Monday, May 03, 2010


Whether is it cold outside or nice, washing barrels is never fun.

Cleaning barrels in warm weather sucks. If it takes two or three or four hours, your hands are pink and white and shriveled up. You’re cold, and wet, and sweating and tired. It’s just the same routine over, and over, and over again.

Rinse out the barrel. If there are lees or drop out sediment, then that takes two or three times, depending on the amount of gunk at the bottom. Add water, roll around for five minutes, rinse. Mix in some Barrel Brite or some soda ash, add very hot to boiling water, and slosh it around. Roll back and forth for another five minutes. Empty it. Rinse the barrel twice - rolling again and again.

Now repeat for each barrel.

If cleaning barrels in the summer sucks, then cleaning barrels in the winter really sucks. The water is normally cold. And in cold weather, the water seems especially colder. You do everything you can not to get wet, but it’s coming whether you want it or not. And your hands go from warm, to cold, to cold, to numb. There’s a point when your hands are numb, and you almost don’t realize. And then when you come inside, and you feel how warm it is, your hands start to tingle and then they turn pink. If you put them under warm running water, they will feel like they are starting to tremble.

Here's how you know barrel washing is the worst.1. No one ever volunteers for barrel washing duty. 2. Many people call in sick, with a family emergency, sudden death in the family, a medical emergency, etc., on barrel washing day. 3. Even the farm manager calls in sick.

Washing barrels sucks.


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