A barrel is a round wooden, metal, or plastic container with a flat top and bottom, used for storing liquids. This is the definition given by the Macmillan English Dictionary. A barrel can also be defined as a hollow cylindrical container. In the past, barrels were in most cases made of wood. It was also used as a standard of measurement. A barrel storage container is therefore a round wooden or metal item where things and mostly liquids are stored.
A person whose work is to make barrels is called a cooper. The act of making the barrels is called cooperage. A copper is not only limited to making barrels but can also make, including others buckets, tubs, kegs-which are small barrels- pipes, tins, butts and pins.
Barrels Storage Containers come in different shapes and sizes. However, most of them have a convex shape for easier movement as they are easy to roll over a surface instead of one having to lift them. The barrels also have metallic rings on either side known as hoops for holding when carrying the barrels. Some of the barrel containers are double the size of others, depending on their purpose.
The barrel storage containers have several uses. Some are used to age wine, spirits, whiskey and beer. This is a very ancient practice and was initially mainly done in French before spreading to other parts of the world. The barrels are also used to store water; mostly rainwater harvested using pipes and gutters. The water is used for household needs or in some cases for irrigation. Another use of the barrels is the storage of oil. In ancient times before the invention of refrigerators, some foodstuffs like pork were stored in barrels containers. Barrel containers made from metal are said to be better for storing food. When storing food in barrels, it is important to note that only foods under the same category can be stored in one barrel. This means that meat and vegetables can never be stored together in one barrel.
It is important to keep barrel storage containers clean at all times Since what they are used to store is consumed by humans. As much as most used water barrels are sanitized when purchasing them, it is important to clean them yourself just to be sure. These water barrels can be cleaned using a solution of baking powder and vinegar together with water. Using soap itself is a bit tiring as one has to use a lot of water before totally getting rid of the soap bubble in the barrel. Roll the barrel on its side to ensure that all the sides get clean after which you empty the contents and rinse severally with clean water until the solution of baking powder and vinegar is completely rinsed out. For wine barrel containers, rinse the emptied barrel with hot followed by cold severally and then dries the barrel completely. After this add sulfur to the barrel preferably using a sulfur stick suspended in the barrels so that the sides do not get burnt and then close up the barrel so that it is filled with the smoke and gas from the burning sulfur stick.
Finally, it is important to note that the barrels should be completely dry before adding sulfur because otherwise the reaction will form sulfurous acid which could trigger spoilage or bad taste when the barrels is filled with wine again.