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jffcldwll

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I recently went to Köln, and I really liked the small kegs they use to serve Kölsch. The pittermännchen (sometimes called party kegs, party Fass, party barrels, Kölsch Fass, etc) typically come in 10-30 liter sizes. I would really like to have a 10L one, but they're extremely difficult to find. Does anyone have one of these kegs and/or know where you might be able to get one? Thanks!
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Prolly easier to find a 2/3 gallon corny keg but, I do know that Warsteiner does offer their dunkel in these small kegs in the states. IIRC, they are only 5L. Several homebrew store in teh states offer wooden 3 gal beer kegs if that is what you are after.
 
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jffcldwll

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Prolly easier to find a 2/3 gallon corny keg but, I do know that Warsteiner does offer their dunkel in these small kegs in the states. IIRC, they are only 5L. Several homebrew store in teh states offer wooden 3 gal beer kegs if that is what you are after.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have a bunch of corny kegs and 5L mini kegs, which is what I'm using at the moment. I'm mostly just looking for the experience of serving Kölsch the way they do in Germany (the look of the keg and the tapping of the keg), so unfortunately, the corny kegs and mini kegs won't do the trick. I'm not familiar with the wooden beer kegs you are referring to, but I'm assuming their ability to be sanitized and reused would be limited (correct me if I'm wrong). The closest substitute would probably be a pin cask, as this is also a tapped keg with a breather vent like a pittermännchen, but I'm just going to end up with a lot of stale beer that way. At least the pittermännchen is only 10L, which is doable for a few friends in a night.
 

cyberbackpacker

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The most likely reality is that your best bet, for a 10l size, would have been to buy one when in Koln; finding these stateside is going to be dependent on someone else having done the same.

Your other alternative is hoping to find an international ebay seller who has one and is willing to ship to the USA.

On top of this, the tapping hole on the older variety of these kegs require special "plugs" which are a one-time use item and only available to the USA from a few retailers. Additionally you will need a specialty tool to install the plug; you will need to again get lucky on a foreign ebay seller shipping to you to get one at a fair price, shell out huge money to the one vendor who sells them, or fabricate something of your own.

This style of keg is also referred to a bayrischer anstich or bayrischen anstich.

Needless to say I have done lots of research into this style of serving from a keg myself, and even tried to acquire some kegs from from Germany only to have something (different things on multiple occassions) occur that prevented them from reaching me stateside.

So I salute the idea, but at least in my experience, it may be prove to be extremely difficult to execute (and cost a fair investment most likely too).

That said, if you find a good source for the 10l size (or heck even the 20l size) please do share!

:mug:
 
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jffcldwll

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The most likely reality is that your best bet, for a 10l size, would have been to buy one when in Koln; finding these stateside is going to be dependent on someone else having done the same.

Your other alternative is hoping to find an international ebay seller who has one and is willing to ship to the USA.

On top of this, the tapping hole on the older variety of these kegs require special "plugs" which are a one-time use item and only available to the USA from a few retailers. Additionally you will need a specialty tool to install the plug; you will need to again get lucky on a foreign ebay seller shipping to you to get one at a fair price, shell out huge money to the one vendor who sells them, or fabricate something of your own.

This style of keg is also referred to a bayrischer anstich or bayrischen anstich.

Needless to say I have done lots of research into this style of serving from a keg myself, and even tried to acquire some kegs from from Germany only to have something (different things on multiple occassions) occur that prevented them from reaching me stateside.

So I salute the idea, but at least in my experience, it may be prove to be extremely difficult to execute (and cost a fair investment most likely too).

That said, if you find a good source for the 10l size (or heck even the 20l size) please do share!

:mug:

Yea, you're right that I should have bought one when I was there. You can get a full 10L of Kölsch for €50 (including the keg deposit).

I thought about trying to get someone in Germany to send an empty one here, but I have a feeling that the hassle and cost will be prohibitive. I thought you could have a reusable plug (and/or the brass style tap didn't need one of those throw away plugs), but I could be wrong.

I hadn't come across the bayrischer anstich name before, but I'll use that to aid my search, thanks.

I do have a source for the kegs in the US. Schäfer containers has a US location, but they quoted me at $212 for a 10L. I've seen places selling 40L Firkins for $108, so I couldn't justify the price. I don't know who's buying 10L pittermännchens for $212, but it seems crazy. Another place, BLEFA, quoted me at $285 for the 10L and $375 for the 20L. Ridiculous.

My next tactic, which I'm doing now, is to contact importers/distributors who bring in Kölsch and see if they'd be willing/able to get a pittermännchen for me. Other than paying hundreds for a tiny keg, I may have to wait until my next trip to Germany.
 

Jayjay1976

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Paying the Pfand doesn't entitle you to either keep the keg or sell it to someone else. I would imagine it is illegal to sell them on Ebay at all, much less ship them internationally. Just like in the US, regardless of whether or not one pays a deposit, kegs remains the legal property of the brewery.

I've been searching for years to locate a source for German bierkasten, particularly the Paulaner splitting crates which are super cool, but they're simply impossible to get hold of outside Germany. Unless anyone knows otherwise??
 
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jffcldwll

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Paying the Pfand doesn't entitle you to either keep the keg or sell it to someone else. I would imagine it is illegal to sell them on Ebay at all, much less ship them internationally. Just like in the US, regardless of whether or not one pays a deposit, kegs remains the legal property of the brewery.

I've been searching for years to locate a source for German bierkasten, particularly the Paulaner splitting crates which are super cool, but they're simply impossible to get hold of outside Germany. Unless anyone knows otherwise??
True, the Pfand doesn't entitle you to the keg. Most people have no use for them once they drink the beer, so the Pfand would just be a motive for the drinker to return the keg so they could get their deposit back. I also imagine that it makes up for the cost of replacing the lost, damaged, or unreturned kegs. Not that it's the right thing to do, but you could keep the keg if you wanted to. Of course, I'd be happy to buy a keg, but not for $200+. Schäfer makes kegs, so you'd be buying a new keg that isn't related to a brewery. The price point just doesn't make sense when a 5L keg is $15 and 40L keg is just over $100.

Every bottle shop in Germany has bierkasten, but I've never seen them outside of that. Unlike the kegs I'm looking for, Amazon does sell bierkasten. You'd just have to see if it can be shipped to you:

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01N9REPA8/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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cyberbackpacker

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I didn't mention Schafer originally because buying new from the new manufacturer was an option I never considered specifically because of the crazy price. My thoughts above were on how to try and do it most economically.

The price you were quoted by Schafer is what one of these new cost--- so the minimal cost of the Pfand does not directly equate to their replacement value. The high price is also because you are buying in such small quantities and these are specialist kegs/casks made in Germany not outsourced to China.

That said, some of the older kegs I have found for sale were decommissioned, and those required the plugs and install tool. It looks like the newer variety "Party Keg" you experienced do not use these plugs best I can tell-- I've never seen one of these in person though.

That said I have about a dozen of Schafer's normal sanke D fitting 10l kegs, and I do love having them, that is for sure! I also have a dozen bierkasten that hold 10l each of which I love using. The only thing I am missing is a few kegs of this variety!

Again, good luck, and share if you get any good news.

:mug:
 
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