We recommend buying a keg of beer for larger gatherings. You’ll spend less money on beer and a keg is easier to clean up after than all the empty bottles and cans of beer. However, a keg can be a waste of money if you tap it poorly. You can use the Kegerator Beer Calculator to determine what size keg you will need for your party.
Let’s explain the perfect way to get ready to tap a keg so it serves delicious cold beer for all of your guests:
#1. COOL THE KEG
The number on reason a keg produces too much foam is if the keg and beer are not cold enough. You want to chill the keg for 4-5 hours before your guests arrive.
We recommend you place a garbage bag in the bottom of the keg bucket and then fill the bottom of the bag with ice. Then place the keg inside of the bag on top of the ice and start to fill the bag with ice. Place the tap in the ice too. A warm tap will also produce foam.
This surrounds the entire keg in ice, not just the bottom of the keg. Once the garbage bag is 75% full of ice, tie it closed around the top of the keg and lit it sit for 4-5 hours.
#2. TAP THE KEG
Screw the pump and handle into the top of the keg. Be sure the seal is 100% tight and that the handle is not engaged. If the handle is engaged, beer and foam will spew out of the keg immediately. Monitor for foam or beer around the edges of the seal. If there is foam, the pump is not 100% sealed onto the keg.
The first beer you pour from the keg will be foamy. There is no avoiding it. But if you follow the steps above the foam should be minimal. You also do not need to pump to pour the first couple of beers as there is a lot of pressure sealed inside the keg upon delivery.
Each pour should need 10-15 seconds for the perfect amount of foam and flavor. We provide in-depth detail in this post on how to pour a beer. The techniques apply to pouring from bottles, cans, beer taps and kegs.
You and your guests can now enjoy your keg of beer. You can roll the garbage bag down the keg and just fill the bucket with ice periodically throughout the party to ensure the beer stays cold. Remember to let the tap float in the ice and water so it remains cool too.