Well, the first thing I always say is, “A full barrel is a happy barrel.” That means that the barrel is best stored with wine in it! The acidity of the wine
A barrel made of oak wood has been the preferred container for aging wine for hundreds of years. This remains true today despite modern advances in plastic, concrete, and stainless steel. Barrels
I’m so pleased you’ve done some oak trials! If you’ve read my column over the years you know that I’m always advising our intrepid readers to do small-scale trials (sometimes I call
The role of oak in our wines can fall on a broad spectrum and the type of oak products used can change the dynamics. Make sure you’ve got the lowdown on the impacts of oak and how it can be manipulated.
I never boil or rinse my chips because, you’re right, that’ll strip them of the valuable flavor and aroma right off the bat. The one thing you need to do first, either
Well, I suppose you could sand the varnish off if you didn’t like it very much . . . but, realistically, I don’t think it’ll affect the wine that much. If you’ve
Adding oak to a wine can add an amazing depth of character or it can detract from the fruit. Learn some keys to managing the oak in your wine.
In deciding to bottle, age or toss this batch, I suggest you spend some quality time with your barrel. Though you’re just past the usual bottling window (typical aging time for premium
Thanks for bringing up this topic. There are some parts of the answer that’ll be really obvious but like so much in winemaking, it’s often up for interpretation and the subtleties may
What an intriguing question. I’m having some pioneer-prairie-blacksmith-shop fantasy thoughts on how you might be able to toast the inside of your barrel on your own. Depends on how crazy you want
There are a lot of benefits to aging wines in oak barrels . . . but the costs of buying one is not on that list. Luckily there are alternatives. Photo courtesy
Unfortunately, with a small barrel like that, you’re going to have a high ratio of oxygen:wine. If you think about a traditional-sized barrel, it’s about 59 gallons (225 L); there’s a lot
Barrels offer a lot more benefits to wine than just oak taste and tannins, but full-size barrels are often out of reach for the home winemaker. Smaller barrels that are more home winemaker-friendly pose some nuances when it comes to wood-to-wine ratio, but they offer the same benefits when you know how to use them.
If a barrel isn’t in your immediate winemaking plans — or if your barrel has been filled so many times it has become neutral in oak character — there are many other options on the market in the forms of oak alternatives. Get to know the options to see which may be best for your cellar.
Owning your own oak barrel can yield great rewards when handled properly. We asked the advice of two professionals that know what it takes to care for a new barrel and keep them in tip-top shape.
Q I am a novice home winemaker and have been contemplating making the move from carboy and bottle-aging to barrel-aging some of my reds. It is my understanding that a new barrel
Aging your wine in an oak barrel can do wonders for your wine. It can also ruin it. Before you dive in head first, learn all there is to know about aging in oak. Plus: Using oak alternatives.
Thanks for clarifying your question a little bit. I am glad to hear you regularly top off your barrels, it’s a practice all of us need to do. Alcohol and water definitely
Materials for Project: 1.) sand paper grits 40, 80, 120, 240 2.) matte black paint 3.) 3 or 4 coach bolts with washers and nuts 4.) drill and drill bits 5.) 3
I’ve certainly had the odd leaker (or three) but I’ve never experienced trans-stave leakage of the scale that you describe. Before I delve any deeper, I first of all would like to
A lot of home winemakers make small batches of wine that aren’t enough for a whole barrel. Thankfully there are lots of options for those of us making only a few gallons
After 15 years of making wine, I am finally embarking upon the use of barrels and it is very exciting. Just having the barrels in my homewinery creates an ambiance that is
To Oak, or not to Oak, a phrase I took from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and changed the words around a little. But going a step further and delving into the tools that