Life of Oak Barrels

I’m currently using 20gal. French Oak barrels to age my wine. Can you please tell me how to determine when these barrels are no longer suitable for wine and what is the approx. useful life of the barrels.  (by B. D.)

One thought on “Life of Oak Barrels

  1. Lucky you! Oak barrels in wineries are usually heirlooms. As long as you don’t use any harsh chemicals to clean them they will last as long as you do.

    However, they must be kept at a constant temperature to prevent warping and cracking, and if a wine turns really vinegary in them – they will have to be cleaned. The benefit of aging in oak casks is the improvement in taste that builds up with the pickling of the wood. If you have to clean them to remove mold etc you lose that benefit.

    Keep the wine, white or red, in separate casks – horrible effects are achieved by mixing the 2.

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