Preparing your white oak barrel for use.

white wine glass with barrel

New oak barrels will impart a strong oak character and a lot of tannin to your wine. To reduce impact, please follow these instructions.

Tighten Up The Barrel: Place the barrel in a location where any water leaks or run off will not be a problem (basement near a floor drain or outside). Fill the barrel with cold water and insert the bong. Allow the barrel to sit overnight. The next day, check the barrel for any leaks. If leaks are found, top up the barrel with cold water and let it soak up more water until it is tight.

Treating The Barrel: Drain all of the water out of the barrel. Fill the barrel half way with very hot water, add ½ cup of Barolkleen per gallon of capacity (5 cups per 10 gallon barrel), rock the barrel to mix in the Barolkleen. Fill the barrel to the top with hot water and insert the bong. Allow the barrel to rest for 48 hours turning ½ turn every 12 hours. Drain the barrel and flush it out with cold water three times.

Repeat Step 2 one time. After the second Step 2, fill the barrel with cold water and leave it until you are ready to fill it with wine.

Preparing the Barrel for Wine: Drain the barrel. Fill it half way with hot water. Add one tablespoon of Sodium Metabisulphite per gallon of capacity, rock the barrel to mix in the meta. Fill the barrel with hot water and insert the bong. Allow the barrel to sit for 24 hours, turning ½ turn every 6 hours.

Drain the barrel and flush it out with cold water three times. Fill the barrel with cold water and let it sit over night. Drain the barrel and rack your wine into it.

Taste Testing: After your wine has been 'on the oak' for 2-3 weeks, you should sample it to see how much oak character it has picked up. New barrels will season fresh wine more quickly than older barrels.

Bottle your wine when the oak character suits your taste.

Storing Your Barrel: Flush the barrel with cold water until it runs clear. Fill the barrel with cold water and 1 tablespoon of Sodium Metabisulphite per gallon capacity. Top up with cold water and insert the bong and tap it in tight. Turn the barrel ½ turn every week.

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