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Where to buy Oak Barrels?

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Mbogan

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Hi all,

I live in Northern NJ. I’m looking to purchase a couple new American or French Oak barrels (30 gallon/15 gallon). In the past I have purchased locally at Wine/Beer market, but feel the prices a bit inflated. This is only for Red Wine.

I have had success with Barrel Works, which went out of business. Any suggestions on quality Barrel Cooperages? I have seen them on Midwest Supplies and received a response from TheOAK Cooperage.

Shipping is a must unless there is another reputable dealer in my area that has better selection.

Thanks
MB
 

rustbucket

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Jim,

Vadai looks like a good barrel source. The site is worth going to: www.vadaiwinebarrels.com. Included on the site is information about wood barrel preparation. I didn't know that a preparation procedure was necessary to seal the barrel. My assumption was that new barrels only had to be sterilized before use.

Thanks for mentioning this source.
 

GreginND

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I didn't know that a preparation procedure was necessary to seal the barrel. My assumption was that new barrels only had to be sterilized before use.

Thanks for mentioning this source.
Yes, barrels are made of wood that shrinks and swells based on the hydration level. A new barrel has likely been sitting for some time without liquid in it and the staves may have shrunk and will leak. You need to fill/soak new barrels to expand the wood and seal any leaks before putting your wine in it.
 

Mbogan

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Vadai is my preferred source.


Thanks for reply. I have looked briefly at Vadai, as it’s been mentioned here several times.

Have you used other sources to compare against? What do you normally age in it and what size? As Hungarian oak, do you feel it imparts American oak or French Oak characteristic?

Thx
 

Boatboy24

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Thanks for reply. I have looked briefly at Vadai, as it’s been mentioned here several times.

Have you used other sources to compare against? What do you normally age in it and what size? As Hungarian oak, do you feel it imparts American oak or French Oak characteristic?

Thx
I like the Hungarian profile. My preference is for Med French, but I'm not springing for a French barrel. I have 3, 23 liter barrels from Vadai. All my red wines spend at least some time in there - most go 3-6 months. Kits 3-4 months, grape wines anywhere from 3-6.
 

ibglowin

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Johnd

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How about I make a call to them for the team and report back.
If you can, find out exactly where the oak comes from, how long the wood is seasoned before machining, the thickness of the barrel heads and staves, and hoop construction. Those are the things I’ve seen the majority of pricing difference result from.
 

mainshipfred

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Here is the reply I received fom Carolina Barrels

Hi Fred,

Our small new barrels are made from hungarian oak. The staves are about 3/4" thick and so are the barrel heads.
Our 30 gallon barrels are made from american oak. The barrel staves are about 1"-1.25" thick as well as the barrel heads. Alot depends on whether yuou order charred or toasted. Charring can burn away up to 20% of the stave thickness depending on the level of char you order. These are made to order so please allow up to 3-4 weeks before they are shipped to you.
We do also have new hungarian oak barrels but they only go up to 26.4 gallons.
We don't offer a 6 gallon barrel.
 

Johnd

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There’s your answer, their small barrels only utilize 3/4” staves and heads, as opposed to 1-1/8” - 1-1/4”. No big deal, but they’ll allow a little more evaporation / oxidation, so watch your time in barrel.
 

mainshipfred

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There’s your answer, their small barrels only utilize 3/4” staves and heads, as opposed to 1-1/8” - 1-1/4”. No big deal, but they’ll allow a little more evaporation / oxidation, so watch your time in barrel.
John, the 6.6 gallon Zemplen Barrel if have has 3/4" staves, at least a the bung. I have no way of measuring the head. I wish someone could measure the stave of a similar sized Vadia barrel since this seems to be the most commonly accepted small barrel. I am pleasantly surprised with the evaporation rate of mine. I only seem to lose a few ounces, maybe 7-8, a week.
 

Johnd

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John, the 6.6 gallon Zemplen Barrel if have has 3/4" staves, at least a the bung. I have no way of measuring the head. I wish someone could measure the stave of a similar sized Vadia barrel since this seems to be the most commonly accepted small barrel. I am pleasantly surprised with the evaporation rate of mine. I only seem to lose a few ounces, maybe 7-8, a week.
The staves on my Vadai 23 L barrels are are just larger than 1”, 1-1/8” or so at the head, 7/8” at the bung. I’m not a barrel expert by any means, I recall reading that slight tapering of the staves towards the middle aids in the bending process, hence, a bit thinner at the bung. Starting with a 3/4” stave would yield a slightly thinner profile at the bung if their staves are similarly tapered.
Fred, I’m not trying to talk you out of the Carolina barrel, just to analyze the pricing structure and figure out why it’s less costly than the Vadai. Try one out and see how it works, might be awesome!!
 

Mbogan

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Well I went ahead a bit the bullet. Ordered an 8 gallon form Carolina Barrel. Will let you know "if it holds water".:rn
Good luck!! Just curious, what did they charge for shipping (to what state)? That seems to be the biggest factor. I found some great barrels on west coast but the shipping kills it.
 

Alan tate

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The first thing anyone should take into account is shipping costs thats anything.including ingredients, anything made of glass is almost doubled in price, obviously very heavy.bye locally whenever possible.
 

Ajmassa

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Good luck!! Just curious, what did they charge for shipping (to what state)? That seems to be the biggest factor. I found some great barrels on west coast but the shipping kills it.
I looked em up last night, After mulling over which sized barrel would be most ideal for myself eventually. (Ongoing debate I have with myself)

They charged a flat rate of $50. But only deliver to within 200 miles of their location.
 

mainshipfred

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Good luck!! Just curious, what did they charge for shipping (to what state)? That seems to be the biggest factor. I found some great barrels on west coast but the shipping kills it.
I live in Northern Virginia and the shipping is $20.00. Total with shipping for the 8 gallon $145.00.
 

mainshipfred

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I looked em up last night, After mulling over which sized barrel would be most ideal for myself eventually. (Ongoing debate I have with myself)
They charged a flat rate of $50. But only deliver to within 200 miles of their location.
My first was a 6.6 that works well but when I buy a bucket and one or 2 lugs depending on the season I've been ending up with more then 8 gallons. That is why I went for the 8.
 

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