Grab a waterproof plastic container large enough to fit your barrel or find an area in you house (garage, basement) to store your barrel.
Fill barrel with hot water (above 160F). Completely fill so when you push in the bung, water will seep out.
Repeat Step 2 once a day for a total of 3 days or until your dry barrel swells and no longer leaks.
Add one handle (1.75 liters) of your spirit of choice. It’s best to add the same spirit that was housed in the barrel. For example, use a handle of bourbon for a bourbon barrel. Save the bottle for future use.
Rotate/shake the barrel periodically throughout the day to keep it hydrated. Keep the spirit in the barrel until you’re ready to add your beer.
When you’re ready to add the beer, swirl the spirit around inside the barrel to sanitize it. Empty the barrel (this liquid is still drinkable so pour it back into the bottle it came it… it’s delicious!)
Brew, ferment, then add the beer to the barrel for long-term aging. The amount of time the beer is in the barrel will depend on the recipe. We typically like to keep it in the barrel until the character from the wood is present but not overpowering so frequent tasting is recommended. If flavor is to your liking but aging is still needed transfer to a glass carboy.
Package as normal.