Bourbon-Maple barrel First

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Nov 4, 2019
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Hello all,
I just purchased a whiskey barrel that was used for Vermont maple syrup aging directly from the syrup maker. I have never aged my beer in oak and have many questions. The first question is how to prep the barrel for my first brew?

I have read a lot that says use boiling water only. I do not know how long the barrel sat empty but I think less than a few months.

Is the boiling water the best method? I was also thinking about adding a handle of cheap liquor. Is this needed?

Any help is appreciated.

Second question, any recipe recommendations? I am probably going to make a stout and age it. But also thinking of a pumpkin ale for the first one, just to get that syrup working for me.

Thank you and Happy brewing