What is keg tapping? Keg tapping is really just short for beer keg tapping, or beer tapping for short. Some even call it tapping beer.
Keg tapping is simply the tap-controlled process of pouring beer from a keg. A tap is a valve-and-spout that regulates the delivery of a fluid through a pipe. Saying “simply”, though, is somewhat an overstatement.
It is not that hard to pour beer from a keg. How to do it properly, however, is another matter.
Different Taps for Different Folks
Join a party! Share the fun by bringing beer everyone can enjoy. These are the essentials for keg tapping: a keg of beer, a tap system, and ice. Bring those and be the life of the party.
Do take note that different kegs require different taps. Make sure to check the tap system of the bought keg. It may be any of these Keg Valve Types:
- American Sankey “D” – used by all major American breweries
- European Sankey “S” – used by many European breweries
- (English manufacturer) UEC “U” – used by some European breweries
- (English manufacturer) Grundy “G” – used by some European breweries
- German Slider “A” – used by many German breweries
- German Slider “M” – used by some European breweries
The “M” type is a bit new in the American market. It is actually the “D” type that has been dominating that market, used for the majority of domestic beer kegs. Still, it is important to let the vendor confirm the valve type of the keg being bought.
Follow these steps and tips for some sure-win keg tapping:
Step 1: Ice, Baby
Too many times, a lot of foam comes out of the spout, which would be great if a person somehow loves foam. But no real beer enthusiast does. The foam should be as few as possible. Too much means the beer is warm.
The ideal temperature varies because beer kinds vary. All should be one in saying, though, that they want a cold beer. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the buyer to make sure they get it.
How to do this properly? Chill the entire keg before doing any tapping.
- Line the bucket with a plastic garbage bag.
- Add a thin layer of ice to the bottom of the bag.
- Drop in the keg on top of the ice.
- Pack more ice in the garbage bag. Place ice around the keg’s perimeter.
- Continue packing more ice, but pull up the bag up and around the keg. Get help for this, if necessary.
- Once the top of the keg is covered with ice, secure the bag.
- Let the keg cool down for four to five hours. (Of course, plan all of these hours ahead of party time.)
- Don’t forget to check temperature periodically. Add ice when necessary.
As add-on chore, ice the tap also. This is to avoid contact between cold beer and a warm tubing because that results in carbonation loss that results in foam. Leave the tap on ice for, at least, an hour before tapping.
Step 2: Tap That
It’s tapping time!
Remember, the mention of keg valve types? This is now where they come in. The buyer must, by now, know the valve type of the bought keg. It’s because somehow, while they’re all meant to serve the same purpose, they each still work differently from the others. Make sure to learn what to do exactly for a specific valve type.
The US does normally use the “D”, “S”, and “U” systems.
“To tap a keg with the American D, European S, or U systems, remove the plastic or cardboard cap from the top of the keg. Ensure the lever on the pump is pulled up, then seat the pump into the opening on the keg valve. Push the tap system down on the keg valve, then twist the tap clockwise about 90 degrees. Pull the pump lever out and push it down to engage the tap. If you see bubbles or foam escaping around the tap, disengage the pump and reseat it.” (wikiHow)
Most handles are the push-down kind, others have dual-flanges. The important thing is to not keep them in the engaged position. Not unless anyone is looking for some beer-spraying fun. That would be a waste of good beer, wouldn’t it?
Now the pump, they are to be placed on top of the keg. Avoid pushing down on the ball valve or be beer-sprayed, too. Lock the pump onto the keg, engage the tap, then push down or twist the flanges. A pump is not seated correctly if there are bubbles or foam around the tap. Detach the pump then put it back, taking care to do it correctly this time.
Step 3: The Art of Pouring Beer
Pour properly by basing on these facts:
- The first glass of poured beer will be foamy. And so, get a spare glass and aim the first pour there until the actual beer starts to flow. Do not waste that beer so start pouring in the next glass.
- No need to pump immediately after the first pour so as not to add pressure to the keg.
- Aim for no-foam pouring. Do not pour too fast or too slow. Regulate the speed through the pumping. Each beer pint with little foam takes 10 to 15 seconds.
- The keg is still under pressure during the first pints. Slow down beer flow. Elevate the tap and glass above the head. Then pump more to speed up the flow.
- Pull the attached metal ring if a tap has a small pressure release valve to open it.
Do these and be the Keg Master. Better yet, be the party host as well! This time, a simple keg may not be suitable for a Keg Master. Get a kegerator instead. More beer, more fun! Not to mention, less hassle while the party is going on. The kegerator just stays in one place and no one needs to keep holding it. Just tap and out goes the beer.
But what would be the perfect kegerator? A little research will definitely help. Keg Fridge will surely be able to assist and add much-needed information. They have a variety of quality kegerators that past clients continue to enjoy. Check them out at KegFridge.com
If there’s a plan for another party, contact KegFridge Kegerators as soon as possible. They will gladly accommodate you.