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How Do You Prevent Wine Barrels from Shrinking?

You can prevent barrels from shrinking by keeping them moist.   A crucial part of wine barrel maintenance is preventing wine barrels from shrinking during storage. It is important to know how to protect oak barrels from

Preventing Shrinking

You can prevent barrels from shrinking by keeping them moist.

 

A crucial part of wine barrel maintenance is preventing wine barrels from shrinking during storage. It is important to know how to protect oak barrels from shrinking to avoid any permanent damage.

The key point is that barrel shrinking is avoided by keeping the wood moist, which maintains the compression of the wood staves. Once they dry out, they shrink and are then more likely to leak.

If there are any signs of leakage, whether it is a new or used barrel, it is not suited for any form of wine maturation and should not be used.

New barrels should be treated with water to ensure that there are no leaks; as well as to add moisture. This is most commonly done with hot water that is left in the barrel for 24 hours. Thereafter, the barrels are dried to prevent mold and then stored.

 

Used barrels sometimes require up to 3 days of water-soaking to allow the wood to swell and moisten. This can also be done by using a solution of water and potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite.

 

These barrels should also be stored in relatively dry conditions. Although moisture is required to protect the barrels from shrinking, an excessively humid environment will allow for mold and bacteria to develop.

These steps are important for proper barrel maintenance and will ensure your barrels are perfect for your wine, every time.

Steaming Barrel

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