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.)
Produces a gallon of medium dry rose wine :
- 2 – 11oz containers of Cranberry-raspberry concentrate.
- 2 1/2 cups of granulated white sugar*
- 1 sachet dried yeast
- juice of 3 lemons
- 1/10 egg white or 1 Campden tablet
* To make a sweeter wine, add about a cup extra of sugar
- A one gallon glass jug with a narrow neck. (A fruit juice container)
- Plastic funnel
- Cork and air lock (or cotton wool, a straw, petroleum jelly to seal, balloon)
- 4ft plastic tubing
- 5 wine bottles
- 5 corks or screw caps (don’t re-use corks) or, another gallon jug with and screw cap.
- Wash every utensil you use in very hot water immediately before using. Rinse thoroughly. It is very important that everything is spotlessly clean. Any contamination will produce vinegar or worse!
- Start the yeast mixture : Mix yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water. Leave the mixture to bubble while you prepare the wine.
- Cover the remainder of the sugar with water in a pan. Heat slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves completely. Leave to cool. Pour fruit concentrate and lemon juice into gallon container. Fill to within 4 inches of the top of the container with cold water.
- Swirl the container to mix the ingredients well, then add the yeast mix. Bung and construct an air lock. If you are using a straw and balloon: prick the balloon at end with pin before placing securely over straw end and taping in place. (cover with petroleum jelly to ensure there is no contamination from outside.)
- Place in an undisturbed location at an even temperature, (70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher). In about 3 weeks, bubbles of carbon dioxide will stop moving from the bottom to the top of the liquid (balloon goes limp). As the yeast does its job, it will fall to the bottom to form a thin layer of sediment. Add egg white and allow to sit undisturbed for two days, to allow the wine to clear. Be careful not to mix the bottom layer with the wine when moving the container.
- Siphon the wine carefully into wine bottles or gallon jug using the plastic tubing (avoid the bottom inch and all of the sedimentation at the bottom of the jug. )
- If you are using corks, soak them for about 10 minutes in hot water and fit tightly into the neck of each bottle. If necessary, tap in carefully with a wooden mallet. Store your wine in a cool area or refrigerate. Drink when chilled.