How to Seal an Oak Barrel

Written by jeffery keilholtz
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How to Seal an Oak Barrel
Wine barrels must be leakproof. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Sealing an oak barrel is a critical necessity for keeping contents contained. Leaks result in damage to surface areas and ruined contents. More specifically, leaking barrels allow air to enter and contents to drip out. Exposure to air shortens the shelf life of the barrel's liquid. Leaks may also cause damage to the wallet. An oak barrel or keg filled with wine, for instance, must be sealed to keep contents fresh and secure.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cold water
  • Bucket

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  1. 1

    Set the barrel upright. Fill the barrel with ice-cold water and cover it with the lid. Allow the filled barrel to sit for up to 48 hours. Check the barrel during the two-day period for leaks. Filling oak barrels with cold water makes the oak grains expand and seal naturally.

  2. 2

    Fill the barrel that has a spigot one-fourth full of ice-cold water. Secure the spigot lid. Place the barrel on its side. Place a bucket under the barrel to catch dripping water, if possible.

  3. 3

    Turn the barrel so the spigot is aimed upward toward the ceiling. Allow the barrel to sit for 12 hours.

  4. 4

    Turn the barrel back to its normal position --- with the spigot facing downward. Allow the barrel to sit for another 12 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • Continue refilling a barrel containing a spigot to one-fourths full during the 24-hour period if water keeps leaking.

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