The traditional beer keg size is 50 gallons while the wine barrel was set at 32 gallons. Today, kegs are available in different sizes. Even if the kegs’ capacity is the same, their different shapes can affect how much they can hold.
Keg Dimensions Used in the US
Majority of US brewers market beer in 1/2 barrels in-between 14 to 16 gallons. The ¼ barrels are sold between seven and eight gallons while the 1/6 gallons are between five and six gallons. In the United States, the full keg size is 15.5 US gallons (usually called a half barrel).
The quarter barrel is equal to 7.75 US gallons. Keg and barrel are used interchangeably in many countries. But in the US, the keg is regarded as a smaller container (no more than 30 gallons).
When assessing US beer keg sizes, keep in mind that a US beer barrel is defined as equivalent to 31 US gallons. The US ½ barrel keg has a height of 23.3 inches.
The diameter is 16.1–17.15627 inches. The full weight is 160.5 pounds (72.8 kg). The empty weight is 29.7 pounds (13.5 kg). The weight of the beer is 130.8 pounds (59.3 kg).
The 15.5 US gallon keg is equivalent to 58.67 liters, 12.69 Imperial gallons, 124 U.S. pints, 103.25 Imperial pints and 165 twelve fluid ounce (U.S. measure) beverages. The size is also equal to 90 bombers, 6.88 24-unit cases of 12 fl oz cans, 1984 US fluid ounces and 5.5 30-racks of 12 fl oz cans.
Other Beer Keg Dimensions
The mini keg or bubba is equal to 1.32 US gallons (5 l). It is good for 14 12 fl oz drinks. The Corny Keg is equal to 5 US gallons / 19.9 l. It is equal to 53 12 fl oz drinks. The sixth barrel / beer keg size is equal to 5.23 US gallons / 19.8 l. It is equal to 56 12 fl oz drinks.
The half barrel (used in Europe) is equivalent to 6.6 US gallons / 25 l. It is equal to 70 12 fl oz drinks. The quarter barrel or pony king is equivalent to 7.75 US gallons / 29.3 l. It is equivalent to 82 12 fl oz drinks.
The import king is the standard European barrel. It is equal to 13.2 US gallons / 50 l. The half barrel is 15.5 US gallons / 58.86 l. This is equal to 165.33 12 fl oz drinks.
European Beer Keg Dimensions
The standard keg used is 50 liters. In the UK the average keg is 11 Imperial gallons. This is equal to 50 liters. The German DIN 6647-1 and DIN 6647-2 states the size of kegs as 20 and 30 liters. In other countries the keg is defined as 20, 25, 30 and 50 liters.
The various beer keg sizes used can make things quite confusing. But in most home brewing, the 15.5 US gallon is employed. If you live in the US, remember that the states have different keg registration laws.