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The story of wooden barrels
Since ancient times, wine and cognac were aged in wooden barrels, and the barrel production technology was kept a secret.
Today large barrels come with oak plugs, have a comfortable stand and are equipped with a tap.
Archaeological excavations show that wooden barrels existed long before the Christian era. Back then, people could see the unsurpassed quality of wooden barrels. They were stronger than other utensils made from ceramics and clay, and they lasted longer. In addition to that, the taste of alcoholic beverages kept in wooden barrels changed for the better.
If we follow the technology in the manufacture of barrels, it can significantly prolong their lives.
Our professionals follow all the technologies that have been developed and use production secrets in the manufacture of wooden barrels from oak.
Oak barrel manufacture
In order to preserve the unique taste of wine and cognac for the production of barrels, we use English oak.
Before you start manufacturing wooden barrels, you need to choose a high-quality material: an old oak trunk (80 years and older). Wood is harvested only in winter. The trunks are not immediately used for barrel production. First, the tree is left to dry (drying takes from 2.5 to 3 years), and then the trunk is cut into pieces of the desired length along the fiber.
Then, high-quality equipment is used to produce clapboards which make a basis of any barrel. They have an original form: at the ends clapboards are narrower and thicker than in the middle, which allows you to make a bent barrel. The resulting billet is kept in the drying oven for three weeks.
To avoid product leakage and minimize alcohol evaporation while aging the beverage, the clapboards are cut radially.
The next barrel production stage involves making a frame from hoops. The hoop is attached to clapboards placed at the correct distance from each other. Typically, three clapboards are used. Then, other clapboards are placed between them and pressed together as tightly as possible. The main hoop is brought down while the middle hoop is added. Then, the clips are removed and the last hoop is added.
A metal wire is used in the production process in order to tighten the clapboards to prevent the occurrence of even tiny cracks.
In order to achieve tightness of the barrel and to prevent the air from getting inside, a fire is made inside the barrel. At this stage, the bottom of the barrel is still not attached.
The barrel is roasted at least for a half an hour.
Some barrels are roasted using wooden chips. The timber is burnt to acquire a beautiful golden color.
Bottoms are attached at the last production stage. Bottoms are made from the same clapboards, fitted and placed closely to each other. Then, the barrel is polished and permanent 2 mm thick hoops made from galvanized or stainless steel are mounted.
The finished products are packaged in shrink-wrap to ensure safety of the cargo during transportation. The final consumer receives the product in the same form.
We use 1st grade material from several forestry enterprises located in Cherkasy and Kirovohrad regions. Our experience has shown that the material from other places is not really suitable for our barrels because of its quality.
All barrels are roasted using medium flame. Other products are not roasted, as roasting is no more than a technological feature of bent products manufacture. The heated clapboard becomes more flexible and does not crack when bent for the assembly of the barrel. And the taste of drinks or pickled vegetables kept in barrels has nothing to do with roasting the barrel, it's the tannins contained in the wood.
Wine barrels of 3-10 l have 13mm thick walls. The thickness of the walls of cups and buckets – 12 mm. The thickness of the walls of all other products up to 80 l – 16 mm. Finally, the thickness of the walls of the products of 100 l (and larger) is 19 mm or more. The thickness of clapboards in the bottom of all products ranges from 18 to 20 mm.