The full keg is the same as a half-barrel, and holds 15.5 gallons of beer and is 16.5-inches in diameter. Most keg racks can safely hold one half-barrel keg for every 18 inches of shelf space, so first decide how many kegs you'll need to hold and then multiply that number by 18. That will give you a pretty good idea of how long your new rack needs to be in inches. You can store double that number on a rack that's two levels high.
Aluminum is the most economical choice in construction materials. It's especially well-suited for moist environments like walk in coolers because it will not rust like steel. The tradeoff is that it doesn't offer the same weight capacity. A more durable keg rack is one made of steel and coated in chrome. These are rugged and can hold more weight, but after years of abuse the chrome coating can chip off and expose the steel underneath, allowing rust to form.
One or more specialty options might help you get the most out of your keg storage:
- Removable mats are made of rubber or plastic. These can help protect the surface of the rack, extending its useful life. They also make the racks much easier to keep clean. They can be removed periodically and hosed down or run through a dish machine.
- While two shelves high is the maximum for storing kegs, keg racks are available with third storage levels that can hold things like bottled beers and wine, helping you make the most of the available space.