EDIT: I found a BYO article that seems to take care of most of my problems: http://www.byo.com/stories/technique...ng-it-clean%27
I've gone through some of the older posts here and elsewhere on bourbon-barrel aging, but I have a few questions as to my setup.
The background is that my wife got me a 3-gallon whiskey-barrel from a place in New York (I can't remember the name). I don't want the barrel to dry out, so I'm thinking of what I can do with it currently. Here are the options I've thought of--does anyone have thoughts on what would be best?
1. Do nothing. How long would it take before it dries out?
2. I could fill the barrel with (a) water or (b) a water/bourbon mixture. This would keep the barrel wet and I could make sure it doesn't leak.
3. I have an imperial stout that will be down to terminal FG in a week or two. The problem is, I only have two gallons of this to go in. If I go and put this in the barrel should I:
(a) Just put in the two gallons and assume that any yeast in suspension will finish off primary and conditioning, creating CO2 to fill the barrel (I would put an airlock on it.
(b) Put it in the barrel and then use a Beergun to fill the headpsace with CO2 and then put an airlock on it somehow.
(c) Put it in the barrel along with some starter wort from another imperial stout, and then figure out a way to do a blowoff setup.
4. Anything else someone could suggest?
Any further reading on the topic would also be appreciated. I've looked around this forum and other sites, but I won't complain if someone cites to something I've already read.