How much beer is in a keg?

It seems that most of the hits on this page are people wondering "How much beer is in a keg". I assume most of these people will be from the US wanting to make sure they get enough beer for their keg parties. I think Americans are the only people who have these parties as I've never heard anyone else mention them.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that there are 15.5 gallons in a US keg, which equates to 124 pints. There may well be smaller kegs which you can buy (15.5 gallons seems like quite a lot to carry to me, but what do I know?).

In England, the most common size is 9 gallons (a firkin). 18 gallons (kil(derkin)) is also available as is 4.5 gallons. A barrel is 36 gallons but beer isn't usually sold in barrels. They are rather large to handle easily.

Scottish brewers tend to use 11 gallon containers instead of 9 gallons and 22s instead of 18s. Some English brewers do as well (Grainstore and Freeminer do, Ruddles did).

Thanks to Tony Jenkins of Leeds CAMRA for that information.

Beer Diary - From 1996

Over the last month or so I have been brewing my first ever batch of beer. this is a diary of my beer making atempt so that you can see how easy it is and make your own!

11 October

Bought a big bucket and a beer making kit from Morissons. Took it home and read the instructions. It all looked a bit hard so I decided to put it off until Sunday when I had more time to figure it all out.

13 October

All the equipment for the beer making must be sterile so I spent about half an hour washing out a huge bucket in my shower. Got some strange looks from my flatmates! After the bucket was sterilised I opened the tin of beer 'stuff'. It looked very much like marmite and got everywhere as it's very sticky. Added water and yeast and put the lid on the bucket. At this point it didn't look much beer and smelt horrible but I'm still hopeful!

20 October

Took the lid off the bucket to siphon the beer into a keg. It now looks a bit like beer and from the bit I tasted while trying to siphon it, it tastes a bit like beer too. I repeated the shower-sterilisation with the keg and then siphoned the beer into the keg. All that's left now is to wait for 3-4 weeks for the beer to be ready.

6 November

Decided to boost my artificial popularity rating by having people round for a piss-up when the beer's finished, so I bought a CO2 injector so that we can drink all the beer in one go. If you don't have a CO2 then you can only drink about a third of the beer before you have to put more sugar in and leave it to build up the pressure again. Unfortunately the CO2 injector came without instructions so I had to guess how to put it on. I think it worked and I heard a satisfying hiss when I screwed the cylinder in. I just hope the keg doesn't explode and cover my room in homebrew!

11 November

Had a preliminary taste before the piss-up tommorrow night and the beer tastes BRILLIANT!!! It came out of the keg looking just like real beer. It looks just like a pint from a bar and tastes a bit sweet but just like a traditional ale. A bit like Flowers or Smiles (if you're from Bristol you'll know Smiles). HOORAY!!!! Great beer for only 20p a pint!!!!!

What did it all cost?

Total cost - £36.30 But in future it should only cost £5.70 for each 40 pints! Pretty good value IMO!