Practically all wine barrels are made of oak wood, the primary sources are
the French or the Tennessee white oak, both are pretty similar in term of
physical and chemical properties except the American oak are give slightly
coarse tannins to wine, while French oak contributes gentler, more integrated
oak and vanilla character give slightly coarse tannins to wine, while French oak
contributes gentler, more integrated oak and vanilla character
Oak trees that are picked to harvest for barrels making are all at least a
hundred year old, tight and straight grain of wood are essential for leak proof.
These wine barrels are actually pieces of artifacts that are crafted using same
ancient technique passing down from generations to generations.
Barrel Products Use and
When you receive the recycled wine barrels products, if the barrels is meant
for water tight usage, you have to fill the barrels with water half way to keep
the tightness of the barrels staves that may be loosen up during the transit. It
should be under water for about a day depending on the dryness of the barrels.
For whole barrels go through the same procedure for both heads. Then follow the
procedure for cleaning up if required! some of you might like the way of used
wine barrels smell and look, you may not need to go through our suggested steps,
as long as they are not use for food grade!
Since the barrels previously contained wine, there was residue
(titrates) clinging to the inside of the barrels, scraped off as much as
To remove the
harshest tannins and remaining wine residue, fill the water tight barrels
with 5 gallons (10% of barrel capacity) of soda ash (baking soda) in hot water solution, stand on one end for 5 minutes, roll around, stand on the other end for 5
minutes, roll around, check for possible leaking (never has happened), empty,
drain well, then re-rinsing with fresh water. After this process it
must be immediately filled with water depending what you do with the
barrels. It is imperative to filed the barrels at least partially with liquid to
prevent them from drying out and resulting in leaking.
If you need to store the
barrel away during the off season and not in use outdoor, you should
thoroughly moist the barrel oak wood staves, till it water saturated, then
seal it with carton boxes, shrink wrap or cover it with plastic material
tightly to minimize dry out, check on it every month to make sure they are not
dry up. Put them in cool dry places like the basement or garage.
To set the barrels up for your water gardening or use as rain barrels, you
should elevated the barrels by placing on barrels movers or put some bricks and
short lengths of 2x4s beneath them to let the air circulate around them and keep
the water insulated from the ground. That will help to prevent your water in
your barrels from heating up by the summer heat on your concrete ground.! Even
if you were to set the barrels down on soil, we recommend that you elevate them
to reduce the risk of the barrel rotting away where it is in contact with the
ground. Also, pests would have a harder time climbing up and inside to invade
and/or damage your barrel. Remember after these barrels are filled with water,
there are not many way you can move them around so barrels movers would be ideal
if you later on want to move the barrel to another location or indoor for over
For Food Grade Application
If you are using our barrels for food storage or wine making,
Use "Barrelclean" (sodium carbonate) and hottest water to remove tartrate
deposits. Rinse. (PBW and Proxyclean, percarbonate bases cleaners, also work)
Use Citic Acid, hottest water and the same exact proportions, to
neutralize the Barrelclean. Rinse.
Fill with water and sulfite solution (1 tsp. Sulfite and 1 tsp. Citric
Acid per gallon of water). Bung tightly. Top up weekly, just like it was
filled with wine. Change solution monthly.
For barrels 30 gallons and up, add 3-5 gallons (10% of volume) of water,
only, and add 1/4 cup Sulfite and 1/2 cup Citric Acid. Bung tightly, roll
around, and store standing on one end. Roll around and change ends every 2
weeks. Change solution every month.
When ready to use, you need to get the sulfite/citric out of the wood.
Empty and rinse well. Using your hottest water, add about 10% by volume. Roll
around, stand on ends, empty and rinse well. Smell. You should not smell SO2.
Repeat if necessary.