How to use a new oak barrel for the first time?

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Just like for all the wines and spirits that it contains, the barrel is a living material: the wood breathes and reacts to its environment. Casks leave our cooperage with an optimal hygrometry rate, but transport can cause certain variations.

Consequently, here are two methods of water filling that we recommend for your barrels, when you put wine in them for the first time.

At each step, you will be able to verify the watertightness of your cask. If a leakage appears, please contact us.

The following instructions are based on the basic size of a barrel: pièce or barrique of 225-228 liters. If your cask is smaller or larger, please adapt the quantity of water accordingly.

Method 1: filling your barrel with hot water

  • Pour 20 liters of hot water (between 60 and 80°C / or 140-180°F) in the oak barrel and close it with the bung.
  • Let the barrel rest on one head. It will absorb the necessary quantity of water in 2 hours.
  • After these first 2 hours, flip the barrel over and position it on the other head. Let it rest for another 2 hours.
  • Once these 4 hours are over, remove the bung, empty and rinse with clean water before gently draining it.

Your oak barrel is now ready to receive your wine.

Method 2: filling your barrel with cold water

  • Pour 20 liters of cold water in your oak barrel and close it with the bung.
  • Let it rest on one head. It will absorb the necessary quantity of water in 12 hours.
  • After this period of time, flip it over and position it on the other head for another 12 hours.
  • Once these 24 hours are over, remove the bung, empty and gently rinse the barrel with clean water before gently draining it.

Your barrel is now ready to receive your wine.

If you have any difficulties, or if you have any question concerning the steps to follow, please get in touch.

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