If you are into home wine making, you need barrels to store your wines in. If you want to construct your own barrels, it is to build them from French oak, which is often used specifically to make barrels for vinification. To build your wine barrel, you need an oak tree that has a minimum diameter of at 5 feet. Follow the steps below to build your own barrel for homemade wine, keeping in mind that building a barrel is a long and challenging process.
Step 1 – Cutting Down the Tree
Use a chainsaw to chop down the tree. The tree’s height does not matter, but before you chop down the tree, you need to make sure that it has a minimum age of 100 years. Cut the tree’s top above the last branch, then cut the wood into quarters by hand-splitting it. Keep in mind that the quarters will eventually make up the staves that will create the shape of the barrel. Now cut the staves to the dimensions that you want.
Step 2 – Drying the Staves
Let the staves dry in a place where the humidity level is 15 percent. Leave them for a minimum of 3 years so that the barrel you will make will be waterproof. To make sure that the humidity level is perfect, put some water over the staves on a regular basis.
When the staves are dry, make sure that the ends of the barrel are tapered off and that they are as long as you want them to be. Remember that the staves should fit closely together because they will be bound with hoops made from iron.
Step 3 – Heating the Staves
Put the staves around one of the iron hoops, and use a damp sponge to apply some water to them. Now it is time to construct a fire and heat the staves over the fire in an upright position for half an hour.
Step 4 – Building the Barrel
Use a winch to curve the staves into the shape of the barrel. Fix the starves onto the iron hoop of the bottom with a mallet. Then, fix the other iron hoops and use the mallet to tighten the hoops. Cut some grooves into the staves on their flat edges to make sure that they fit to the lids of the barrel. Use sandpaper to smooth any edges of the barrel that are rough.
Using oak barrels for winemaking important because the oak affects the wine which is stored it. The wood influences the texture, color and flavor of the wine. You can store wine inside oak barrels during the periods of aging and fermentation.