New barrel preparation for immediate use
- Fill the barrel with 20 gallons of cold water and leave barrel to stand on one head for 12 hours.
- Flip barrel onto other head and let stand for 12 hours.
- Empty the barrel, then rinse once with fresh water and allow to drain completely.
- Fill the barrel with 5 gallons of hot water over 175°F and tighten the bung in place.
- With the barrel standing on end, rotate the barrel on its head a minimum of two complete rotations. Flip barrel and repeat on other head.
- Place the barrel horizontal on its bilge and rock from side to side while slowly rotating the barrel to get complete coverage with hot water. Continue rocking & rotation motion for four complete barrel revolutions.
- Remove the bung and allow barrel to drain completely.
For extended storage of new barrels
- Unless off-aromas are detected in packaging material leave the barrel wrapped in its plastic and cardboard.
- Optimal barrel storage occurs under the following conditions:
- Storage environment with 70-80% humidity.
- Limited UV exposure, i.e. low light conditions.
- Relatively still environment, i.e. no moving air currents.