Wooden Barrel

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Sep 25, 2016
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Hello everyone!

I bought my first wooden wine barrel and I am keen to start making wine in it. However as it is slightly larger than what I was used to (I used to have 7 gallon glass carboys) I am wondering what would be the best secondary fermenter.

Do you think a variable volume tank would be appropriate?

I was thinking to kick start the fermentation in the variable tank move it to the wooden barrel for secondary fermentation then back to the variable tank to finish off and clear and then back to the wooden for long term storage.

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!

Thank you in advance!



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Jan 29, 2011
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Central Ohio
Paul, I have not tried the variable tanks and I believe they are somewhat expensive. However, I have made wine using a primary phase fermenter, secondary phase in glass and aging in wood with very good results. In your case, I would get more glass for secondary. You do not say how large the barrel is. Let me assume it is 10 gallons. If you have a primary with, say, 12 gallons of wine in it, get a 6 gallon carboy, a 5 gallon carboy and 1 gallon jug for the secondary phase. Once the wine is cleared and stabilized, move it to the barrel. Keep any leftover in glass. If you bung the barrel, enjoy the left over wine. If you add an airlock to the barrel, you will need to top up the barrel as the "angel" enjoy their share.


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Feb 9, 2010
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I have several VC tanks. They are great! If you have the means, I highly recommend them.

Ok, so you want to ferment in the vc tank, then rack to barrel, then rack back to the tank, then rack back to the barrel??

Here are a couple thoughts..

- IMHO, you should always have a barrel filled with wine (once you being using it) and should never store it empty. You could fill it with k-meta solution, but that would serve to deplete the barrel of it's oaky goodness.

- That seems to be a lot of racking. Why not ferment and clarify your wine in the tank, then age in the barrel (one week per gallon of volume)? I would time it so that you empty the barrel when the next batch is ready for barrel ageing.

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