Topping up barrel question

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wood1954

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I’ve had my 2023 Marquette in Hungarian 10 gallon barrels since last October and have been topping them up every month with wine. I’m going to bottle it all this September. My question is can I skip the next couple tops or will that be too long on the oxygen in the barrel? I would like to concentrate the wine as much as possible but I don’t want vinegar either.
 
I try to top every month... I would not worry about 6 weeks but 3 months sounds like a lot. I don't think the difference in concentration will be that significant, though I haven't worked with barrels that small.

If you must go that long without topping, I would at least check once a month and give it a prophylactic spritz with KMBS/K-meta to dissuade anything that might start growing on the surface.
 
I get lazy at times and might not top up for over a month and sometimes it could be as much as 2 months. What I found is, as Bryan mentioned, a properly sealed barrel does appear to be in a vacuum. If you open it to check the sulfite levels you are putting the oxygen back into the barrel. I guess my question might be why don't you want to top it up?
 
I was hoping to give the wine a little more body, but I guess topping off two more times won’t really add that much. I’ve been adding about 1/2 a bottle every month so it should be developing more body than when I first barreled it. Sounds like I should taste it today to see how it’s doing. I know the barrels create a partial vacuum, but isn’t one of the benefits of barrel the micro oxygenation?
 
I was hoping to give the wine a little more body, but I guess topping off two more times won’t really add that much. I’ve been adding about 1/2 a bottle every month so it should be developing more body than when I first barreled it. Sounds like I should taste it today to see how it’s doing. I know the barrels create a partial vacuum, but isn’t one of the benefits of barrel the micro oxygenation?
I'm no expert but I would think flooding the headspace with oxygen might be different than micro oxygenation.
 
I was hoping to give the wine a little more body, but I guess topping off two more times won’t really add that much. I’ve been adding about 1/2 a bottle every month so it should be developing more body than when I first barreled it. Sounds like I should taste it today to see how it’s doing. I know the barrels create a partial vacuum, but isn’t one of the benefits of barrel the micro oxygenation?
Leaving longer in the barrel will concentrate the wine more, as water & alcohol evaporate through the wood.

I'm in agreement with Fred -- micro-oxygenation and exposure to air are different. If I understand correctly, miniscule amounts of O2 are getting into the barrel through the wood, so the evaporation is not completely a one-way process.
 

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