Kegs are a great option for providing beer to a lot of people—whether or not the beer is actually good is up to you.
The quality of the beer in the keg not only depends on which type of beer you purchase, but your methods for tapping a keg as well. Many of the inexperienced will bring a keg home, tap it, and simply hope for the best. However, tapping a keg takes a bit of skill if you are looking for a cup of beer low on foam and high on flavor.
Tapping a Keg: Finding the Right Equipment
Visit your local liquor store and ask for assistance in finding a tap that matches the keg that you would like to purchase. Domestic and imported beers use different taps, so it is important to make this distinction before tapping a keg. Be sure to bring something to strap the keg down in your vehicle to prevent it from rolling around on the drive home.
Tapping a Keg: Rest
Allow the keg to sit for a couple of hours once it has arrived at your home. Just as with a soda bottle, the keg that has rattled around will produce more carbonation and foam.
Place the keg in a bucket of ice for at least two hours to allow the beer to settle and become cold. Not only does no one want to drink warm beer, but it is also more likely to foam.
Tapping a Keg: Tapping
Putting the tap on the keg is simple, as long as you have the correct tap. Simply take the cap off the keg, turn the tap until it locks into place, and then push down on the lever until that locks as well. Whatever type of tap system you have for your particular keg, be sure everything is locked into place before pumping to prevent the beer from gushing out. If foam bubbles out from around the tap, take it off and try again.
Tapping a Keg: Pumping
Kegs can be both over-pumped and under-pumped. You will know if you haven’t pumped the keg enough because the beer will stream out too slowly. Avoid over-pumping as well, since this will cause an excess of foam. The keg only needs to be pumped when the stream begins to wane, not after each pour.
Tapping a Keg: Pouring
No matter how well you follow the above instructions, the first few beers that you pour will have a lot of foam (unless your keg has a pressure release button). It is a good idea to pour the first foamy beers until you can get a nice stream for your guests to utilize. The trick to getting a nice beer with little head is to tilt the cup and press the lever all the way down when pouring the beer.
Now that you know all of the steps for tapping a keg the right way, you are ready to purchase your first keg! Julio’s Liquors offers a wide variety of keg types from you to choose from. We have both macrobrews and microbrews that may be ordered in kegs. Visit our storefront on Route 9 in Westborough, MA and we would be happy to help you find the right equipment for tapping a keg!
Have you ever had trouble with getting a good pour out of a keg?