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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Barrel with top bung in barrel head - can we store those horizontal on barrel racks

Well, now we have these top bung barrels, and would like instead to store them on their sides, horizontal on a barrel rack.  Any experience with that?  Will top bung stay closed?  Hate to see prized product coming out where it shouldn't.

Plus, thinking to add bung hole in a stave after we've done that.  Any recommendations on bung hole cutters?    The horizontal storage works better for us but need to make some adjustment in these top bung barrels.

Thanks in advance


We get some used barrels from another local distillery that has them in the top, but we store them sideways. So far so good. Just gotta make sure the bung is pounded in pretty snugly.


I have occasionally had the opposite problem. A barrel with a side bung that I want to store vertically.

In some cases, I have made a "safety" to go over the side bung. A strip of stainless sheet held by some copper nails. 

Probably not necessary, but better safe than sorry.



thanks, Jedd, we were thinking of just that as a cover to prevent the bung from escaping on its own, but have kept our barrels vertical at the moment.   Thanks again.


I often convert barrels from head fill to side fill. What I do is hammer in a silicone bung into the head hole, fix a piece of wood to cover the bung with stainless steel screws. Normally you have to chisel out a section of the wood to fit cleanly with the bung. Then all you do is use a hole saw and bore out a new bung hole into one of the larger staves. 

I've only been doing this for a few months but so far no major issues. If the replacement bung is undersized you may need to use flashing to get a better fit.