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I had some problems at first but now it's working great. I am very excited to try my beer when it's ready. I plan on using my barrel constantly, always having a pipeline of oaked beer on tap.
I use it for making Bourbon ales, from Bourbon Stout to Porter to Kentucky Bourbon Ale to Barley wine. I age it for just the right amount of time, then rack to a better bottle for long term aging. Great flavor, but requires a fair amount of maintenance.
For our club we got a barrel for group projects. When we got the barrel last year, it leaked, and Midwest handled it immediately. Now a year later we just tasted the beer and its awesome. The barrel requires more prep work, but it makes a great beer and was a fun project. I'm kind of wishing we got a 10 gallon barrel.
I just successfully kegged my first high gravity batch that had been in the barrel for 8 months. I was lucky and had no leaks. The beer tastes great. It's some work to prepare the barrel and to clean it afterwards, it's not for the faint of heart.
I had a barrel i purched 5 gal, when I went to hydraate it It took 9 days to it to stop leaking .I LET midwest supplies know about my problem . I recieved A new barrel at my door in 6 days awesome!!!!!!