New barrels are fabricated from dried wood and must be re-hydrated before first use. Completely fill the barrel with room temperature water. Initially, new barrels will rapidly leak until the wood has swelled from the water absorption. New barrels will typically leak for a few days to a few weeks.
Once the barrel has stopped leaking, it should be conditioned to remove excessive tannin.
*Warning: be careful when handling Barolkleen. Barolkleen contains lye, which in its concentrated form is extremely caustic. Be wary of getting the powder on your fingers and rubbing your eye, etc.
When your barrel is not full of wine, it is important to keep the barrel hydrated to prevent drying and bacterial contamination. Fill the barrel with a sanitizing solution by mixing 1 tbs. sulfite crystals and 2 tsp. citric acid or acid blend per 5 gallons of water. Replace the solution every 3 months.