View Full Version : Logistics of using 1/2 BBL kegs for tax determination

04-14-2017, 09:53 AM
Hello all.

Our brewer's notice is in the review process with the TTB, and we intend on using 1/2 BBL sanke kegs as our tax determination tanks. We're a 2 BBL nano brewery, and our lawyer suggested using the kegs for this purpose.

Quoting the TTB website "Most Common Testing and Measuring Devices Issues":

Paragraph (b) of 25.42 provides that beer meters, as established by testing, may not exceed 0.5 percent variance. If a meter test discloses an error in excess of the allowable variation, the brewer must immediately adjust or repair the meter. Adjustments need to reduce the error as near to zero as practicable.

How do you calibrate and use kegs?
Do you use a flow meter and make some mark at the 1/2 BBL point? And if so, do you have to recalibrate this mark every so often? Does the mark you make have to be within 0.5 percent, if that's even possible, or just the meter itself?
Do you have to use the flow meter every time you fill the kegs, or only to calibrate them?


04-26-2017, 11:59 AM
For filling kegs, why not just use the weight? You have to correct for the specific gravity of the beer you're filling the keg with. Multiply the final gravity by the weight/gallon of water. Example:

light beer with a FG of 1.008: 8.345 x 1.008 = 8.422 lb/gallon => A keg with a net weight (total - tare) of 131.5 lb is 131.5 / 8.422 = 15.614 gallons

really big beer with a FG of 1.030: 8.345 x 1.030 = 8.595 lb/gallon => A keg with a net weight (total - tare) of 131.5 lb is 131.5 / 8.595 = 15.300 gallons

If you permanently mark the tare weight on each keg, you can use the marked value, rather than weighing and recording it. But weighing it empty should give you a good idea of whether the scale has drifted, or the keg is not completely empty.

Mike Sharp

04-27-2017, 12:51 PM
That's an excellent idea, I wonder if it it'll fly with the TTB.

Thanks Mike

04-27-2017, 02:15 PM
That's an excellent idea, I wonder if it it'll fly with the TTB.

Thanks Mike

I'm not an expert in their rules, but it seems like any method with sufficient accuracy should be acceptable. Not everyone uses a flow meter. It's pretty easy to get within 1/2 of one percent with weight. 130 lbs +/- .5 lbs is about 0.4 % and a commercial scale (like the Uline platform scale, for example) is much better...something like 150 lb x .01 lb.


04-27-2017, 02:24 PM
We weigh our kegs as described above. We figured out pretty quick that our GW Kent Keg filler over fills the kegs so we stopped weighing each one and only weigh the final keg if it's a partial fill.
We "lose" a little bit of beer with each over fill, but it is worth the savings on the back lifting off the scale onto the dolly.

04-28-2017, 12:39 PM
I just fill mine. But I use 1/6bbl. When I take one out of the cold room and transfer it to the taproom I tax it out, real simple. $1.167 in tax for each one.

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