How to Change a Keg Without Getting Sprayed in the Process

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

A quick, reliable changeover of kegs is one of the most fundamental bartending skills. In this article we’ll walk you through how to change a keg without getting sprayed in the process.

Start by making sure you have the correct keg coupler. Most commonly used kegs in the United States are fitted with a coupler that fits a US Sankey, although bars serving European beer may need different couplers. Most breweries and distributors will list the type of coupler they use on their website or with their customer service representatives.

Next, turn off the gas supply. There may be a shut-off valve directly at the gas tank, or in larger systems there will be an individual regulator for each tap output. You should also turn off the keg tap’s beer line by loosening the hex nuts on the tap’s shank collar (or a coupler if you’re using one).

Once you’ve turned off the gas and disconnected the lines, it’s time to remove the old keg. Before you do, it’s a good idea to cool down the tap. If you don’t, the amount of carbonation the beer holds will decrease as it gets warmer, guaranteeing an avalanche of foam when you open the tap. You can cool the tap by placing it on a bucket of ice. Once it’s cooled, you can open the tap and begin transferring beer. When you’re finished, close the tap and clean the coupler and keg dispensing hose.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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