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Use of Paraffin oil to seal wine from air

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Obelix

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Hi ,
My brother in law uses variable capacity tanks with a floating lid.
The lid sits on wine surface and he pours paraffin oil around it - this blocks the air-wine contact.
He then just pours wine into a bottle as he needs it and the lid just drops with the wine.
These tanks are built to be used with the paraffin oil.

I use three beer barrels for aging. The barells have a tap attached and was thinking of pouring some paraffin oil into the head space so I can do the same.
The barells obviously don't have a floating lid in them and I would need enough oil to fully cover the surface.

Is this method used elsewhere? Any issues experienced with it?

Regards :)
 

stickman

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I've heard of mineral oil or other oils being used in the old days before modern equipment was available, but to me, I think it would be a mess and more trouble than what it's worth. Dispensing from a keg is possible using nitrogen or an inert gas mixture, though the equipment is more costly.
 

Obelix

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Thanks Stickman.
I witnessed the paraffin oil not messing up at all. Doesn't seem to stick to anything.

My kegs are converted - the tops modified into a simple screw-tops and a taps welded into the body.
To get the wine out all I need is to open the tap.
The head space is very small and once I open the tap I'll let the air in.
I was hoping to seal the wine with a layer of paraffin oil.
 

Ajmassa

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Sounds like a big difference.
-A failsafe of oil around the seal of a floating vc tank.
- compared to covering entire surface with oil to act as its own floating lid.
I’ve heard of old timers using olive oil on the surface of jugs and demijohns but not barrels- always when there was a neck and minimal surface area. Your talking a lot more surface area.
Theoretically I guess it should work. But your playing with fire and braver than I. This would be for your Australian Shiraz from fresh grapes correct?
 

Obelix

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Thanks Ajmassa,

Yes - 3 kegs of shiraz.

Not "brave" enough to do it without getting someone else's experience :)
As a beginner - I need to be conservative and I won't experiment and risk my wine without a positive feedback

I'll order another VCT with a floating lid to be used with paraffin oil for the next year and set the kegs for long time storage.

I'm likely to rake one keg into bottles in a month time for drinking I was hoping I could just fill a bottle as I need it - paraffin on the surface.
Don't think I'll do that this year then.
 

Ajmassa

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I do dig the general idea. I know some people aren’t too keen on long term aging in vct’s. And seems like most modify it in some way. Pouring paraffin oil around the perimeter sounds like a cool trick.
I always wondered how ideal using a beer keg as a storage vessel would be. Do you have the bunghole on side and tapped on flat edge like a barrel? Or standing upright ? I’m wondering if they could be modified to be sealed yet still have a way to accept argon or nitrogen or something. I just got a miniature version of this- a 2 gallon cannonball keg for wine on tap. Haven’t used it yet. But has a system to seal and protect with gas. I don’t know. Just spitballing here. IMG_2157.jpg
 

Obelix

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That thing is looking a very high tech :)
My kegs are pretty simple (see photo)

I think I'll leave it in the kegs and drain it into bottles one keg at the time - as I get ready to drink it.
It was never meant to be kept for long anyway. 150L would be a a year supply for me and my adult kids.
If course, will set aside 10 bottles to be drunk one each year.
 

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Ajmassa

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That thing is looking a very high tech :)
My kegs are pretty simple (see photo)

I think I'll leave it in the kegs and drain it into bottles one keg at the time - as I get ready to drink it.
It was never meant to be kept for long anyway. 150L would be a a year supply for me and my adult kids.
If course, will set aside 10 bottles to be drunk one each year.
Yeah that was a gift. I plan to use for parties.
I know I will eventually get a vct. I’m at the same mindset as you - with the goal to make 1 large batch a year. But waiting until I know exactly what size I’ll be comfortable with. Have purchased too much equipment only to upgrade shortly after.
How’s the MLF vs non MLF experiment coming along?
 

Obelix

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MLF - non-MLF...

I tasted the non mlf-ed wine before I went away (two months ago) and found it inferior to the MLFed version so I introduced the mlf bacteria into it.
I was hoping I could start it although I added 1/3 teaspoon of K-Meta several weeks before.
Fingers crossed :)

Yet to try either since I got back.
I had a few bottles laying around which couldn't fit into the kegs and these taste very promissing - although tasting slightly "fizzy" indicating immaturity.
I'll crack open one MLF keg in a month time and bottle it for drinking.

For the ñext year I'll get one VCT set up for paraffin and pair it up with one keg for long maturing.
 
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