If you have been to a wine or whiskey distillery, you might have seen huge wooden barrels stocked with all kinds of alcohol with a thick cork stuck on the side to prevent the contents from leaking or pouring out. These corks are called bungs.
Choosing the Right Bung Matters
If you have a liquid barrel at home and need to choose bungs, then you can purchase them from stores such as Fair Wind Fasteners located in New Port, RI. The most common bung used for liquid barrels is an oak bung as they swell quickly and hold tight.
Depending on your requirement, you can choose from any diameter ranging from ¼” to 7/16”. All their plugs are face grain and straight-sided which makes them easier to install.
When you choose bungs for your barrel, always go in for softwood as they can expand more quickly than hardwood. Ensure that you go in with tapered bungs which reduced thickness at the end. This makes it easier for the bungs to plug into the hole and stay secure.
Avoid using bungs treated with chemicals. The reason is that the chemicals can get leaked into the contents and contaminate them.
Removing Bungs from Whiskey Barrels
If you have managed to bag a whiskey barrel from a distillery, you need to know how to remove the bung. If you damage the bung, then it might be difficult to seal the barrel again and the whiskey can get contaminated.
When it comes to whiskey barrel bungs:
- If the bung is protruding ¾” above the surface, you can lightly tap around the edge with a hammer
- If the bung is settled deeper into the barrel, you can use a hammer or screwdriver to pull it out
Now, there are a lot of questions about whiskey barrels that might pop into your mind. Questions like:
- How do you move whiskey barrels?
If you want to move your whiskey barrel to another location, you can roll it over the side and push it to the desired location.
- How many times can a whiskey barrel be reused?
Whiskey barrels can only be used once to distill whiskeys in the US. When maintained properly the whiskey barrels can last up to 60 years
- Can a whiskey barrel explode?
Yes, they can explode if they are not primed and swollen once they dry out. Ensure not to burn anything inside the barrel if it still has alcohol traces.
- How long does the curing process take for a whiskey barrel?
It can take about a week for your whiskey barrel to dry out. Fill your barrel to the top and flush the contents through the spigot. Check for leaks and apply barrel wax to the leaking area. Top the barrel again to check if the leaking stops. If the barrel can hold water for up to 3 hours, it is ready. Allow the barrel to dry for 3 hours before you fill it with whiskey.
The right whiskey barrel bungs play a crucial role in stopping your precious whiskey from seeping out. Bungs are available in many stores and you can choose from different woods, shapes, and sizes depending on your barrel size.