normally would not consider an oak barrel

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Senior Member
Mar 5, 2012
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but I can get some close to me and I will have a new winery. I would like your opinion. Supposedly, I can get food grade barrels that have been used locally. These are french barrels. I don't know how many times they have been used.

I am concerned about using oak barrels in that it may impart too much oak. I guess , I need to google how to use oak barrels for wine but thinking you guys can give me some concise info.

How long should I leave it in the barrel? It would be a cab/, maybe chiraz lend or something like that.

How much should I pay for a used barrel that is still food grade.

Thanks , I have been out of the winemaking activity for a couple of years as life has really gotten in the way.


Junior Member
Sep 9, 2010
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First question is what wine and for how long. And, how have they been kept? They will be neutral after 3-4 years. Still provide oxidation benefits but little oak flavors. I listened to a podcast by a Napa cab maker today where he said 50% oak influence the second year, 15% the third.

How long is a function of size and age. Me I rack based on taste. In a new barrel you can go a couple years with a big wine or more. Time increases with barrel age to get the same phenolics. You can also add staves, spirals or other oak products to increase oakiness in a more neutral barrel.

Good French oak, from a quality winery near me are 150-180 bucks depending on age. All ozone and guaranteed to be leak free.

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