“I know that barrels are toasted over a live fire when they are made. Wouldn’t the barrel just burn up?” —Mark S. (Detroit, Michigan)

Hi Mark. It certainly seems like a barrel would, but barrel coopers are very careful. The inside of a lightly toasted barrel is usually toasted for approximately 30 minutes. A heavily toasted barrel for up to 60 minutes. The temperature of the fire in the fire pot can reach 800 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep barrels from burning completely, the cooper often mops the outside of the barrel with a wet rag while the inside is toasting.

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