Replacing barrel staves.

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MisterEd

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Woodworking is my primary profession. I am hoping to inherit some older 15 gallon wood kegs from a friend who is cycling them out and moving to a bigger size. I am thinking about trying to disassemble the kegs and replace a percentage of the staves to reinvigorate their usefulness. I have a small steam setup to bend them with and was hoping I could use an old one as a template. The shape is tricky and I realize it must be right/spot on if I can hope for a tight barrel when reassembled.
So is there anyone out there who has "been there, done that?" I realize it could end up being a frustrating undertaking but you won't know 'til you've tried.
 

WI_Wino

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To reinvigorate I would simply scrap and char the existing staves. Not replace.
 

stickman

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Be careful if you scrape and re-toast, enough wood has to be removed from the stave so that you are not toasting wine soaked wood. There is some very good information regarding barrel assembly and maintenance at the following link.

http://barrelbuilders.com/resources/
 

MisterEd

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To reinvigorate I would simply scrap and char the existing staves. Not replace.
These small barrels have fairly thin staves and the original owner doesn't think there is enough thickness to scrape and clean them down to virgin wood.
 

jsiddall

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Not trying to discourage you from replacing staves but honestly that sounds like a ton of work. If you are trying to avoid that you could always just add some new oak (ex: spirals etc.) to the wine in the barrel rather than do anything with them. You still get the micro-oxygenation and concentration effects and you can add as much new oak as you want for flavor.
 

MisterEd

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Not trying to discourage you from replacing staves but honestly that sounds like a ton of work. If you are trying to avoid that you could always just add some new oak (ex: spirals etc.) to the wine in the barrel rather than do anything with them. You still get the micro-oxygenation and concentration effects and you can add as much new oak as you want for flavor.
your idea has merit and is probably a wise course of action.
 
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