Do you recommend oak barrels for winemaking?

Oak barrels can be very useful in winemaking, but they can be problematic and I prefer glass carboys.

Oak barrels are excellent for large amounts of wine such as 55 gallons. The ration of air to wine is just right. When you use smaller barrels the wine may easily become over-oaked and oxidized. They also take a lot of care to make sure you do not create vinegar bacteria.

I much prefer gallon glass carboys, they are much easier to clean and sanitize.

You can make multiple batches of different kinds of wine. Each wine is unique. If you make 55 gallons of one wine and it does not turn out the way you want it - you are stuck with it. Our more than 20 varieties of wine make small batch winemaking very interesting.