Preparing Cooperage Products for Use
At a first glance, the barrel or tub seem very simple containers for storing drinks or pickling. Many people think that it is just about pouring some drink into the barrel or some vegetables into the tub and after some time they will get something "miraculous". In fact, prior to using it as intended, cooperage utensils have to be treated in a special way. Before the first use of any cooperage product do the following:
Before using the barrel or tub, it is necessary to soak it first to get rid of redundant tannins and to eliminate all the possible cracks. Otherwise, the contents of the container will become a black liquid (mass) with a bitter taste. The reason for this is the large amount of tannins contained in the oak. In the process of soaking the wood swells, all cracks are closed and the product becomes leak-proof.
Fill the container with room temperature water at full volume. Close it with a bung or lid. The container may begin to leak, so it's better to carry out the procedure in the bathroom, or even in the yard, if it is possible. After some time the oak wood swells and cracks disappear. Drain the water as it becomes dark, approximately every 1-3 days. Repeat the procedure at least 3-5 times until the water ceases to darken. So, the process of soaking will take about 2 weeks, maybe more.
If the container continues to leak, drain the water, dry the product and tighten the hoops by moving them towards the expanded part of the container. Then fill it with water again. The product is leak-proof now and water does not get dark in it. This is followed by a process of steaming.
This procedure will eliminate the unwanted microbes that can live in the cooper’s products and spoil them. After steaming, foreign odors will disappear, and drinks or food contained in barrels and tubs will only preserve their own flavor enriched by the special fragrance created by the processes working during storage in oak containers.
To steam a barrel or tub, fill it with very hot water (90°C) for about 1/4 of the volume. You may or may not close the bung or lid. After 90 minutes, drain the water. This time will be enough to kill germs and get rid of foreign odor.
As soon as these procedures are completed, your cooper’s utensils are ready for use. Now you can get great drinks and delicious eco-friendly products. Their quality and taste will always surprise even the most demanding connoisseurs.
Our company specialists can do the above grueling procedures for you, so that you at once get the cooperage product ready for use as intended!