[Sca-cooks] coopering

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Wed May 6 20:26:08 PDT 2009

Ian asked:

<<< Speaking on this (only-peripherally-connected-to-food) topic,  
what's the
difference between tight cooperage and loose cooperage, and is there a
difference?  Are they both just as strong?  Say, if dropped from a  
height? >>>

I'm not sure of these two terms, but I suspect these are other names  
for wet and dry coopering. From the coopering-msg file I mentioned  

Cooperage (the art of making stave-built
vessels) has two large divisions, wet and dry coopering.  Wet coopering
is for holding liquids.  Wet coopered containers should never leak very
much, even when they've been left empty for some time.  Of course a
really old barrel might have deteriorated, or the wood shrunk
substantially.  Most of the cooperage you see  for sale today is dry
cooperage, it's sort of the period cardboard box.  It is designed to
hold goods, keep out the rats and the rain, but will not hold water at
all.  You may have a dry-coopered barrel.  The joints just don't fit as
tightly.  Some dry-coopered pieces are sold with a waterproof coating:
anything from wax through tar, to epoxy.  They'll hold water fine, if
you can live with strange taste of the beverage, flakex of wax, or what
have you.

Iolo  crossbow at moontower.com

I guess if you drop the wet coopered container hard enough, if it  
stays intact, it might then be only good for dry storage. But since  
the pieces of the wet coopered barrels would have to fit together  
tighter, I assume they would also be stronger.

I am working on a series of files for the Florilegium on wine  
production and it has some info on period wine barrels in it.

So if you are interested in how medieval food was stored and shipped,  
cooperage is a bit more than peripherally connected to food.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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