Our Resident Draft Expert and His Babies
New kegerator or craft keg for the holidays?
Follow these tips from our resident draft beer and equipment guru Ben Reicher for keeping your beer on point during this holiday season.
When you are bringing home a tasty Cavalier keg for the holidays, remember to allow your keg time to settle before tapping and serving. Allowing up to 6-8
hours for a keg to settle, and to reach optimal temperature within the kegerator is key. This is always an essential for hosting a party with draft beer!
98% of all issues (especially foaming) arise from temp and pressure!
- Kegerator should be set to 34-40 degrees.
- For your kegerators at home (also known as direct-draw systems), generally the optimal PSI for your regulator is 8–12 PSI. These numbers will vary
slightly depending on certain factors:
- How big, as well as long your lines are. Lines should be roughly 5-8 feet in length (3/16 ID serving line);
- What style beer you are serving;
- **If serving a Nitro Beer, set the PSI on the nitro regulator slightly higher – generally in the 25-30 PSI range**
- Assuming one does not have their own gas blender at home, nitro beers require a nitro tank (75/25 called a “Guinness Blend”) with a nitro regulator, and nitro faucet, as opposed to the CO2 tank, CO2 regulator and standard beer faucet;
- Remember to always ask the brewery/distributor which coupler you will need for your tasty holiday keg. More than likely, you’ll be using an American Sanke, but there are also Euro Sankes, Euro Sliders, as well as a variety of other specialty couplers for various other kegs. These couplers are not interchangeable!
- Freshness is always a key! Once you’ve tapped a keg, a general rule of thumb is to make sure it is depleted within the 30-45 day marker.
- When opening the faucet to pour a tasty beverage, make sure you implement the “hard open” technique. Take the base of the tap handle (end closest to the faucet), and pull it all the way open. If you only open a faucet half way, this can result in foaming.
- When a keg is depleted, properly clean the lines with beer line cleaner, and flush the cleaned lines with water – prior to tapping another keg.
- Beer line solutions/cleaners are no joke, and if improperly handled, can cause severe damage to your skin, eyes, etc. Wear proper cleaning attire when flushing your lines (smock, gloves, protective eye-wear), and always let those around you that you are in fact cleaning the line(s). Place a sign over the faucet that says something like, “do not drink – TOXIC!” to ensure no one consumes the cleaning solution.
- There are many great resources that can assist and further your knowledge about cleaning and maintenance. Call Cavalier with any questions, or you can visit the following resources online: