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Barrels with Head Bungs/Aging barrels upright

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  • Barrels with Head Bungs/Aging barrels upright

    Hey everybody. Anyone have advice for swelling/using barrels that were previously aged upright with head bungs? I know this is common for rum and tequila and stuff, but we're starting to get bourbon and whiskey barrels with them. The entire head leaks like crazy. They're freshly dumped and the rest of the barrel is swelled up just fine, but that ding dang dong head certainly aint. We don't have a steamer, and I'd prefer not to add water if I can avoid it. Right now I'm just using barrel wax and playing the waiting game for it to swell back up. Anyone tried soaking just the head? Or, any breweries out there aging their barrels upright? Based on how leaky these can get, I'd be concerned with way too much oxygen contact. Any help or insight is much appreciated. Thanks.