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question about charred barrels

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Cibb

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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?
 

Johnd

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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?
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.
 

Cibb

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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.
 

Johnd

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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.
Were it me, I'd go for a proper wine barrel with the appropriate toast level.
 

Cibb

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Were it me, I'd go for a proper wine barrel with the appropriate toast level.
That was my thought as well but wanted to check as he was local and had a very good price on the barrels.
 

Johnd

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That was my thought as well but wanted to check as he was local and had a very good price on the barrels.
Very admirable to endeavor to support the locals, I feel the same, sometimes it just doesn't work out...........
 

Cibb

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Very admirable to endeavor to support the locals, I feel the same, sometimes it just doesn't work out...........
Thanks.

I'd considered a flex tank but the smallest they offer is 15 gallons and I'm doing 6 gallon buckets.
 

Johnd

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Thanks.

I'd considered a flex tank but the smallest they offer is 15 gallons and I'm doing 6 gallon buckets.
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.
 

balatonwine

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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.
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 ;)).

But, that does not really answer what type of wine results from HDPE versus a non-porous material like stainless steel or glass. I actually don't know. And I want to know. So I am currently testing this. I need to expand my capacity and I have a lot of Speidel barrels (from 12 L to 200 L) which I use for primary fermentation and am wondering if I can use these also for aging to get the type of wine I want. I currently have samples of the same wine in a 30 L demijohn (non-permeable container) and a 30 L Speidel barrel. Results due next spring. :h
 
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MiBor

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I currently have samples of the same wine in a 30 L demijohn (non-permeable container) and a 30 L Speidel barrel. Results due next spring.
Could you please share your findings about aging wine in HDPE containers?!...
 

CDrew

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@CDrew ages in Intelli-tanks, and He would know about this.
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.

I've never used a Flextank or a barrel, but I am happy with 15 gallon intellitanks and the sanitary fittings they give you access too. I would like to do a side by side test of say Flextank and Intellitank and see if there are any differences at all. I sort of doubt it, but I'd like to know. I would love to use a barrel or two, but just don't have the space for it as things stand now, and the weekly/monthly topping would be an issue.

For initial bulk aging, I have several(4) 15.5 gallon stainless beer kegs in use too. They compliment the Intellitanks well if your standard volume is 15 gallons roughly. So that translates to 250-300 pounds of grapes for each fermentation. This year I did 4 varietals, all currently in a mix of 15 gallon Intellitanks and 15.5 gallon beer kegs.
 

stickman

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I've been making primarily Bordeaux blends from grapes using the Eco Maturation Flextank for nearly 10 years with very good results. There is no secret or mystery to the gas permeability of polyethylene, all of the packaging and plastic manufacturers provide general data for their products. When it comes to HDPE tanks for wine, it isn't really an issue of one being better than another, it's more a question of the type of wine you are making and will you like it better with micro oxygenation or not. If you want micro oxygenation then Flextanks are one of the choices available that have been specifically designed for the purpose; they also have a heavy weight option for lower permeability. If you want the processing capability of vacuum racking and pressure transfer etc. as well as low oxygen permeability then the Intellitank is an available choice.
 

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