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Barrel Maintenance

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smarko

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Hello - new here, not making wine but we are building a wine cellar in our basement. I picked up this used bourbon barrel that someone had used as wedding decor. I plan to use it has just decor as well for the cellar, however my internet search on how to maintain the barrel is confusing. I have read that I need to leave water in the barrel to keep the wood from shrinking the the hoops from sliding down...how much water? Do I need to put a plug in it? This room will be dark, dry and cool year round.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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Johny99

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If it is dry year round, the wood will shrink. However if it gets to 30% or so every now and then it should be fine for your purposes. Looks like a nice big room on the way. Good luck with the project.
 

Rocky

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If it were I, I would drill a series of holes in four places (north, east south and west) or so on each hoop and run a screw through the hole into the staves. Maybe on the head (or chime) hoops (top and bottom) I would run screw into each stave. I would not worry about keeping water in it and I would add a bung for character.
 

topper9520

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You need to fill barrel to its max until it stops leaking once it stops leaking drain barrel and burn a sulpher stick in it close up the bung and leave it for a day or 2 remove sulpher stick and rinse barrel your good to go. Even though you are not using it to make wine you should keep it clean as possible do this twice a year.
 

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