Knowing how to hook up a keg to a kegerator is one essential skill every draught beer enthusiast should have.
Typically, home draft beer systems are not all that complicated, but there are a few things you need to be aware of to pour beer like a pro at home. We’ll cover it all in today’s Beverage Craft blog article.
Anatomy of a Kegerator
How to Connect Keg to Kegerator: Step by Step Guide
First things first, you need to know how to set up a keg in a kegerator. One common mistake people make is trying to tap a keg right away, the moment they receive it. However, best practice is patience – the keg should chill in the kegerator for at least 24 hours before being tapped.
Why is that? Well, the temperature causes 80% of draught foaming issues. When you try to tap your keg when it’s too warm, you are going to get a lot of foam and not a lot of beer.
When learning how to tap a keg in a kegerator, start with making sure the temperature inside the kegerator is between 36-40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The second most common mistake is getting the wrong keg coupler. Believe it or not, there are 6 different types of keg coupler, depending on the style of beer and/or brewery.
Usually, you will be dealing with a D-type coupler (also known as Sanke keg coupler), which is almost exclusively used by North American breweries.
Not sure which coupler you need for a particular style of beer? Be sure to check with this article first - everything you need to know about keg couplers and how to hook up a keg in a kegerator is here.
Once you’ve got the right keg coupler, all you have to do is the following:
- Open the CO2 tank and set the right pressure on the regulator (10 psi in most cases)
- Take the dust cap off the keg and connect the keg coupler: twist it clockwise until it’s locked
- Pull the handle out and push it down to secure the coupler
That’s it - you’re ready to pour fresh, cold beer! Now you know how to connect a keg to a kegerator and tap it.
How to Change a Keg in a Kegerator?
Now that we’ve got the tapping part figured out, there’s one more thing you need to know. Let’s say you finished your keg and now need to tap another - you need to change it. It’s time we found out how to change a keg in a kegerator - here’s what you need to do.
- Turn off the gas supply to the keg
- Lift the coupler handle and turn the coupler counterclockwise to unlock and remove it
- Inspect the coupler to make sure all the seals/washers are intact and in place
- Connect the coupler to the new keg and be sure to depress the coupler handle until it clicks into position
- Turn the gas supply back on
That’s it! You’re ready for another keg of fresh draft beer!
How to Hook Up a Corny Keg to a Kegerator?
Now that you know the basics, let’s go into some specifics and see how to connect a Corny keg to a kegerator. As you may know, 5-gallon Corny kegs are a highly popular type of kegs favoured by many homebrewers for their versatility and ease of use.
Unlike standard kegs that feature only one slot/opening for the keg coupler connection, Corny kegs have two posts: in/gas and out/liquid.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure the CO2 supply is turned off
- Place the gas disconnect (basically, the connecting device) on top of the gas post and push it down until it clicks
- Repeat step 1 with the liquid post (make sure the tap is closed)
- Push the pressure relief valve on top of the Corny keg to release the CO2
- Turn on the gas supply and set the right pressure on the regulator
That’s it - you’re ready to tap your Corny keg! Now you know how to hook up a Corny keg to a kegerator.
How to Tap a Sanke Keg in a Kegerator?
If you want to know how to properly tap a keg in a kegerator, then you might be pleased that tapping a Sanke keg is not all that much different from tapping a Corny keg. You will follow the same steps mentioned above, but it is even simpler since there are no gas/liquid posts and disconnects.
All you need to do is connect the coupler to the beer keg, turn on the CO2 supply, set the pressure, and start pouring. That’s how to tap a keg in a kegerator!
If you're dealing with both Sanke and Corny kegs, you might appreciate the adapters we have on the Beverage Craft website - they are good to use with both these types of kegs, which is a really convenient and cost-effective option.