Griz's Corner

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Tips and Myths: Oak Barrels

Recommended Method For Cleaning Oak Barrels

Initial treatment for new barrels & cleaning and sanitizing of used barrels

  1. Rinse barrels several times with cool water.
  2. Fill half way with hot (140-150 F) water.
  3. Add Soda Ash solution, see table below, mix by rolling barrel.
  4. Fill completely with hot water, replace plug.
  5. Allow to stand for 24 hours, then rinse several times with cold water.
  6. IMMEDIATELY fill with wine or proceed to step 2.
  7. Keeping Barrels In Good Condition. Immediately after emptying barrel of wine from step 1 above.
  8. Rinse with cold water several times, with barrel about 1/4 full of water and plenty of rolling, both sideways and end over end.
  9. Fill half way with cold water.
  10. Add Sodium Bisulphite solution from table below.
  11. Add Citric Acid solution from table below.
  12. Mix by rolling, fill completely with cold water, replace plug and place in storage.
  13. Check water level every month, add cold water to keep barrel full.
  14. Before using rinse several times with cold water.
  15. Always Keep Barrel Full.

Top regularly with wine if you are aging wine, or with water if you are preserving barrel.
Download Table Of Solutions. The column figures are based on loosely packed chemicals, using level measurements in standard utensils. (gal = gallon, g= gram, c =cup, Tbsp =tablespoon, tst = teaspoon, qt = quart, pt = pint).