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July 6, 2021

How To Tap A Keg of Beer The Correct Way

Whether you're a beer aficionado or just enjoy the occasional brew, knowing how to tap a keg is fun. With a few simple techniques, this process can be done by anyone in a few steps. And don't worry if you mess up - the only consequence is a beer shower!

We'll walk through how to tap a keg of craft beer, setup and instructions so that any beginner can do it like a pro.

Make Sure You're Using the Right Coupler 

Before tapping a keg make sure you have the right keg coupler to tap the entire keg. Check the keg valve and the two coupler lugs. More than likely you will because the distributor supplies retailers with the right coupler for the keg they are pouring. If you are using a party pump coupler.

You'll need to tap the keg. Give a few pumps. At first it will be foamy beer because of the warm tubing, and it's your first pint. As you pour more beer it will turn to a perfect pour.

These provided by the distributor as well. Here's an overview from Micro Matic about different types of couplers

In this example, we will be using a D-system coupler. Which is the most common type of coupler in the United States. Here's a picture of some other styles of couplers and kegs below.

Picture of an all stainless keg coupler

Stainless Steel D-System Coupler From Micro Matic. This is the best coupler in my opinion. All 304 Stainless Steel. Brewery Grade.

Picture of different Keg Couplers

Be Sure the Keg is at a temperature of 38 degrees

Before you tap the keg you want to make sure your keg or beer is at the right temperature for dispensing. We want to dispense cold beer through the tap and beer line. If the beer or keg is warm. When you tap the keg you will pour foamy beer. The ideal temp is 38 degrees. We need to keep the keg cold. Typically it's nice to let a keg rest in a beer cooler for 24 hrs before tapping it. So that it's at temperature and we won't pour warm beer.

Make Sure Your C02 is Turned On Before You Tap The Keg

Before tapping your beer tap system.  Make sure that your C02 is turned on and working. Bleed the air inside of your jumper line by engaging the coupler in the air. This will push any air out of your beer line and make sure it's only c02 before you tap your keg. The last thing you want to do is push air into a keg of beer.  Depending on the type of beer system you have you will also be able to check the pressure and make sure it's set correctly, by bleeding c02 out of your coupler.

Tap Your Keg

  •  Make sure that your keg coupler handle is lifted all the way in the up position

  •  Look for notches on the keg of beer and beer coupler. Line these up and turn the keg coupler clockwise until the coupler stops turning. With the metal ring attached. Make sure the coupler is flat and seated correctly.

  •  Pull back the lever and push down simultaneously until you feel and hear the coupler click and lock in place. With the gas turned on. You are ready to start pouring.

 Here's a a little video I put together a while back going over the steps above. It's part of a video I made talking about the D-system coupler and tapped kegs.

 If you haven't done those steps correctly you'll know because you will get sprayed with beer. Don't worry all you got to do is reverse that order, follow those instructions and try again for a proper way to tap a keg.

 If you haven't done those steps correctly you'll know because you will get sprayed with beer. Don't worry all you got to do is reverse that order, follow those instructions and try again for a proper way to tap a keg.

Summary

Now you know  how to properly tap a keg. Following these steps closely will add to your experience and make sure that the keg of beer you tap. Will be ready to pour on temperature so you can enjoy a delicious adult beverage.

If you have any further questions about How to Tap A Keg. You can contact me by leaving a message. I also encourage you to browse other topics related to draft beer dispensing at my blog. And check out draft tech recommend products for beer dispensing.

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About the author

I've been a draft beer technician for over 10 years  building, designing, and installing large commercial beer systems. Through the years I've worked on breweries, tap houses, casinos and stadiums around the country.

I enjoy sharing my passion for draft beer dispensing by talking about it, recommending dispensing equipment I've used in commercial installs, or private settings. 

Cheers!

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