Neutral Red & White
59/60 gallon (224/227 liters)
French, American or Hungarian
These barrels are sourced from a large variety of California wineries. They will all be neutral Cabernet or neutral Chardonnay varieties.
Most of the oak flavor has been extracted by previous vintages – these babies are just waiting to create the perfect beverage with red or white wine tasting notes.
Our neutral red and white liquid grade wine barrels have been washed, steamed, ozoned, gassed and are guaranteed to be brettanomyces (Brett) and VA free. Each barrel is inspected and if necessary, pressure checked for leaks.
Wine barrels are emptied less frequently throughout the year so it is normal that a wine barrel be drier than whiskey barrels. That is, they will never be visibly wet on the inside like you may see in whiskey and bourbon barrels. Because of this, it is often necessary to swell your wine barrels prior to filling with your beverage.
Backed by our MWBC quality promise, liquid grade barrels are guaranteed leak-free for 30 days. All barrels are visually inspected and, if necessary, pressure checked for leaks. If we find a leaky barrel we DO NOT fix it, as this is usually just a temporary repair. Instead, we sell these barrels as furniture/décor. This ensures only the highest quality barrels are delivered to be refilled.
We recommend three basic methods for swelling wine barrels.
Option 1: Head Swelling
- Stand the barrel vertically on one head.
- Using hot water (+180° F), fill the top head to the top of the first ring – usually around 2” of water.
- Let the water sit overnight.
- The next morning add more water to the same head and observe any bubbles coming from the head. If no bubbles are seen, flip the barrel over and repeat the previous steps on the opposite head.
- If you see bubbles, allow the water to sit on the head for several more hours to continue swelling the wood.
- This method is great for swelling the joint between the heads and the staves, which is the most common area for leaks.
Option 2: Swelling the inside
- Lay the barrel horizontally onto a common barrel rack with the bunghole facing up.
- Fill the barrel 1/3 of the way with hot water (+180° F) for two hours.
- Periodically roll the barrel back and forth to coat all of the inside surfaces of the barrel with water.
- Add another 1/3 of water to the barrel and check for leaks. If water is still leaking from the barrel, allow it to sit with water inside for another 1-2 hours. At this point the barrel should be swelled up.
- Drain the barrel completely and fill with your beverage.
- It is extremely important to fill your barrels as soon as possible with your beverage if using this method. Once introduced, the risk of contamination increases the longer the water is in the barrel.
Option 3: Steam Method
- Lay barrel horizontally on standard barrel rack with bunghole facing up.
- Using a steam generator, fill the barrel with steam at a temperature of at least 212° F.
- Continue to pump steam into the barrel for at least 10 minutes. This may take longer if the barrel is on the drier side.
- Once the bands seem to tighten up, remove the steam and allow the barrel to cool.
- Drain any water that has accumulated.
- Fill the barrel 1/3 of the way with cold water to check for leaks. If any seeping is noticed, keep water in the barrels until it subsides.
We recommend filling your barrels as soon as you receive them. At most, fill before the thirty-day mark. If filling more than one week after receiving your barrels, make sure to store in a cool humid environment to preserve freshness.
Our recommendation is to store the barrels horizontally on barrel racks. When barrels are filled and stored vertically the top head tends to dry out because the liquid inside the barrel will decrease in volume and eventually lose contact with the top head. Once this happens, air is able to enter through the top head and potentially oxidize the beverage or allow microbes to enter the barrel.
#11 solid silicon or fermentation/ventilation bung