How do you maintain oak barrels until they are resold for spirits?

Thorough cleaning after use?

Hot water rinsing, which is often recommended, is not necessary for barrels that have contained spirits, to preserve the aromatic typicity of the initial product.

Sulphiting is forbidden to avoid creating aromas that would be detrimental to the quality of the spirits during the subsequent aging process.

Storage under controlled conditions

Storage plays a crucial role in preserving oak barrels. It is essential to store empty barrels in a controlled environment. A stable, rather low temperature and high relative humidity are ideal for preventing the wood from contracting, which could compromise the seal of the barrel during its future use. Controlled ventilation is the final factor in controlled storage to avoid the formation of mold and the aromatic deviations it can cause.

In the case of prolonged storage of empty barrels before departure, leaving 5 to 10 liters of the initial product will prevent the barrel from drying out and will help maintain the freshness of the desired aromas for future aging.

Regular inspection and maintenance

Regular inspection of the barrels is essential to promptly identify and repair any signs of damage or deterioration. Checking the hoops, repairing any leaks, and inspecting the staves for signs of rot or contamination are key steps to ensure the longevity of the barrel.

Reoaked offers an expertise service to clear up any doubts regarding the purchase or sale of a batch of oak barrels.

Preparation and presentation for resale

Before placing a barrel on the market, a final inspection is necessary to ensure it is clean, free from visible defects, and ready for use. Documenting the barrel’s history, including previously aged spirits and any repair undertaken, can enhance its value to potential buyers by providing complete traceability.