-5, 6-8, 10-12; then 12+ from there on.
 

Johnd

Senior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
6,711
Reaction score
6,711
Location
South Louisiana
Making preparations for the end of MLF on the 17 wine, just completed the oak stand for the new 39 gal. barrel. Probably run my first MLF check next weekend and get barrel prep started if the end is in sight.

When I first rack the wine into the barrel, it’ll get free run wine, one Merlot, one PS, and 3 Cab, leaving one free run Cab, one press cab, and one press combo of the three wines.

A year or so down the road, see about maybe rotating some of the 3 leftover carboys through there, but that’s a long ways off.........

E0DB9ECA-62E1-43FD-82B0-8AF40C5C0F68.jpg

E460B519-0075-4B90-BABB-0544C926257C.jpg
 

Mac60

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
Messages
173
Reaction score
245
just completed the oak stand for the new 39 gal. barrel. .
Nice stand I'm thinking about making one similar but adding some casters. What size did you make it, what type or oak did you use looks like 1x 12"? & 1x4"
 
Top