SIRUGUE cooperage, Burgundy, France, barrique, barrel
NUITS SAINT GEORGES  - Bourgogne - France

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Advices :
Rinsing & cleaning  -  Cleanliness of an used barrel
Mouldy barrel  -  Sour barrel  -   Barrel Sulphuring

Rinsing and cleaning

As soon as a barrel is empty of wine, it must be cleaned in depth in order to avoid moulds and acetobacterial deterioration. It is necessary to rinse with a lot of water, and then the simplest method to remove the deposits adhering to the internal surfaces is to use, as traditionally, a chain that must be free of oxidation trace or in stainless steel.
It is enough to rinse with water, to leave it drain and to dry 5 to 7 days before sulphuring and then to re-close it tightly.
Never leave water in a barrel because it would become quickly stagnant or putrid

Cleanliness of a used barrel

When a barrel has not been used for a long time, it is indispensable to sterilize it, because it must be clean (sterile) and must not bring any bad odors. Scalding, even with boiling water, is insufficient ; the temperature is not high enough to ensure the destruction of ferments. Steaming by injection of steam (under pressure 4 atmospheres or 5 kgs) gives excellent results.
Steam condenses on the internal surface of the barrel and ensures a rinsing and raise the interior surface to a high temperature that destroys the ferments contained. Not to exceed one half hour of injection.
Rinse then with cool water and drain it carefully

Mouldy barrel

Ordinary bacteria and moulds can accommodate themselves in the depths of the wood pores.
Even with a good processing, one risks a serious alteration of the wine.
It is necessary to stave in (to open) the barrel. Brush the internal surface with the helps of a hard scrubbing brush and a solution of 10% of washing soda and hot water. Then, steam to destroy the germs.
If you do not have a steaming installation, take care to clean with a 5% dilution of sulphuric acid and hot water

Sour barrel

 A sour barrel becomes inappropriate to contain wine. it is the acescence. Nevertheless, it can be treated chemically.
It is sufficient to saturate the acetic acod by an alakaline substance.
Dampen the wood filling with cool water and keep stay during 24 at 48 hours.

Then, replace it inside with 1 kg of washing soda per hectoliter dissolved in 5 L of boiling water. Move the barrel in all senses and keep it in contact during 12 hours.
Empty the solution then, and rinse with cool water.
The soda solution saturates the acetic acid and forms with it a soluble salt that the repeated washings with cool water remove.
It is possible to use caustic soda or potassium, 100 to 125 grs per hectoliter of capacity, but often deposits of these products remains that can be dissolved then in the wine.
Complete by a steaming treatment. This will destroy the germs of the acescence.
Is the treatment is not sufficient, and if a bad taste persists, put in 1 liter of ammonia and shake the barrel in all senses. Let it rest 2 times 24 hours. Fill it with cold water and rinse again to suppress the ammonia taste.
At this moment water can be drained, and the barrel will be well sterilized.

Barrel sulphuring

Sulphuring creates an antiseptic atmosphere ensuring a good conservation of the barrels. Sulphur wick when burning consumes the oxygen eliminating the danger of moulds or bacteria and sterilizes the inside at the same time.
Burnin a quarter of a sulphur wick or 1 gram of sulphur per 10 liters of air is sufficient. If the sulphur wick doesn't burn, it is certainly because the barrel contains carbonic acid coming from fermentations or too much acetic acid.
Barrels empty of wine must be sulphured imperatively every month. After space every 3 months because the SO2 excess forms SO3 and even SO4 and the chemical reaction creates the acetic acid

                                               Tonnellerie SIRUGUE       -       10 rue François Appert    -    BP 90095    -   21703 NUITS ST GEORGES Cedex      -     Côte d'Or   -      France
                                                                                                    Site design by  Cécile SIRUGUE
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