How To Tap A Keg

Kegs are a popular way to serve beer for events or parties, as they can hold a large volume of beer and keep it fresh for an extended period of time. However, tapping a keg can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. 

In this article, we will go through the steps of how to tap a keg, from setting up the equipment to pouring the perfect pint. 

How To Tap A Keg

Whether you’re a first-time keg tapper or just need a refresher, this guide will help you confidently tap a keg and serve up some cold, refreshing beer for your next gathering! Let’s get started. 

What Is A Keg?

A keg is a container, typically made of metal, that is used to store and dispense beer. Kegs come in a variety of sizes, but the most common size for a commercial keg is a half-barrel. A half barrel can hold approximately 15.5 gallons (58.7 liters) of beer. 

Kegs are pressurized with carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, which forces the beer out of the keg and through a tap or faucet. 

Kegs are a popular choice for serving beer at events or parties, as they can hold a large volume of beer and keep it fresh for an extended period.

What Does It Mean To Tap A Keg?

To “tap a keg” means to install a tap or faucet into the keg so that the beer inside can be dispensed. This is typically done by connecting a hose from the tap to the keg’s valve, which releases the pressurized beer when opened. 

Tapping a keg can be done with a variety of tools and equipment, depending on the type of keg and tap system being used. 

Once the keg is tapped, beer can be poured through the tap and served to guests.

Tapping Your Keg: A Step-By-Step Guide

Now that we have a thorough understanding of what a keg is and what it means to tap one, let’s go through a step-by-step guide on how to tap your own keg!

Step One: Chill The Keg

Make sure the keg is chilled to the appropriate temperature. Most beers should be served between 38 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 7 degrees Celsius).

Step Two: Gather Your Equipment

You will need a keg tap (also called a coupler), a wrench to tighten the tap onto the keg, and a beer line with a faucet or tap handle.

Step Three: Remove The Protective Cover

Most kegs will have a protective cover or cap that needs to be removed before tapping. Remove this carefully, being sure not to damage the valve or tap.

Step Four: Attach The Tap

Attach the tap to the keg by inserting the tube of the tap into the keg’s valve and turning it clockwise until it locks into place. Use the wrench to tighten the tap onto the keg.

Step Five: Connect The Beer Line

Connect the beer line to the tap by sliding it onto the nozzle of the tap and securing it in place with a clamp.

Step Six: Release The Pressure 

Before opening the tap, you need to release the pressure in the keg. Do this by pulling the pressure relief valve on the tap until you hear a hiss of escaping gas.

Step Seven: Open The Tap

Once the pressure is released, you can open the tap by pulling the handle or lever. Beer should start flowing immediately

Step Eight: Pour And Enjoy!

Adjust the flow of the beer by turning the tap handle, and serve the beer into cups or glasses. Remember to pour slowly and at an angle to reduce foaming.

That’s it! With these steps, you should be able to successfully tap a keg and enjoy a cold, refreshing beer.

How To Tap A Keg

Helpful Tips To Remember When Tapping A Keg

You now have some handy step-by-step instructions to help you out when it comes to tapping your keg, but there are some useful points to keep in mind when you are doing so. Let’s take a look at these points in a bit more detail.

Choose The Right Tap

There are different types of taps for different types of kegs. Make sure you have the correct tap for the type of keg you are tapping.

Don’t Forget To Chill Your Keg!

It is important to remember that first step that we mentioned above, that being chilling the keg to the appropriate temperature before tapping. If the keg is too warm, the beer may be foamy or not pour correctly.

Release The Pressure Slowly

When releasing the pressure in the keg, do it slowly to avoid spraying beer or foam everywhere.

Pour At An Angle

When pouring the beer, hold the cup or glass at an angle to reduce foam and achieve a proper pour.

Avoid Shaking The Keg

Shaking the keg can cause the beer to become foamy and can also damage the keg or tap, so avoid it at all costs. 

Keep The Tap Clean

Make sure the tap and beer line are clean and free of debris to avoid contamination of the beer.

By following these tips, you can ensure a successful keg-tapping experience and enjoy some delicious beer with friends and family!

Final Thoughts

Tapping a keg can seem intimidating, but with the right tools and knowledge, it’s actually quite simple. 

By following the steps outlined in this article and remembering the helpful tips, you can tap a keg with confidence and enjoy some tasty beer. 

Remember to choose the right tap, chill the keg to the appropriate temperature, release the pressure slowly, pour at an angle, avoid shaking the keg, and keep the tap clean. 

Cheers to a successful keg tapping!

Rees Vaughn
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