You find that when you are using an oak barrel for the first time, taste often changes. This is because it can seep in through the wine faster and this contributes to change in taste. You will realize that as you continue to use it, it will no longer be absorbing more wine and this will help in maintaining the taste of wine. For you to maintain the taste and quality of your wine it will be necessary if you have some tips and tricks that can help you in achieving good results.
You should start by checking the temperature that you have kept your oak barrel in. According to analysis it is advisable that the oak barrel to be kept at a constant temperature. For example, if you store your wine in a cellar and you don’t insulate it properly you will realize that the temperature is dropping at some rate. You will realize that when the temperature increases the rate of extraction will also increase and this is going to lead to a drop in the level of wine which will in turn interfere with its taste. One of the things that you should ensure is that there is proper insulation which does not interfere with the temperature of the oak barrel.
Another thing that you should do is to watch the level of wine in the barrel. You should know that new oak barrel is very different from the old barren since the rate at which it absorbs wine is higher which will in turn lead to a drop in the level of wine. You can maintain then level of wine in the oak barrel by making sure that at the end of every week you top it up and also another top up at the end of every month. Another thing that you should do to maintain the level of the wine is to pay attention to the size of oak barrel you are using and the temperature at which is kept. In cases where the oak barrel is not too big the surface that is exposed to temperature is small and this is going to lower the rate of evaporation.
Apart from that you should also use a silicone breathable bung. You find that most of the silicone bungs are cheap and they provide a better seal. You can as well use traditional wood bungs but the problem with them is that they don’t give wine a good seal. They are only useful in situations where the barrel expands in volume due to an increase in temperature. This is because they can allow the gas to escape naturally.
Another oak barrel aging tip is that you should a schedule of racking every three months. You find that when you filter your wine some deposits remain at the bottom which you should clean using hot water and rinse out with cold water.