How many gallons in a barrel and how much does it weigh?

# Thread: How many gallons in a barrel and how much does it weigh?

1. ## How many gallons in a barrel and how much does it weigh?

For a game situation, I need to know how many gallons are in a typical barrel, and how much a full barrel would weigh (or at least how much a gallon of ale weighs). My dwarven drunken master wants to know if his traveling mule sidekick is going to be encumbered or not. Thanks in advance!

2. Here are the various sizes with the amount they hold.

Hand Keg: 2 gallons
Barrel: 30 gallons
Butt: 100 gallons
Tun: 250 gallons

A gallon of water weighs about 8 lb.

3. You sir/ma'am, are a peach. Thanks a ton!

4. hand keg - 12" long, 8" circumference, weighs 10 lbs; holds 2 gallons

cask - 2' long, 18" circumference, holds 12 gallons

barrel - (generally) 3-5' long, as wide around as a healthy man's shoulders, holds 30 gallons

butt - 6-7' long, wider than a man, holds 100 gallons

tun - holds 250 gallons (mounted into walls of taverns with a tap directly into it
According to PHB, p.110, a Barrel weighs 30lbs. empty, and holds 10 cubic feet of liquid.

10 cubic feet is 74.8 gallons (US liquid volume), 62.3 british gallons.

10 cubic feet of water would weigh 624 pounds. Ale would be roughly the same density. So, figure that a filled barrel of ale weighs somewhere around 650 pounds.

Now, the standard unit of measurement we call "barrel" is the 31.5-gallon drum used for oil. Two barrels equals a hogshead (63 gallons).

5. Originally Posted by Steverooo
barrel - (generally) 3-5' long, as wide around as a healthy man's shoulders, holds 30 gallons

<snip>

Now, the standard unit of measurement we call "barrel" is the 31.5-gallon drum used for oil. Two barrels equals a hogshead (63 gallons).
You've over-generalised. There are about a dozen different measures in the US Customary system, all called 'barrels', and ranging from 31.5 gallons to 42 gallons, when they are not a unit of weight. The 31.5 gallon ones are wine barrels, the oil barrel is a measure equivalent to 42.5 gallons.

Originally Posted by Encyclopedia Britannica
Barrel
unit of both liquid and dry measure in the British Imperial and U.S. Customary systems, ranging from 31.5 to 42 gallons for liquids and fixed at 7,056 cubic inches (105 dry quarts, or 115.63 litres) for most fruits, vegetables, and other dry commodities. The cranberry barrel, however, measures 5,826 cubic inches. In liquid measure, the wine barrel of 126 quarts (31.5 gallons, or 119.24 litres) and the ale and beer barrel of 144 quarts (36 gallons, or 136.27 litres) probably were defined by the traditional size of the actual wooden barrels used in these trades. In the United States a 40-gallon barrel for proof spirits has been legally recognized, and federal taxes on fermented liquors are calculated on a barrel of 31 gallons. A petroleum barrel of 42 gallons may have become standard in the American Southwest because casks of this capacity were readily available. Dry-weight barrels include the barrel of 200 pounds for fish, beef, and pork and that of 376 pounds for cement, among others.
So a barrel of beer is bigger than a barrel of wine, but smaller than a barrel of whisky, and probably weighs over 300 lb.

Metric is less confusing.

Regards,

Agback

6. Originally Posted by Ray Silver
For a game situation, I need to know how many gallons are in a typical barrel, and how much a full barrel would weigh (or at least how much a gallon of ale weighs).
By the way, a US gallon of water weighs 8 pounds avoirdupois, but an Imperial gallon of water weighs 10 pounds avoirdupois. Fortunately the US and British pound have been the same since 1959.

Metric-- you know it makes sense.

Regards,

Agback

7. Game designers are morons at best. http://www.thebarrelmill.com/barrels for new barrels. and http://www.distillerytrail.com/blog/...ow-your-casks/ for lots more sizes and information.

8. Originally Posted by Kevin Sullivan
Game designers are morons at best. http://www.thebarrelmill.com/barrels for new barrels. and http://www.distillerytrail.com/blog/...ow-your-casks/ for lots more sizes and information.
BTW, that was 3 minutes on Google.

9. Originally Posted by Phineas Crow
Here are the various sizes with the amount they hold.

Hand Keg: 2 gallons
Barrel: 30 gallons
Butt: 100 gallons
Tun: 250 gallons

A gallon of water weighs about 8 lb.
You left out
Pony Keg (1/2 barrel) 7.5 gal

Pure Alcohol is 6.59 lbs per (US) gallon, and water is actually 8.33 lbs per gallon.

Most drinkable booze is 10-30% alcohol by volume, so one gallon is 0.7*8.33 + 0.3*6.59 = 7.8 lbs per gallon. Hundred proof (50% ABV), is 0.5*8.33+0.5*6.59=7.49. Add dissolved sugar weight, and you can get some cordials at 30% massing more than 8.5 lbs per gallon.

Note that if you're kegging up soups and stews, meat is about 21/20 the weight of the water displaced, and most veggies run 19/20 to 21/20 the water weight per volume.

And, in case you want to be "historical" - the UK gallon is a hair over 1.2 US gallons in volume, and thus all weights go up... 10 lbs per gallon for water, 7.91 for alcohol.

10. It varies.

The typical American barrel is 31.5 gallons, but the typical beer barrel is 31 gallons. The UK beer barrel, on the other hand, is 43 gallons. The typical oil barrel is 42 gallons.

So, first thing you really need to do is figure out "barrel of what" before you figure out how much it weighs.

But in general? 31-35 gallons should do you fine.