We recommend examining both the outside and inside of each barrel upon
delivery. Check the inside for any off or moldy odors and tighten all
hoops before proceeding.
PREPARATION FOR WINE: Tighten all hoops before proceeding !!!
Re-hydration and inspection:
It is important to follow these
re-hydration and inspection steps when you are going to fill the barrel
immediately with wine.
- Fill the barrel with 3-5
gallons of filtered, chlorine-free, hot water. Use the hottest water
possible, with 180°F or 82°C the ideal temperature.
- Place a silicone bung in
- Rotate the barrel from side
to side, completely wetting the barrel’s interior.
- Stand the barrel upright on
one head up to 4 hours to completely hydrate the head.
- Rotate and stand upright on
the other head up to 4 hours repeating the hydration. Ideally, let the
barrel soak overnight allowing the barrel to completely swell and absorb
moisture before filling.
- Check for leakage. If leakage
is present, continue the soaking until the leakage stops. If the leakage
does not stop after 24 hours, it is important to call Valley Vintner immediately
and empty the barrel.
Remember that water should not sit in a barrel for more than 24 hours without
sulphur and citric acid. Also, use caution when removing bung due to internal
STORAGE OF NEW BARRELS
Cool, Humid Environment
We recommend that you keep the plastic film on the barrels if you are
storing the new barrels for an indefinite time period. Please remember a new
barrel must be stored in a cool, humid environment at your winery to maintain
EMPTY STORAGE OF PREVIOUSLY FILLED BARRELS
Cleaning and Storing between Wine Fills
- Barrels must be carefully
rinsed with warm water between uses.
- Complete dry by draining the
water and by placing the bunghole down.
- Apply a sulphur treatment to
prevent bacterial growth. You can burn
sulpher sticks or use a sulfite solution combining 1/8 cup Potassium
Metabisulfate with 1/8 cup Citric Acid per gallon of chlorine free water. If necessary run your water thru a carbon
filter to remove chlorine and/or fluoride. Fill the barrel until you cover 4” or so
of the bottom with this solution. Bung
tightly and rotate the barrel regularly to keep hydrated.
- Continue storing the barrel
in a cool, humid environment.
- Repeat these steps
- Rinse the barrel with water
prior to refilling with wine and repeat the re-hydration and
inspection steps above.