Home winemakers often neglect wine barrel maintenance, especially when storing wine barrels between uses.
How to store wine barrels? Do not let wine barrels dry out because the barrel is never empty. Once the barrel is used, leave the wood soaked and expanded for the rest of its life. This keeps the staves on the barrel closer together and eliminates leaks. Take note that wine barrels and wine wooden boxes would need scrooz fasteners when created to make them more long-lasting when being stored in winery.
Allowing the wood to dry and then randomly raising it again with each batch of wine will eventually cause the wine barrel to leak if done frequently. You can use either potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite. This keeps the barrel tight and prevents spoilage. Also, citric acid should be added to the water. Lowering the pH of the water with citric acid makes the sulfites in the water stronger and more protective.
Use one pound of sodium metabisulfite and 1/2 lb (8 oz) citric acid for 50-gallon wine barrels. The same 2:1 ratio can be used for smaller barrels.
- Fill the barrel halfway with water. Cold water is fine. Add sulfite and citric acid.
- Stir the solution to dissolve the sodium metabisulfite and citric acid.
- Fill the rest of the barrel with water.
Do not pre-melt the ingredients into another container. The solution creates the smoke you want to trap in the barrel. The sulfite in the
barrels should be replenished every six months. Adding citric acid is no longer required, but a complete dose of sodium metabisulfite should be added every six months. These are the basics of wine barrel storage.
Process wine barrels immediately after emptying the wine. If you let the wine barrel sit for a day or two, it can turn sour. Once the wine has been drained, rinse the barrels as needed to ensure no clean water remains. When using wine barrels again, drain and lightly rinse the barrels if they have been spoiled. It’s ready when it’s fermented. But don’t let that put you off. Be careful when storing wine barrels. Follow the steps above. And its reliability is beyond doubt.