Maintenance of Wine Barrels

Wine barrels are the important containers used for aging process of wine. Even from the starting stage of their construction they are given special care and attention to build, by giving perfect seasoning to the wood. Barrel quality is chosen by wine makers depending upon the quality and quantity of grapes. The wine remains in these barrels for more than a year to get matured. After getting a perfect wine blend from the wine barrels it is important to clean those barrels to properly make up them for the next use. The proper sterilization of wine barrels not only makes it ready for the next usage but also helps to increase its life span.

Below is the process involved in cleaning and sterilizing the wine barrels for further use.

  • The contents of the wine barrels will be emptied completely before the cleaning process.
  • With the help of hose or a pressure washer the barrel will be rinsed with hot water. This will remove all the potassium tartrate crystals formed on the walls of the barrel.
  • Again the barrel will be rinsed with cold water and it is half way filled with some cold water.
  • Depending upon the size of the barrel, a separate solution of hot water and sodium per carbonate will be prepared and is added to the barrel containing cold water. Then that barrel is allowed to rest for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, the barrel is drained and again rinsed with hot water using a pressure washer.
  • The barrel is again rinsed with cold water to make its surface cool in order to prevent the growth of any harmful bacteria.
  • Finally, the barrel is filled with a solution of citric acid and cold water and allowed to sit for another 24 hours, after which it is rinsed thoroughly again with cold water.

These steps are to be strictly followed to get a barrel, free from bacteria and to increase its life time. A thoroughly sterilized barrel can have a life span up to 6 years.