How Much Does A Beer Keg Hold – Beer comes in all shapes and sizes. From cans, bottles and kegs, there is the option to buy almost any amount of beer your heart (or, more accurately, liver and wallet) desires. Since there are so many keg sizes available, it can be confusing to know how much beer you can get when buying a keg to take home.
To make it easier to compare different barrel sizes, we created this practical guide and some easy-to-follow infographics. Now you can easily tell everything you need to know about each keg size based on basic US keg size measurements, including their dimensions, weight and how much beer they hold.
How Much Does A Beer Keg Hold
Worried about your beer going bad? Check out our guide to how long beer lasts in a keg, along with tips and tricks to make your beer last even longer!
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Before we get to keg size, we need to talk about how to measure beer. In the United States, beer production is measured in “barrels of beer,” or BBL for short. BBL is the official unit of measure for beer volume – for breweries in the United States, ; and spelled “barrel of beer” or BBL.
Note that there is a difference between an American gallon and an imperial gallon (imp gal). An imperial gallon equals 160 fluid ounces (fl oz), while a US gallon equals 128 ounces.
There is wide variation in the number of BBL breweries that produce. Large home breweries such as Budweiser have automated brewing systems that produce hundreds of BBLs per batch. Even large craft breweries like Sierra Nevada can produce over 100 BBL of beer per batch. To be considered a craft brewery in the United States, a brewery must produce less than 6,000,000 barrels of beer per year (that’s 186,000,000 US gallons of beer, or about 1,488,000,000 pints for those keeping score).
Microbreweries, a small subset of craft breweries, must produce less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year, which is 465,000 US gallons of beer, or about 3,720,000 pints of beer. Microbreweries vary somewhat in the size of the batches they produce. Most systems range from 30-50 BBL, but there are microbreweries that use this type of system with as little as 1-2 BBL at a time. If you want to learn more about the differences between craft beer and domestic beer, click here for our guide to craft beer vs. domestic beer vs. imported beer.
Beer Keg Grill
Before we get into the barrel size, let’s talk about the overall style. Many of the barrels on this list (and many standard barrels in general) are known as Sanke barrels. Sanke kegs or Sankey kegs (short for sanitary key) are standard stainless steel kegs for the commercial storage, distribution and distribution of beer. Snake barrels are usually made of 100% stainless steel. Unlike kegs commonly used by homebrewers, Sanke beer kegs have a valve at the top of the keg that allows gas to enter the keg and beer to exit the keg.
The opening of the keg allows a long metal tube called a lance to run from the top of the keg where it connects to the draft system to the bottom of the keg where it draws the beer. Carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen flows through the valve to the top of the keg (headspace) and pushes the beer down, where it is carried to the lance and up and out of the keg.
Sankey keg taps include a special Sankey coupler, which is a sanitary key (called a Sankey) that opens a special snake valve so that gas can enter the keg and beer can leave the keg through the valve. There are several types of couplings for sinking barrels depending on their country of origin:
There are several common types of barrels, each of which has its own specific shape, size, capacity, and type of coupling. Different keg sizes have different uses, and this guide will help beer lovers choose the right keg for their favorite beer based on their personal needs.
A Keg Of European Beer Typically Weighs Significantly More Than An American Beer Keg
We’ll go over each in detail, but here’s a handy comparison chart to help you quickly see the differences in size, shape, capacity, average use, empty keg weight, full keg weight, average cost, and number of beers in each keg:
Mini kegs, sometimes called bubba kegs or 5 liter kegs, are large pressurized beer cans. These small kegs are designed for single use with or without mini-keggers, and are often brought to parties or homes instead of beer cans or bottles. A 5 liter mini keg holds 1.32 beer gallons (169 beer ounces) of beer, which is equivalent to about 10 ½ pints of 16 ounce beer, or about 14 12 oz bottles or cans.
By using the tap provided with the purchase of mini keg beers they can be served directly from the keg, using a mini kegerator to improve the experience and shelf life. Keep a convenient kegerator on the kitchen counter that is always filled with 5 liter mini-bottles and uses only CO2 cartridges to serve beer and electricity to keep the beer in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Small 5 liter kegs can also be purchased empty from homebrew supply stores for use in small batch homebrew.
Mini kegs are widely available at liquor stores and grocery stores, but the best selection is at a specialty craft beer store. The most widely viewed brand of the many 5L kegs available is Heineken, and the popular Heineken 5L mini keg has established these kegs as a commonly used method of serving beer at small parties.
How Many Beers In A Keg? (with Basic Computation)
Other brands that distribute their beers in mini kegs include many famous European beer brands, Newcastle Brown Ale, Coors Light Lager, Warsteiner Premium Pilsener, Paulener Oktoberfest Marzen Amber, Widmer Hefeweizen, Heineken Light, Rogue Yellow Snow IPA, Bittelburger, Spamburger, Spamburger, Spamburger, Pilstem. Senner, Hoffesteru Pilsner, Hoffesteru Original and Hoffesteruils. Beer A great liquor store should have at least a few options.
The main disadvantages of mini barrels are that they are intended for single use and their utility may be limited. Unlike the other types of kegs on this list, mini kegs are not reusable and are only meant to store and serve the beer that came with the keg (that is, unless you’re James! Check out his DIY mini keg system on the forums!). It’s a great alternative to a six-pack for bringing to parties, camping, etc., but it hasn’t become a popular way to sell, distribute, or consume large quantities of beer.
Cornelius kegs, more commonly referred to as “Corny Kegs”, were originally soda kegs used by soft drink manufacturers to distribute their beverages for on-site consumption. Later, when soft drink companies switched to syrup concentrate mixed with carbonated water for use in restaurants, cheese kegs became a popular choice for homebrewers to store and serve their beer.
Corny kegs are a favorite among homebrewers because they hold 5 gallons, which is a standard homebrew batch size, and are easy to clean and maintain. Unlike many types of kegs used in commercial breweries, corny kegs have a removable cap and require little or no special equipment. It is also relatively low cost, including the cost of lines and quick connections required for home kegerators or kezers. A case of cheese weighs about 14 pounds empty and about 58 pounds full.
How Much Does A Keg Of Beer Cost? A Comprehensive Guide
The original Cornelius barrels come in two slightly different sizes depending on the brand. Pepsi and Coca-Cola products are in cheese barrels. Pepsi opted for a slightly taller, thinner barrel with ball-locking posts. Coca-Cola used slightly shorter and wider barrel locking posts.
Locking ball barrels are the most common type today and you will likely find newer ones available. While they lack some of the advantages of pin locking (such as the inability to accidentally back out disconnects), they are generally easier and cheaper to maintain. Ball lock kegs, like those used by Pepsi, are taller and thinner than the 25-inch-tall, 85-inch-wide lock kegs. The ball lock barrel posts are designed so that the quick disconnect can be pressed into place by a set of ball bearings.
Pin lock kegs, like those used by Coca-Cola, are shorter and wider than ball lock kegs, about 22″ tall and about 9″ wide. The locking barrel posts have a pin that fits into a disconnect slot that locks the barrel in place when in use. There are also locked barrel posts
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