Call and chat with them, if the barrels are really "charred", they are probably intended for spirits, not wine. Toasted is what you are looking for, but they may just have their terminology wrong.My local store offers barrels but they are charred instead of toasted. Would it be best to order online and not get a charred barrel?
Were it me, I'd go for a proper wine barrel with the appropriate toast level.The barrels are charred. They stated they mostly deal with people distilling or brewing. They have charred levels 1-3 so ight to dark according to him.
He said he had some wine makers in the past use them and overall they liked the results. He did say they were new at the time so he said they didn't have much to compare to. He was up front and said he'd rather have a happy customer instead of an angry one so he suggested I research it first.
I was suggested vadai on here but prefer to help locals where I can.
Been using the 6 gallon Vadais, very pleased with performance and cost. They're all neutral now, really enjoying using French oak staves in them. Don't be afraid to give them a shot, and their customer service is good should you ever need it.Thanks.
I'd considered a flex tank but the smallest they offer is 15 gallons and I'm doing 6 gallon buckets.
Would it be better to age in this vs a glass carboy or rotate via an oak barrel? Wish I could find a good neutral barrel as really what I want is to use it for aging more than the oak to be honest.Speidel has a 20L (5.3 gal) HDPE fermenter:
This is a good question. High density polyethylene does have some O2 permeability, like oak, and unlike glass or stainless steel. So HDPE is more "oak like" in that regard. HDPE is also a neutral barrel. I put mine in storage with a little k-meta solution in the bottom, and in the fall when I need them I just rinse them out a few times to get rid of the k-meta aroma and they are good to go. Also they are very easy to clean and store (I can carry around an empty 200 L Speidel barrel by myself -- try that with a 200 L oak barrel ).Would it be better to age in this vs a glass carboy or rotate via an oak barrel? Wish I could find a good neutral barrel as really what I want is to use it for aging more than the oak to be honest.
I do, sort of. I really like the Intellitanks. Intellitanks have almost 1/2 inch thick HDPE walls, so I see them as basically impervious to Oxygen like a glass carboy. Flex tank walls are much thinner, and if the hype is to be believed, engineered for a specific amount of Oxygen permeability. But I will say that I really appreciate using Intellitanks. It's a well thought out 15 gallon vessel that you can't break, and you can vacuum or pressure rack into and out of. It's perfect in that regard. And the convenience and flexibility can't be beat. I have converted to an all sanitary fitting home winery, and I actually think the sanitary fittings are an even bigger improvement than the Intellitanks. Super convenient for bottling too. A bit expensive up front, but it's pro level gear and will last forever and so you can justify the cost.