Fluid barrel in the US and UK – Fluid barrels vary depending on what is being measured and where. In the UK a beer barrel is 36 imperial gallons (43 US gal ; 164 L ). In the US most fluid barrels (apart from oil) are 31.5 US gallons (26 imp gal; 119 L) (half a hogshead ), but a beer barrel is 31 US gallons (26 imp gal; 117 L).
How many gallons is a BBL?
A standard barrel of oil contains 42 gallons. This is the U.S. measurement that has been used since the 1800s, as it was the volume of a standard wooden barrel used for hauling many types of liquid. To measure production output, barrels of oil are grouped into classifications by one thousand barrels, one million barrels, and one billion barrels.
How many litres is a UK cask?
Casks (barrels, hogsheads, butts) Maturing Scotch whisky is kept in oak casks – sometimes called barrels, hogsheads or butts. Casks are sourced mainly from the US and Spain, where they have previously been used to age whiskey and sherry. While Scotch whisky rules allow repeated use of casks for maturation, the law for bourbon is such that they can only use the cask once.
This normally ensures a good onward supplyof casks for the Scotch whisky trade. Securing a supply of them is part of the distillers’ challenge, and getting long use out of them is important too. Most casks come in various sizes from about 200 to 650 litres.200 litres (barrel) and 250 (hogshead) are the most common sizes.
A hogshead is essentially a barrel made from the staves of a bourbon cask with new oak ends. A butt is the standard size cask used for maturing sherry. As the interaction between wood and spirit is integral to the maturation process, smaller casks tend to mature Scotch whisky quicker.
- By contrast, large casks such as butts, puncheons or port pipes usually require a longer maturation process, often of 15-20 years or more.
- The types of casks most commonly used for maturing Scotch whisky are as follows: Barrel (approx.190-200 litres | ~120-140 LPA ): Also known as the ASB (American standard barrel), or bourbon barrel, due to its role as the principal size of cask used in the American bourbon whiskey industry.
Barrels used for maturing bourbon are required by American law to be made from American white oak which has been charred prior to usage. As these casks cannot be re-used to make bourbon, they often experience a second life maturing Scotch whisky. Hogshead (approx.225-250 litres | ~142-175 LPA ): After barrels, hogsheads are the second-most common type of cask used in maturing Scotch whisky.
Hogsheads are generally also made from American white oak, and indeed are often built from staves originally taken from bourbon barrels. However, the larger size of hogsheads makes them better suited for a slightly longer period of maturation. Hogsheads used to mature Scotch whisky may previously have held other beverages and spirits, with sherry hogsheads the most common of these.
Butt (approx.475-500 litres | ~302-350 LPA ): Butts are the most commonly used type of cask in the sherry industry, and thus, apart from those having previously held bourbon, the type of cask most commonly utilised for maturing Scotch whisky. They are traditionally made from Spanish oak, although a significant amount of butts are also made from American white oak. Other casks of note: Quarter cask (approx.45-50 litres | ~29-35 LPA ): A quarter cask is a quarter of the size of the ASB, but with the same dimensions. As quarter casks have a significantly higher ratio of wood-to-liquid than most standard casks, they tend to accelerate the maturation process.
- However, this method of maturation can have mixed results, and quarter casks are therefore most effective with more robust spirits, or when used to ‘finish’ a whisky.
- Barrique (approx.250-300 litres | ~159-210 LPA ): A barrique is a slightly larger hogshead with the long shape of a butt, which is common throughout the wine industry (and, with slightly smaller dimensions, in Cognac too).
Barriques are usually constructed from French oak, although some may also be made from American white oak. Although barriques were historically uncommon in the maturation of Scotch whisky, recent decades have seen an increasing amount of single malts and blends experimenting with these casks.
- Puncheon (approx.450-500 litres| ~286-350 LPA ): After butts, puncheons are the second-most common type of casks used to mature sherry.
- Dumpier than a butt, these are generally made with Spanish oak staves.
- Machine puncheons are made from American white oak and generally used in the rum industry.
- While machine puncheons are still rarely used for maturing Scotch, they have become more common in recent years.
Port pipe (approx.550-650 litres | ~ 350-455 LPA ): Port pipes are the industry standard cask for maturing port wine. Port pipes are long and similar in proportion to sherry butts, although their width is close to an ASB. Port pipes are generally only used to ‘finish’ Scotch whiskies for a final few years.
- Madeira drum (approx.600-650 litres | ~381-455 LPA ): Like sherry butts and port pipes, Madeira drums are the industry standard for maturing Madeira wine.
- However, Madeira drums are significantly squatter than these counterparts, and are built from thick French oak staves.
- Madeira drums are relatively uncommon for maturing Scotch whisky and are generally used to ‘finish’ aged stocks.
Casks can be described as ‘first fill’ or ‘refill’. An American whiskey cask or barrel that is being used to mature Scotch for the first time is referred to as ‘first fill’. It becomes a ‘refill’ cask when used for a second or subsequent time. ‘First fill’ casks are more active in the maturation process of Scotch, imparting stronger flavours to the whisky from the oak and the previous contents of the barrel.
‘Refill’ barrels, by contrast, are usually less active in maturing Scotch, allowing the spirit to dominate the maturation process. The value of the casks within the maturation process can be seen in the, It is the job of a good cooper to maintain the casks well to extend their useful life and value, and to ensure they continue to mature the whisky to the right quality standards.
The casks are stacked either three high in traditional ‘dunnage’ warehouses or more commonly now in modern palletised warehouses. The key is to allow lots of cool, damp, Scottish air to circulate. All casks are porous, allowing the spirit to evaporate which is necessary for maturation.
- A small number of casks may leak, and lose more whisky than they should in the first year.
- In modern warehouses leaky casks are usually left where they are, because moving them around to sort out a leaky one costs almost as much as a cask of newly made spirit is worth, and risks damaging others in the process.
Losses from evaporation and leakage amount to around 2% per year, with an extra 3% lost on filling as spirit is absorbed by the wood. This is known as ‘in-drink’. Good casks, well cared for, can last for up to 50 years or longer.
Why does BBL stand for barrel?
Barrel of Crude Oil – The abbreviation BBL refers to a barrel of crude oil. In the oil industry, an oil barrel is 42 US gallons. Some sources say this abbreviation originated with — the first oil giant in the United States, founded in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller. They used blue barrels to store and transport oil, thus BBL originated as a symbol for “blue barrel”. However, other sources believe the additional “b” in BBL may have simply been doubled to indicate the plural, such as 2 BBL.
What does BBL stand for in beer?
Bring on the Barrels — Snake River Brewery BBL is the abbreviation that brewers use for “barrel” but as we all know there is only one “B” in barrel so what gives? The abbreviation actually stands for “beer barrels”, hence the extra “B”. So don’t go using BBLs if you’re talking about barrels of oil, for example.We have a bunch of new barrels in the brewery thanks to Head Brewer Cory’s efforts to keep us experimenting.
- We have owned a couple of bourbon barrels for several years now but Cory got ahold of some chardonnay barrels from Cali that shoud give a more neutral influence than the bourbon ones do.
- Our new rack of barrels also gives us the ability to brew a dedicated half batch into the array.
- Previously, we would just divert small amounts of standard worts from other brews into our two bourbon barrels.
So stay tuned for some crazy barrel-aged beers in the future but keep in mind these special beers can take months and years to fully develop so don’t miss out on any releases as they will be very rare indeed. Recent Posts : Bring on the Barrels — Snake River Brewery
How big is a barrel of whiskey?
Why do you make a distinction between bourbon and other kinds of spirits? – We produce bourbon barrels exclusively, In order for a product to be called “bourbon” it must be made to a specific recipe which includes 51% corn. Most importantly the final product must be stored for at least two years in a 53 gallon, new charred white oak barrel.
The barrel must be made of Oak; our barrels are made of American White Oak. A typical whiskey barrel usually holds approximately 200 liters (roughly 53 gallons) of liquid. A barrel is typically 21″ x 36″ and 26″ in circumference. In addition to the 31-33 staves, a barrel is held together with six steel hoops and twelve rivets.
The rivets are embossed with an initial (ours is “S”) which stands for Speyside. This is how you can tell which cooperage manufactured the barrel.
How many gallons are in a whiskey barrel?
The interesting history behind the magic number 53 – There are a lot of legal requirements for a whiskey to be a considered a bourbon. It has to be distilled in the US with a mash bill of at least 51% corn and aged in charred new barrels—all wonderful things. As it turns out No. Up until World War II, the standard barrel size was 48 gallons. Barrels of this size were easier to manage and roll through the rickhouse, and the racks were built to accommodate their size. But as the Second World War continued on without an end in sight, resources became more precious.
- Resources like lumber.
- Cooperages and distilleries had to figure out a way to continue to age their whiskeys while cutting back on the amount of wood they used.
- What they came up with was pretty ingenious.
- By increasing the barrel size to 53 gallons, they could store more whiskey per barrel, but the new containers would still fit on the original racks without having to massively upgrade the rickhouses (which would have required massive amounts of lumber).
If they went bigger than 53 gallons, they also worried about the structural integrity of the barrels, with the increase in size potentially causing more leaks. While 53 gallon barrels were a little harder to handle and roll, it didn’t represent an insurmountable challenge.
Clearly, after three generations, distilleries never went back to 48 gallon barrels. In addition to providing the men and women serving overseas with a ration of liquid courage, the bourbon industry contributed to the war effort in a few other surprising ways. A few distilleries that had been shut down during prohibition were repurposed to create penicillin and fuel.
If you can’t make whiskey during a time of war, penicillin and fuel are pretty good substitutes.
What is the difference between a cask and a barrel?
All barrels are casks but not all casks are barrels Casks are like the middle children of the aged spirits world. They don’t have the upscale industrial aura of the shining beacons of the spirits world — the stills that produce the spirits. Nor have they the multi-sensory appeal of the finished whiskey.
But casks play a huge role in helping shape the final flavor profile of not only spirits aged in them, but wine and beer, too. They can impart flavors as wide-ranging as vanilla, coconut, and oak, and — when charred on the inside — help charcoal filter the spirits into smooth-sipping glory. The first thing to know about “barrels” for spirits is that this term is not technically a catch-all for any vessel used to age spirits.
Rather, a “barrel” is a specific term of art in the beverage industry referring to a 50–53 gallon (180–200 liter) cask, often made of white oak.
For the all-encompassing term for the vessel that you age spirits in, “cask” is the preferred nomenclature. Kind of like how we learned in kindergarten that all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, the same holds true here: all barrels are casks, but not all casks are barrels. A definitive list of all different types of casks is available, but the main types to know for the purposes of American whiskey are:
Gorda — 185 gallons. Made from American oak. Their large size makes aging a long and arduous journey through the decades (less oak surface area coming into contact with the liquid), so these casks are perhaps best used to marry different whiskeys.
Port Pipe — 172 gallons. With European oak as their base, these cylindrical (dare we say “pipe-like”?) casks first age port and often reinvent themselves as second use barrels in Scotch distilleries. More recently, American craft distillers have taken a liking to them in helping expand American whiskey’s flavor horizons.
Sherry Butt — 126–132 gallons. For ages, Scotch (and some Irish whiskey) distillers have looked to ex-sherry casks to finish their distillates and create some damn fine Scotches: Glendronach 12, Glenfarclas 15, Aberlour 10. Finishing Scotch in sherry casks has become so popular that a cottage industry in Spain has sprung up to cooper these European oak, slender casks; age unmarketable sherry (i.e. low-grade) sherry in them for 3 years; then distill the sherry into Spanish brandy. (For a nice look at why Scotch boomed in the 20th century while Irish whiskey wilted, read on,)
Hogshead — 59–66 gallons. Made from ex-bourbon barrels, often repurposed. Used especially in Scotland, coopers make hogsheads by taking apart ex-bourbon barrels and reassembling them into slightly larger casks with new ends. The slightly larger size of the hogshead allows distillers to store more barrels per square foot in their rickhouses. From whence did these porcine vessels derive their name, you may ask? From a 15th century English term “hogges head”, a unit of measurement at the time equivalent to 63 gallons.
American Standard Barrel — 50–53 gallons. Constructed from new American white oak or (less often) European oak, American Standard Barrels are the go-to cask used by the most well-known bourbon distillers like Four Roses and Heaven Hill. Craft distillers, on the other hand, have aging bourbon in the next cask on this list. (Wondering what exactly qualifies as bourbon? We read your mind and wrote about that,)
Quarter Cask — 13 gallons. Manufactured to precisely 1/4 the size of an American Standard Barrel, quarter casks provide distillers with a method by which to more quickly age distillates. Quarter casks are the same proportions as American Standard Barrels, but with 1/4 the amount of whiskey in each, the increased surface area of oak to liquid helps age whiskey more quickly. Notable proponents of the Quarter Cask include American craft distilling scion Tuthilltown with their Hudson Baby Bourbon, and esteemed Scotch producer Laphroaig.
Barracoon — 1 gallon. Roughly the size of the small oak ASW barrels you may have seen in local bars or available for, the amount of wood in contact with such a small volume of liquid seriously fast-tracks the aging process. Not always optimally, either.
I’m sure all of this has you wondering what types of casks we’ll be using. Well, for starters, we’ll try a combination of quarter casks and American Standard Barrels. As we build up stocks, we’ll move to mostly American Standard Barrels. That said, we’ll also roll out some unique finishing methods in the not-so-very-distant future.