Keg – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Beer Serving Glossary

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What is a keg?

A keg is a container used to store and transport beverages, typically beer. It is commonly made of stainless steel or aluminum and is designed to keep the contents fresh and carbonated. Kegs come in various sizes and shapes, depending on the type of beverage they are intended to hold. They are commonly used in bars, restaurants, and at events where large quantities of beer need to be served.

How is a keg used in beer serving?

Kegs are an essential part of the beer serving process in bars and restaurants. They are connected to a draft system, which allows the beer to be dispensed through a tap. The keg is typically stored in a cooler or kegerator to keep it at the optimal temperature and pressure. When a customer orders a beer, the bartender will use the tap to pour the beer directly from the keg into a glass.

What are the different types of kegs?

There are several different types of kegs used for storing and serving beer. The most common types include:

1. Standard Keg: Also known as a half-barrel keg, this is the most common type of keg used in bars and restaurants. It holds approximately 15.5 gallons of beer and is typically made of stainless steel.

2. Quarter Keg: Also known as a pony keg, this smaller keg holds approximately 7.75 gallons of beer. It is often used for smaller events or parties.

3. Sixth Barrel Keg: This keg holds approximately 5.16 gallons of beer and is commonly used for specialty or craft beers.

4. Cornelius Keg: Also known as a soda keg, this smaller keg is often used by homebrewers. It holds approximately 5 gallons of beer and is easier to transport and store.

How is a keg tapped?

Tapping a keg is a simple process that involves connecting a tap to the keg’s valve to dispense the beer. Here are the basic steps to tap a keg:

1. Make sure the keg is properly chilled and positioned upright.
2. Remove the cap or bung from the top of the keg.
3. Attach the tap to the keg’s valve by twisting it into place.
4. Open the tap and pour a small amount of beer to clear any air from the lines.
5. Serve the beer by pulling the tap handle and filling a glass.

It is important to handle the keg carefully to avoid any spills or contamination of the beer.

What are some common keg sizes?

Kegs come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different serving needs. Some common keg sizes include:

1. Mini Keg: Holds approximately 1.32 gallons of beer, equivalent to about 14 12-ounce cans.
2. Quarter Keg: Holds approximately 7.75 gallons of beer, equivalent to about 82 12-ounce cans.
3. Half Barrel Keg: Holds approximately 15.5 gallons of beer, equivalent to about 165 12-ounce cans.
4. Sixth Barrel Keg: Holds approximately 5.16 gallons of beer, equivalent to about 55 12-ounce cans.

The size of the keg will depend on the amount of beer needed for the event or establishment.

How should a keg be stored and handled?

Proper storage and handling of a keg are essential to maintaining the quality of the beer. Here are some tips for storing and handling a keg:

1. Store the keg upright in a cool, dark place to maintain the freshness of the beer.
2. Keep the keg at the recommended temperature, typically between 36-38 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Handle the keg with care to avoid shaking or dropping it, which can disturb the carbonation.
4. When transporting the keg, use a dolly or cart to prevent any damage to the keg or injury to yourself.
5. Clean the tap and lines regularly to prevent any contamination of the beer.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that the beer in the keg remains fresh and delicious for serving to your customers or guests.