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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Barrel Filling and Recording

We currently do all our measurements of alcohol by weight on calibrated scales and our proof measurements with our Anton Paar DMA.  This gives us an accurate measure of how much product we have in a specific tank for barreling.  When we barrel we weigh each barrel empty and then weigh it again when it is filled.  Based on the proof we calculate the proof gallons in each barrel.  As barrel volumes vary so does the amount that fills each barrel.  We record the specific number of PGs per barrel.

I know when visiting the very large distilleries that there is no way they are following such a procedure.  All barrels are marked RC-53 and then it is assumed that each barrel holds 53.00 wine gallons no matter how much the barrel holds.  I know some of the distilleries have calibrated flow meters on their barreling lines but is each barrel total specifically recorded.

We are at the point in our production growth where the weighing of each barrel twice (before and after the filling process) is burdensome and time consuming.  Given the number of barrels that we are now filling I must determine if this level of accuracy in barrel fills is required.  If not, then I would need to determine the most time and cost effectively approach to be compliant with TTB requirements.

Your thoughts are appreciated.  Have a great weekend.


I believe it is acceptable to do a beginning and ending gauge of the tank, and just divide the PGs evenly over the lot. (EG: 5000 pounds of liquid in the tank to start, filled 12 barrels, 200 pounds left, 400 pounds per barrel.) But I'm not 100% certain. 

We fill each barrel on a scale, and fill them all to the same weight. So some have more head space than others, but the liquid amount is the same.


§19.619 explicitly calls for a tare and gross weight when a package record is required. I could have sworn this was required for use in storage, but the only areas I see calling for it are when the packages are going to leave bond. Even the requirements for a transfer in bond don't require a more detailed gauge. I'd double check with a consultant before doing the less stringent thing, but the 8-ball looks promising.

I had figured the big boys just had a more automated way to weigh in bulk, but maybe they are just using accurate-but-not-approved flow meters and 'assuming' everything is equal.


easy enough to gauge a tank on a scale and once proof is determined measure the weight reduction as each barrel is filled to determine the exact gallonage put into each barrel