When to Tap Keg Beer

When to Tap Keg Beer?

Although this is a fairly simple question to answer, everyone’s situation will vary. The general rule is to wait between 2-4 hours to tap a keg of beer after it arrives at its final destination. There are two main reasons for this: temperature change and agitation. When the keg beer leaves the location where it is stored, it is forced to leave its nice cool refrigerator, where it was sitting comfortably, and ride home in your warm and bouncy vehicle. Now, nobody likes to drive around in a stuffy, bouncy vehicle, but beer hates it even more. The perfect condition for beer is a cool, constant temperature and a stable location.

Why does the temperature variation matter?

Temperature is an important part of knowing When to Tap Keg Beer beer because it allows the beer to maintain its proper carbonation level when served. If beer is too warm, carbonation will be released from the beer as it sits in the keg and you will get a large amount of foam when serving your beer. The foam is due to the fact that the pressure being applied to the beer is not high enough to keep the carbonation in the beer.

If the beer is not to be served in a refrigerator, then make sure the keg has plenty of ice stacked on and around it. An insulation blanket is also recommended to keep the temperature cool and constant. If it is served from a refrigerator, make sure that nothing else is stored in the same fridge. This will reduce the number of times the fridge is needlessly opened and keeps the beer cold. Also, a Temperature Controller is a very good idea. It ensures that the beer stays at the correct temperature and that the refrigerator doesn’t work too hard to maintain that temperature. You want to keep the beer at around 38° F for serving and storing.

Why does moving the keg matter?

Everyone knows that if you shake up a can of soda, you shouldn’t open it right away. You need to give it time to settle.  This is the same reason why you don’t want to shake a bottle or keg of beer. The act of shaking creates extra bubbles in your beer.  Shaking can have a big effect on When to Tap Keg Beer. These bubbles are created because of the pressure difference in the container caused by the act of shaking. The shaking creates little whirlpools in the beer. The pressure at the center of this whirlpool is less than the surrounding pressure, creating bubbles.

As beer is served, the pressure inside the keg drops and creates a pressure difference. Now, the pressure in the tiny bubbles is around twice the pressure of the liquid beer. This pressure difference causes the bubbles to expand rapidly, creating excess foam to flow from your new keg of beer.

Parts Needed to Tap a Keg for a party

Coupler to tap the keg – either a Party Pump or a CO2 party dispenser
If CO2 party dispenser is used, then you will need a CO2 tank
Bucket to fill with ice to keep keg cold is highly recommended
Or a Jacket to insulate the keg from the weather

Quick Recap

Although not everyone cares about the “science” behind When to Tap Keg Beer or the exact reasons why temperature and shaking affect the beer; it seemed like a good idea to explain it to those who do care. If you take nothing else from this, just remember to keep your keg beer cold and still. The beer will be happy and so will you.



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