How Can I Fix My Leaking Wine Barrel?

Leaking BarrelHello:
Is there a service that can repair leaking oak wine barrels?  I had used mine for many years and did not do it for a while and now the barrel leaks when I try to put fluid into it. 

Good Afternoon Steve,
There is no repair service that we know of for individual wine barrels, but here are a couple of things you can try that might get your wine barrel back into service.
Keep adding water to the barrel until the wood has had time to swell back up. This could take a couple of days if not a week. If this fails, try submerging the barrel in a bath of water while also keeping the barrel full of water. Do this for several days. Then let the outside dry out for a couple of days and see if the barrel starts to leak again.
If these ideas do not work, you have probably lost the barrel, but I’m guessing this is going to solve your problem.
Another One Of My Wine Making Tips:
Once a barrel is used you should always keep it full of liquid, whether it be with wine or water. If with water, also add Sodium Metabisulfite and Citric Acid to keep it from spoiling. You will also need to replenish the Sodium Metabisulfite every 6 months.
You may want to take a look at the Directions: Barrel Sterilizing Kit that is listed on our website for dosage and more detailed homemade wine instructions on using a wine barrel.
Happy Wine Making,
Customer Service
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

7 thoughts on “How Can I Fix My Leaking Wine Barrel?

  1. The outside rims on my wine barrel are loose. The middle rim has fallen to the bottom. How can I fix the rims so that they remain in place?

  2. Al, the first thing I want to mention is the tip in the above blog post. Once you start using a barrel you should always keep it filled with some kind of liquid. Water with sodium metabisulfite and citric acid between uses is best. As to you barrel hoop problem, this will resolve itself with the above mentioned, but beyond this you can use very small wood staples to hold the hoop in place. The staples need to be very small and shallow (not go to deep into the wood).

  3. After soaking my barrel for a week it worked and my barrel does not leak. Should I do anything to treat the inside of the barrel as it had an awful smell when I finally drained it.probably from the previouse contents.

  4. My wine barrel leaked purple fluid when I was curing it. That stain would not go off the white marbletop. How to remove that strain?

    • There should not have been a purple fluid coming form the wine unless it was a used barrel. Most likely the stain is tannin from the wood or the wine. Tannin is in both. Tannin does stain easily. It is the main ingredient used at a tannery for making leather, etc. I have no idea how to remove the stain from marble, but I understand your frustration. I would contact someone that specialized in marble and see if they have any ideas.

  5. Hey Ed, I bought a medium charred oak barrel a week or so ago, swelled it for a few days until it completely stopped leaking water. I emptied the barrel one afternoon and filled it with my Cabernet that same night and immediately noticed a leak that was pretty severe. I am going to re-swell it but would you have any advice on how best to proceed or what might’ve went wrong?

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