2009 CERA Empty Barrel Maintanc

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 2009 CERA Empty Barrel Maintance Survey

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 Sep 16, 2009 3:42 PM PST

Thanks  for taking the time  to fill out this empty  barrel maintenance survey.
To help us understand  industry practices and how  they vary, please  share
your methods  and practices by completing this short  survey.

1. How many barrels  are in your cellar?

Less than 500
More than 25,000

2. Please pick the description that best  fits your primary barrel storage  location.

Underground storage in a cave.
Underground warehouse.
Above ground storage in an insulated warehouse.

Above ground storage in an uninsulated warehouse.
Other, please specify

Under ground storage, Inuslated WH & Cave Storage
Cave & insulated warehouse

Underground cave and above ground insulated wrhs
50% Cave, 50% insulated warehouse
Cooling of warehouses in place.
3. What sort  of atmospheric  controls does  your primary barrel storage  facility employ?  (select all that apply)

Temperature controlled.
Humidity controlled air handlers
Humidity control by misting.
Other, please specify
Humidity & Temerature controlled
naturally 62F and 60-80% RH
none - self-maintained temp. & humidity
Cave temperate, humidity
Somewhat Temperature controlled
none -- underground

Humid by earth in floor, water brls whenlow humid
Cooling by bringing in air at night

natural RH 98%, natural temp 58-90*F all year
Underground conditions are pretty stable
Temperature - nightime cooling
None - cave
night air system only
none, it's a cave

4. How are your barrels  prepared  prior to storage?

The barrels are washed.
The barrels are emptied only (not washed).
Other, please specify

Rinsed by gamma jet w/pressure, 03 & SO2 gassed
pressure washed then ozone

wash (ozone if nec.), dried, sulfured, then stored
no transport
Steam and ozone
wash, ozone
washed, steamed, ozoned, sulfured
ozone wash, SO2

Hot then cold water, ozone, dried, SO2 gas
washed, ozoned, sulfured

inside hot H2O&coolozone w/ outside ozone rinse.
Wash +SO2

tom beard washing and ozoned then sulfured
washed - sulfur gassed
washed, drained, so2 gassed
aquatools, ozone, so2 gas, cups
washed and sulfured
Washed and SO2-gassed

5. Do you wash  barrels  with  hot water  only?

We do not wash  with hot water only
1 minute wash
2 minute wash
3 minute wash
4 minute wash
5 or more minute wash

6. Do you wash  barrels  with  cold water  only?

We do not wash  with cold water only
1 minute wash
2 minute wash
3 minute wash
4 minute wash
5 or more minute wash

7. Do you wash  barrels  with  both hot and cold water?   If yes, please  describe  the conditions.


3 minutes hot wash, 3 minute cold rinse with ozonation
Hot water rinse post use. Cold H2O prior to filling.
3 minute hot, 2 minute cold

3-5 min cold water rinse with Ozone after hot rinse.

sufficient to remove all lees. 1-5 minutes depending on wine lot. all
barrels cooled with cold water, then red barrels ozoned 45 seconds
3 min hot water ~180 F,then 30 sec cold

hot water pressure wash (gamajet) then ozonated cold water

We rinse our barrels with 140-160ºF water, and not hotter than 165ºF.
We ozone rinse our barrels thereafter, about 5-8 gallons per barrel.

Generally 3 minutes hot, followed by 3 minutes cold. Also 3 minutes
ozone if necessary.

Your survey is requiring answers that don't apply. Sucks.

Upon emptying wine from the barrel,we wash with hot water.

For MT barrel storage, we wash with cold water.

Minimum 3 minutes hot, 1 minute cold w/ ozone
1.5 min hot, 1.5 min cold with ozone

Using a Tom Beard barrel washer, the barrels are rinsed with hot water
for 2 minutes follwed by cold/ozonated water for 3 minutes.

Cold rinse to flush out lees, four minutes hot water, two minutes cold,
followed by two and a half minutes Ozone
Rinse with hot water and cold water ozone

hot wash & ozone when emptying, cold wash only before filling new
barrels, hot then cold wash before filling used barrels

We do a hot water rinse, then ozone rinse, then cold water rinse, then
dry snd next day we sulphur.

Hot water for 0.5-3 minutes depending on the barrel (usually 1-2 min),
then cold water ozone rinse

Hot to clean, cold to reduce temp so that ozone doesn't flash off

Primary cold rinse until water is clear, then 2 min hot rinse
Hot water rinse followed by cold ozone.

2 minutes HOT at 175 degrees for red barrels with minimal lees, followed
by a 1 minute cold water/OZONE rinse for standard cleaning.
Contaminated barrels can get additional time and increased
3 minutes hot water
1.5 minutes cold water w/ ozone
Steaming with steam generator
Followed by ozone rinse
After hot water the barrels are steamed.

Hot water - 4 min., Cold water - 90 sec., Ozone water - 90 sec.
We recently purchased a Gama jet barrel washer that requires warm

Cold water wash of lees, hot water wash 2 minutes to remove tartrates.
2 min hot, 30 sec cold, 1 min ozone

Hot high-pressure rinse chased with cold O3 water
We wash with ozonated water (cold).

cold water rinse with ozone
3 min hot, 40 sec cold, 1 min O3,

8. Following the washing  of barrels, please  indicate which antimicrobial treatment(s)  you use  and the time  frame  they are ap

Top number is the count of respondents selecting the option. Bottom % is percent of      Immediately
the total respondents selecting the option.

No Treatment
Sulfur Wicks
SO2 Gas
Liquid SO2 Solution
See Sheet 2 of spreadsheet for comments

9. In what  condition are your barrels  stored?

Stored dry and open (no bung or SO2).
Stored dry, bunged and with SO2.

Stored wet, partially filled with water and SO2 or SO2/citric.

Stored wet, filled with water and SO2 or SO2/citric.
Other, please specify

stored dry with so2 gas and paper cup in bung hole
Storged dry with paper cup & SO2

stored dry and open, gassed with so2 each 5 weeks
stored dry with dixie cup and so2 gas
dry, no bung, with SO2

stored dry, with dixie cups in holes and SO2 gas.

Stored dry w/SO2 gas dixie cup bung, bung down
Dry with paper cup in place of bung
Stored Dry with a Dixie Cup
dry, sulfured and paper cup
dry, paper cups, so2 gas

10. What type of bung do you use  when  storing empty  barrels?

No bung is used.
A paper cup.
A paper cup with a bung inside.
A fermentation bung.
A hard bung.
Other, please specify
Duct Tape over bunghole

paper cup used for 24 hours after so2 only

We use paper cups, bungs, and ferm bungs.

they aren't MT if they have water/citric/so2
Silicone bung wrapped with saran wrap.
bung wrapped in celophane

11. In what  orientation are your empty  barrels  stored?

Upside down.
Right side up.
Other, please specify
See Sheet 2 of Excel Spreadtsheet  for Responses
12. With what  frequency do you maintain your empty  barrels

Every 2 to 3 weeks
Every 2 months
Every 3 months
After 4 or more months

13. Is the maintance procedures  the same  as the initial procedures  described  earlier?


14. If the answer  to the previous question is no, please  describe  what  is done to maintain the barrels?   (Select all that apply)

Sulfur Wicks
SO2 Gas
Liquid SO2 Solution
Other, please specify
Ozone rinse + SO2 gas every other month

gas monthly, wash bi-monthly (every other month)
steam, ozone and gas sulfur
wash/SO2 1st mo, SO2 only 2nd mo, repeat
5 seconds of S02 gas Monthly replace cup

every month re-sulfur, every 2-3 mo re ozone/sulfu

15. How is the empty  barrel maintanence schedule  maintained?

It is tracked with a purchased database.
It is tracked with an in house database.
It is tracked manually on paper.
It is tracked manually with chalk.
Other, please specify
no tracking
Not tracked.
I remember
rows of mt bbls. are marked.
Tracked in my head :)
Just do it when it is slow.

whatever is empty at the end of the month gets gas
tracked in winemaker's head
no tracking, just gas every MT BBL monthly

16. What is the average time  barrels  are empty  prior to refilling?

1 month
2 months
3-5 months
6 or more months
Other, please specify
Depends on time of year
Racked and returned to BBLS within 48hrs
many 1 month or less, small % 3-5 months
SB 8 months, CH 3 months
We try to refill our barrels ASAP, a day or two.
depends on the previous vintage 1-12 months

Depends, sometimes 2 months, sometimes a year
A few days
6 months up to 2 years

depends on varietal, whites 7 months, cab 3 months

17. When barrels  are to be refilled, what  is the barrel prep  procedure?
Barrels are washed using same procedure as when they are emptied.

Barrels are washed using an abreviated washing procedure.
Barrels are filled directly, no washing.
Other, please specify
steamed and rinsed
Depends on BBL condition
2 gals hot water, bung, wait 5 minutes, pull bung
barrels are pressure tested, then rinsed
Cold water for one minute, no Ozone

hot wash, then cold wash; ozone if needed (smell)
steamed and cool water rinse
Ozone cleaning only
Hot water rinse
hot water/ cool water rinse

OZONE rinse for barrels exceeding 6 months empty

Smell barrels and knock on them to check 4 leakers
Steam cleaned and rinsed w/ cold water

18. How satisfied are you with  your current  empty  barrel maintance program?

Very Unsatisfied


Very Satisfied

19. Which part of your empty  barrel maintance program  gives you the greatest  level of confidence?

49 Responses
ozone rinse
Clean bbls with SO2 gas
Hot Water Rinse

Monthly maintance & Inspection-Rinse prior to fill
Good maintenance through SO2 gas and ozone rinsing.
gassing with so2 each 4 weeks, insert paper cup 24 hours, then remove
for remaining time
realy hot water and ozone
pressure wash and ozone

The use of ozone and the way we apply SO2. We consume most of the
O2 by burning elemental sulfur in the barrels. The So2 tends to last
longer, even though it is more labor intensive.
The sulfur gassing.
they are full, wet, acidic, and sulfured. Better than most wineries wine
storage program!
the wine quality is improved by elevage in barrel

Allowing barrel to dry before gassing, & SO2 gassing.
Washing cycle

Not using barrels that have been empty for very long. They are sold
pre-storage treatment

The use of a bung wrapped with saran wrap maintains the SO2 gas level
in the barrel longer without damaging the bung.
That they are only empty for two months
Barrels are rinsed on a Beard line, enabling a sniff test each time they're
regular SO2 maintenance
ozone and SO2 gas and frequency
Ozone and keeping to the schedule.
The conditions of the staorage rooms.
Barrel cleaning after MTing
We try not leave barrels empty.
ozone. hard bung

S02 gas for short period only. Fill barrels before 6 months empty.

Combination Tom Beard washer w/ozone and monthly SO2 gas
Ozone & SO2 gas seem to do a good job
Maybe sulfur dioxide gas
Ozone washing

Keeping them full of wine as much as possible and/or ozone rinsing
gamma jet and ozone
cleaning and treatment protocol
ozone rinsing
ozone and SO2
ozone, aquatools
keeping up with SO2 gas

20. What is the one thing you would  like to improve  about your empty  barrel maintance program?

49 Responses
More frequent SO2ing of empty barrels
better documentation and tracking
ozonation prior to storage
find something other than SO2, that is easy to use orno empty barrels
would be best
A microbe monitoring program.
Keeping envioronment more consistantly controlled, with less fluctuations
in humidity and temperature
Wish I could have more barrels lie "fallow" between wines.
more consistent humidity in caves
would like to have automated line
to keep empty barrels fresh longer
The amount of physical handling of the barrels.
We should gas barrels monthly.
Less time mt
more refined techniques to insure that there is no Brett or VA
I'd like to use less water, and try a few other methods of storage.
Monthly gassing needs to be more frequent
Ozone, automatic barrel washer
Forgetting to sulfur a couple random barrels and ending up w/ EtAc.
better tracking
better humidity store, more regular maintenance of empties
I'd like more damaged barrels to be culled at the point of washing
Possible addition of better humidity controlled environment.
Being able to track maintenance on the barrel tracking program
more ozone usage
we can do only so many barrels a day. It is a slow process, but it gives
the result we are looking for.
We budgeted for temps to help with maintance during sumemr bottling,
hopefully we stick to it.
Getting someone else to do the work :)
Logistic ability to tend to the barrels more frequently.
Barrel prep before filling
Concrete our dirt berm. More Cryo-cleaning.
cheeper solid bungs. Paper cups are not reliable in giving a good seal.
Have less emptys for a shorter period of time
scrubbing outside of barrels after empty
Tracking SO2 needs
Regularity of Sulfuring and Cleaning
Wish I had better Temp & humidity control
Increase frequency of it.
Greater QC on cold/hot wash cylce to make certain bbl is free of solid
matter and tartrates
waiting more time before sulfuring the barrels so that the barrels are
more dry!
seems some EA grows occurs when bbls are poartially wet
Looking at using O3 gas to gas barrels instead of SO2 gas. Don't like the
expense, the pesticide reports or the danger of having SO2 canisters
like to be able to store in humidified space, just AC cool now
I would like a high pressure 180F wash prior to ozone rinse
no more pesticide classes
More frequent filling
Initial cleaning after emptying

21. Please provide any additional comments  about your empty  barrel maintance program.

11 Responses
it works well in eliminating potential microbial growth
We turn over-resale-our cooperage on a 3 year or twice use program.
We limit the use of detergents to problem barrels, using gamma jet
rinsing on barrels with KHTa build up
how do you spell maintance?
unfortunately when things get busy, the mt barrel program is the first to
go. I'd like to make it a higher priority...
fairly effective at microbial control, not very effective at wood hydration
Works for up to 6 months. After that VA begins to appear in empty
It is very important, but easy to push back due to other 'priorities.'
how to handle outside barrels w/ unknown history. ie. VA/ Ethyl Acetate
issues on a large level. When to use & when to cull out & sale.
With over 6000 empty barrels, it is difficult to store and the majority
become VA impacted when empty for 7 months or longer even with S02
gassing monthly for 5 seconds.
I'm most curious to hear about paper cups vs hard bungs. I go back and
forth a lot.
Currently recycling ozone water for prerinse.
12   20%
29   48%
15   25%
5    8%
61   100%

10   16%
3    5%
33   54%

10   16%
5    8%
61   100%
?  (select all that apply)

                       37    61%
                       19    31%
                       26    43%
                       15    25%

                       42    69%
                        1    2%
                       18    30%
                       61    100%
           35   57%
           2    3%
           7    11%
           6    10%
           5    8%
           6    10%
           61   100%

           57   93%
           0    0%
           1    2%
           2    3%
           0    0%
           1    2%
           61   100%


           34   56%
           27   44%
           61   100%
you use  and the time  frame  they are applied after washing:

                    1-6  hours        6-24  hours    24-48  hours     48+ hours   N/A

                             2                  1                 1           0    53
                           3%                 2%                2%          0%    87%
                             5                  1                 0           0    11
                           8%                 2%                0%          0%    18%
                             1                  2                 0           0    56
                           2%                 3%                0%          0%    92%
                             8                 12                23           7     4
                          13%                20%                38%        11%    7%
                             2                  0                 0           0    56
                           3%                 0%                0%          0%    92%

                     2                 3%
                     47               77%

                     0                 0%

                     1                 2%
                     11               18%
                     61              100%
1    2%
38   62%
2    3%
0    0%
14   23%
6    10%
61   100%

18   30%
25   41%
18   30%
61   100%
                      1                  2%
                      3                  5%
                      43                70%
                      8                 13%
                      3                  5%
                      3                  5%
                      0                  0%
                      61                100%


                      21                34%
                      40                66%
                      61                100%

tain the barrels?   (Select all that apply)

                      0                  0%
                      36                88%
                      1                  2%
                      6                 15%
                      7                 17%

                      0                  0%
20   33%
18   30%
13   21%
10   16%
61   100%

3    5%
5    8%
32   52%
11   18%
10   16%
61   100%
                18   30%

                27   44%
                3    5%
                13   21%
                61   100%

                6    10%
                10   16%
                17   28%
                21   34%
                7    11%
                61   100%

f confidence?
e program?
8. Following the washing of barrels, please indicate which antimicrobial treatment(s) you use and the
time frame they are applied after washing:
#            Response
         1 cold rinse water is ozonated

             Ozonated water is used to rinse the barrels after the warm water rinse.
             Sulfur Wicks
         2 Next day we burn elemental sulfur in the barrels
             No Treatment

             Immediate refill
             Surveys suck, because you are anticipating responses
             Your survey is forcing me to pick things that don't apply because there
             is no alternative.
             Liquid SO2 Solution
         3 don't let the EPA get ahold of this. Ozone is next on the list.
             we only have access to the ozone equip once or twice a year, but we
             prefer if we can use it just after MT'ing and washing.

             Sulfur Wicks
             SO2 Gas
         4 three to five seconds, each barrle.
             With cold water rinse
             SO2 Gas
         5 Monthly
         6 Ozonated cold water is used following the hot water.
             SO2 Gas
         7 bi-weekly after initial emptying
           wash hot water, then steam, then cool rinse with ozone and sulfur after
         8 24 hours
         9 for about 30--60 seconds
             inside & outside of barrel upon receipt to our facility before enter high
             humidity caves.
             SO2 Gas
        10 let barrels dry in cool temp controlled warehouse
             1 minute Ozone rinse
             SO2 Gas
        11 Overnite Drain minimum time
             90 sec.
             SO2 Gas
        12 next day (usually in morning)
        13 Only on red barrels, not white.
        14 only if micorbial issues existed within barrel or lot
           SO2 Gas
           Barrels on racks get SO2 gas
           Liquid SO2 Solution
        15 barrels in pyramids get citric/SO2 solution
        16 30 second rinse

11. In what orientation are your empty barrels stored?
#          Response
         1 Tilted 45 degrees
         2 Off set at either 2 or 10 oclock on BBL Pallet
         3 sideways
         4 4 and 10 o'clock
         5 4:00 & 8:00
         6 In cave right side up, at warehouse on their side
         7 on heads
         8 Side tilt of 45 degrees to outside of rack
         9 On its side
        10 in an angle of 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock
        11 angled at about 45 degrees up
        12 22.5 degrees
        13 Side
        14 at either 10 or 2 on a clock face
        15 45 degrees down from right side up
        16 almost upside down, to ease SO2 gas monthly mainta
        17 diagonal to indicate that they are MT
        18 bung hole at 4-5 o'clock

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