I learned the hard way that stave chunks swell somewhat when soaked in whiskey in a mason jar.
I had stave chunks that easily fit in the jar mouth when they were dry. But when it came time to take them out, a long time later, the chunks wouldn’t fit through the opening. So, I drained the liquor out thinking the chunks would dry out and shrink allowing me to remove them. But guess what...they didn’t shrink enough, even after months of drying, to allow me to snag them out. Now what?
I had to take a long bladed sawzall to cut the chunk so I could get it out. Dang. Now, I make sure the stave chunks will easily fit in (and out) even with the expansion of soaking for a year, or more.