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I'm pretty new to dwarf fortress, so sorry if this question doesn't make sense. I've been trying to use a still, but most of the options are unavailable because it needs an empty storage item. How do I 'connnect' a storage item with the still? I am able to make barrels with a carpentry workshop, but when I try to move them to the still, they just disappear.

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There's no need to specifically connect a storage item to a still. I believe it is possible using stockpiles, but I've never used this feature, and it's really not necessary.

What's likely happening is that the barrels are being used for other tasks. Dwarfs will automatically use available barrels to store food items, e.g. crops from a farm or from gathering. This is a good thing, as it reduces spoilage.

The easiest solution is to just create more barrels than you need. If you have plenty of trees, you can just set your carpenter to create barrels on repeat and just leave that going for months. Eventually there will be more than enough barrels for food storage, plus brewing, plus your future needs. The only downside is that it occupies your carpenter - but it also trains skill, so this isn't much of a problem.

If wood is not plentiful, you can also create "large pot"s at a craftdwarf's workshop, which is functionally identical to a wooden barrel, except heavier.

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    Note that you can give management orders to, say, make 10 barrels if and only if the supply of unused and empty barrels is below 10 and the number of available wooden logs is above 20. Jan 19, 2023 at 20:43

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