In barrel aging, your wine or beer is utterly transformed, both as it soaks up the wood flavors and aromas ranging from vanilla, toast, smoke, spice, clove, cinnamon, coconut, honey and more and as it undergoes the slow process of micro-oxygenation.
This is the chemical reaction that happens when an infinitesimal amount of air enters the barrel through the wood structure (which is tight but porous). The oxygen binds to polyphenols, reducing tannins and softening your brew. Oak aging also stabilizes color as tannins bind to anthocyanins, ensuring that they stay in solution rather than falling out over time.
The benefits of using a small barrel are as big as the barrel is tiny:
- 5 litres is 1.3 gallons-you can experiment with small batches rather than committing to five or six gallons at a time
- Small barrels have a lot of surface area compared to their volume: you'll get results in only weeks rather than the year you have to wait with big barrels.
- They're easy to move, store and handle: a standard 55 gallon barrel weighs over 500 pounds when full and needs dedicated racking and pumps to use. You can easily put this up on a shelf and rack using a simple siphon rod!
- 5 Liter Black Banded Varnished Barrel (10" long x 8.5" diameter).
- Citric Acid 2 oz.
- Potassium Metabisulfite 2 oz.
- Small Batch Barrel Aging Kit Instructions