The Firkin

This page has hierarchy - Child pages: The Firkin FAQ, The Firkin Checklist

What is a Firkin?

A firkin is a small cask (10.8 gallons) used for brewing cask-conditioned ale or what is sometimes called “real ale.” A smaller version of a firkin, known as a pin, holds 5.4 gallons. Most firkins are made of steel, but there are also wooden firkins that add the flavors of the wood to the brew as they age. These cask brews are served directly from the same container in which they were fermented.

This method of brewing is the way beer was made for thousands of years.

Cask ale (or real ale) is young beer that has been placed in small metal English casks called firkins. In the sealed firkin the beer undergoes a special conditioning process whereby the yeast produces carbonation and wonderful flavor components and then settles to the bottom of the cask. After a time, excess carbonation is vented and a serving tap is hammered into a spout on the cask. The beer is served without pasteurization or additions of artificial carbon dioxide or other gasses. This is soft, fresh, living beer the way it was meant to be served!

See a Pin/Firkin Assembly here : Pin/Firkin Assembly

If you’d like to sign up for the firkin: send the president an email

For a list of FAQs : go here

For the firkin checklist : go here

Beer Barrel Sizes

When is a beer barrel not a beer barrel? Well, actually there are a few types of beer barrels, and only one of them is referred to as an actual barrel! Each has its own name and holds different amounts of beer, ale or wine. The names for barrels were believed to have designated way back in 1454.

English Cask Units in Imperal Gallons

Tun 216 Imp Gal
Butt 108 Imp Gal
Hogshead 54 Imp Gal
Barrel 36 Imp Gal
Kinderkin 18 Imp Gal
Finkin 9 Imp Gal
Pin 4.5 Imp Gal
Gallon 282 cubic inches of beer


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