wine barrel

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Jan 1, 2007
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I purchased a 59 gallon wine barrel on ebay. The seller says they have been cleaned and had all the prevenatives added so they are ready for use. The barrel was used for a white wine in nappa valley and is a 2002 american oak. Has anyone tryed this ,and if so what steps should I take to make sure and have a good fruit wine. I am thinking blackberry or something to the likes.

A blackberry will do very well with oak. So will an elderberry, or a blended blackberry/elderberry.
Cherry wine will also do fine on oak.

But remember one thing :
Once the barrel is used for a red wine you can never use it for a white wine anymore.......
(unless you like slightly faded pink wines)

Sorry but I have never tried it but hopefully someone will chime in. I have never tried a barrel as I won't buy one unless it was local where I could return the barrel if it were faulty and leaked.

I wouldn't ever use a used barrel as well unless I was the one that used it myself and knew 100% that the barrel were properly cared for. I just couldn't imagine placing 59 gallons of a wine in a barrel and it become contaminated from an improperly cared for barrel.

I would recommend reading From Vines to Wines by Jeff Cox. He covers the use of barrels pretty good on pages 149-155.

Good luck with your barrel and I hope it works out for you.

Smurfe :)
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59 Gallons is a lot of wine, and to make 59 gallons of blackberry wine is a heck of a lot of blackberries!:D
I'd wouldn't like to primary ferment in it but would consider it for aging once racked of sediment if I had the chance to fully fill it.
Assuming it is well cleaned as they say I'd worry about two things. First is it really leak/air proof and secondly is it going to give the wine too much 'oak' flavourings?

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