Well the guy at Vadai wines where I got my barrel advised me
of some methodology to swell the wood on the barrel as pre treatment.
couple gallons of boiling hot water into the barrel, then stand it on the
end...leave for an hour or so...repeat for the other end.
Drain and fill with cold water...change the water daily so nothing too nasty
gets a foothold, then when water tight fill with beer.
I wonder about the campden treatment since this was a used barrel
with red wine. It smells nice and I think I may just put my beer into it
straight away....unless I chicken out and do campden for a day or so...
Info: I did NOT use campden...just washed thoroughly and put beer in