Know About Barrel Aging

We all know the fact that wine, beer and some other alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages require a lot of process and time for fermentation and aging. And the aging is always done in barrels. The barrels are made up of wood, steel or with cement. Barrel aging is an important step in wine making process. The selection of barrels, and the quality of grapes depends on the variety of wine desired by the wine maker. Previously oak barrels are used for this wine aging. The chemical and physical properties of oak wood make it much tastier and worthy.

In the wine making process, the grapes are crushed and allowed to ferment in the tanks which are generally made up of stainless steel. Once the fermentation time is over, it will be filtered to get rid of the yeast and to arrest the fermentation process. The wine at this stage has a raw and aggressive flavor which should be racked to get that pleasant taste of wine. During the aging process, the wine is stored in cool and humid places to minimize the evaporation. When the air enters slowly in to the barrels it will get oxidized, changing the flavor and texture of the wine.

Aging of wine in oak barrels gives the oaky flavors like vanilla, tea and butter to the wine which creates the rich and complex taste. But the oak barrels are found effective only to a particular point of time, after which they will become neutral and don’t impart any flavors on the wine. French and American oak wood are the two kinds of woods used in the construction of this oak barrels. Some wineries do publish the period of aging and the kind of barrels used. Some one who had a sound knowledge on wine making process can better use these labels to get good wine.

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Updated: June 22, 2011 — 9:50 am
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