Removing and refitting a barrel head
Removing and refitting a barrel head

We recommend removing the back head and keeping the front head intact. This will ensure a more attractive look for cellar aging.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

  • A hoop driver and a hammer
  • A head puller
  • A pencil
  • Pliers
  • A pointer

REMOVING A BARREL HEAD

1 – If you have multiple barrels to process, number each head and body so that you can match them up easily. Draw alignment lines between the head and the bung stave.
2 – Use a pencil to mark the position of the hoops.
3 – Use pliers to remove the hooks/nails holding the hoops in place.
4 – Loosen the header and quarter using the hammer and hoop driver. Remove both hoops completely.
5 – Use the hammer and hoop driver to loosen the bilge hoop, without removing it.
6 – Hold the head up with the head puller to stop it falling down (risk of breakage). Loosen the bilge hoop a little more and remove the head.
7 – Tighten the bilge hoop and quarter using the hammer and hoop driver. To tighten the header, we recommend not striking the hoop directly (as this risks breaking the bevelled edge), but instead using a piece of wood as protection.

PREPARING THE PASTE

Ratio of flour* to (dechlorinated, sterilised) water to make the paste:
=> 1L of water to 1kg of flour (adjust to achieve the desired texture, which should be neither sticky nor dry).
Prepare the paste:
– Put the flour in a clean container with no chlorine residue.
– Gradually add the water until you achieve the right texture.

*NB: for kosher barrels, use OENOPLASTICO Special (r) (barrel putty) instead of flour.

This can be obtained by contacting OENOFRANCE

REFITTING A BARREL HEAD

1 – Use the pointer to put the paste in the croze.
2 – Loosen the header and quarter using the hammer and hoop driver. Remove both hoops completely.
3 – Use the hammer and hoop driver to loosen the bilge hoop, without removing it.
4 – Take the head bearing the same number as the body. Position yourself in front of the bung stave.
5 – Put the head edge in the croze of the bung stave, making sure that the side bearing the number is on the outside and that the alignment lines drawn on when removing the head are correctly aligned.
6 – Use the head puller to pull the head up to croze level all the way round and hold it in place by pressing the opposite stave.
7 – ap the bilge hoop with the hammer to tighten the staves around the head. As soon as there is sufficient pressure from the staves to hold the head in place, remove the head puller.
8 – Tighten the bilge hoop and quarter using the hammer and hoop driver. To tighten the header, we recommend not striking the hoop directly (as this risks breaking the bevelled edge), but instead using a piece of wood as protection.
9 – Remove any excess flour paste if necessary.

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