A sankey keg is an essential part of the draft beer system. These kegs are filled with draft beer and dispensed for customers. There are different types of sankey keg sizes, including 1/2 barrel, 1/4 barrel, 1/6 barrel, 50 Liter Euro Kegs. . This blog post will discuss some tips on what you need to know about sankey kegs. The different types and where to get one.
History of the Sanke Keg
Sankey kegs, or sanke beer kegs, were developed in the 1960's over in Europe. These kegs became superior to other keg vessels because they were filled and cleaned through the same keg valve. This process sped up the filling of keg and reduced loss of product. This innovative process became an industry standard in the US since the 1970's. When Hamms and Anheuser Busch adopted these new processes. Today beer kegs allow for easy cleaning and filling so they can keep up with higher demand. They are also the go to way for getting draft beer to retailers and customers around the country.
Sanke Keg Valve Systems
Sankey kegs need sanke couplers which allow for quick and easy exchanges between different kegs. There are 6 different sanke couplers that fit specific sanke kegs.
- D-system; Anheuser, Coors, Miller and Busch
- S-System; Heineken, Scottish and Newcastle
- U-System; Guinness, Harp
- A-System; Spaten, Warsteiner
- G-System; Boddington, Caffrey's
- M-System; Schneider
Most of the sanke couplers used in the United States are D-system couplers. Unless specified more often than not couplers used on kegs will be D-system Couplers.
Keg Sizes and Dimensions
These kegs come in various sizes, including 50 liter (or Euro sanke) which are 13 gallons. ½ barrel containers are 15.50 gallons. ¼ barrels for up to seven gallons of beer and 1/6 barrels that hold a little over 5 gallons of beer. If your customers want more beer, you might need a larger keg size. Half barrels will give you more bang for your buck, but remember kegs have a shelf life of about 2 months. After that the beer quality starts to fall off. So make sure you're selling kegs and not sitting on them.
Sanke kegs have a single valve on the top of them that allows for both beer and gas to pass-through. The beer flows via a spear in the valve that runs to the bottom of the sanke keg. A sankey coupler is essentially sanitary key (Sankey) to unlock the beer inside the sanke keg.
- 1/6 Barrel: 9.25" Foot Print; 5.23 Gallons; 640 ounces; 2.2 cases; 53 12oz beers
- 1/4 Barrel: 11.00" Foot Print; 7.75 Gallons; 992 ounces; 3.4 cases; 82 12oz beers
- 50 Litre: 17" Foot Print; 13.30 Gallons; 1690 ounces; 5.86 cases; 140 12oz beers
- 1/2 Barrel: 17" Foot Print; 15.5 Gallons; 1984 ounces; 6.8 cases; 165 12oz beers
Where To Get A Sanke Keg
You can order from a few places online. But the most important part is the sankey keg needs to be stainless steel. For most home brewers or breweries trying new batch or experimental beers. The 1/6 barrel is a good choice. This keg holds a little over 5 gallons and has a limited footprint of 9.25 inches. Great for a small kegerator or added on top of other 1/6 barrel in a kegerator.
Typically you can house 4 1/6 barrels in the same space as a half-barrel keg. Here's the link for the 1/6 barrel I recommend.
In closing visit my recommended products page for more draft beer dispensing equipment. Visit my blog for more information about draft beer dispensing. If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to me.