rtalbigr wrote:Gibbs Barrels recommends, as I recall, filling about 20% capacity with very hot water and stand on end letting steam swell up the wood. After a short while stand on other end. After water cools fill full with cold water.
This is what I do. I alternate with hot water for a couple of hours, then soak cold water for another 2. Run hot (BOILING) in it one more time, then fill with cold water and let it soak overnight.
Like Coyote said, if you can afford the time, just fill up a clean trash can or bucket full of water, then submerge the barrel in it for a couple of days. Just remember in the process to change the water at least once a day to help prevent mold.