Ask Wine Wizard
Can I Salvage an Oak Barrel if I Burned a Sulfur Stick While the Barrel Was Wet?
Richard Steinberg — Los Altos, California asks,
In a recent issue of WineMaker, I read with some alarm your caution against burning sulfur sticks in a wet barrel. Not only did I make that error (in three beautiful, one-year-old recoopered French oak barrels), I also accidentally dropped one of the burning sticks into one of the damp barrels and heard it fizzle and sizzle. I managed to fish out that charred sulfur stick, but now what? If we assume that all this resulted in at least some sulfurous acid in the three barrels, is there any way to reverse the error and save the barrels?