Of course, changing the beer keg is also part of operating a beer dispenser. In the following, we will explain what you need to consider when changing the beer keg of your dispensing system.
Changing the Beer Keg - The Most Important Steps at a Glance
- Beer kegs are usually reusable KEGs in which beer can be stored and transported germ-free.
- After transport, beer kegs should rest and be pre-cooled before being connected to the dispensing system.
- To remove the empty beer keg, the lever of the dispensing head must be pulled up and the dispensing head removed.
- To connect the new beer keg, the dispensing head must be attached to the KEG connection.
- Since there are different beer keg connections, make sure that the dispensing head fits the connection of the respective beer keg.
- The keg change should always be used to clean the dispensing system to ensure proper hygiene.
What is a KEG?
A KEG is a reusable keg used for storing beer and other beverages. KEGs are made of stainless steel and are partially covered with rubber.
KEGs usually have a capacity of 30 or 50 liters. However, smaller beer barrels are also available, with a volume of only 20 liters.
Regardless, the reusable kegs are equipped with a riser tube. This is important to allow for easy beer extraction, as the inside of the KEG is under pressure of around 2 bar.
Tap heads: what KEG connectors are there?
Naturally, it is necessary for the KEG to have a suitable connection. Therefore, the beer barrels are equipped with a special connection system, which allows them to be connected to the appropriate tap head on the tap system.
German breweries mainly use one of the following four connection systems:
- Type A: Flat tap head
- Type M: Combination tap head
- Type S: Basket tap head
- Type D: Draft tap head
Better not connect beer kegs directly
If you have acquired or had a new beer keg delivered, you should not connect it directly to your tap system. Instead, let the KEG stand for a while. This allows the carbonic acid in the beer to settle.
Do you need to pre-cool the beer keg?
In general, tap systems are so-called flow coolers. That means they have integrated cooling. Nevertheless, it makes sense for optimal tapping results to pre-cool the beer keg before connecting it.
How do you remove the empty beer keg?
Before the new beer keg can be connected, the empty KEG must of course be removed. For this purpose, first pull up the lever on the tap head to close the valve of the CO2 hose and the beer hose.
Now you can simply remove the tap head from the KEG. Please note that a little beer will escape from the removed tap head. Therefore, it is best to place it on a clean towel or similar while you remove the empty beer keg from the way.
How to connect the new beer keg?
After removing the old beer keg, you can connect the new KEG to your tap system. For this purpose, you first need to remove and set aside the protective cap from the keg connection.
It is very important that the tap and KEG connection on the keg are absolutely clean. Once ensured, you can attach the clean tap, which is equipped with the CO2 line and the beer line, to the keg connection of the beer keg.
Attaching the tap is done with a few simple steps. Depending on the type of tap, it must either be slid over the connection from the side or screwed in tightly. Afterwards, you just have to press down the Cleaning lever on the tap until it snaps into place.
This ensures that the keg is properly connected to the tap system and that the two valves of the CO2 and beer lines are open again.
Should you clean the tap system when changing the keg?
Hygiene is very important when tapping beer, both in private and commercial settings. Deposits in the beer lines of the tap system not only affect the taste, but also promote the growth of pathogens.
Therefore, you should use the change of the beer keg to clean your tap system. The cleaning of a tap system can be done chemically or mechanically. With some practice, it is usually not a problem and significantly contributes to flawless beer enjoyment.
Our conclusion on the subject of changing beer kegs
As you can see, changing the beer keg on a tapping system is really not a big problem. With a little practice, you can easily handle it yourself in your own party cellar, so there is no obstacle to enjoying a perfect beer with your guests.
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