How to Remove the Valve From a Beer Keg

Most of the stainless steel beer kegs currently in use in America are Sanke-style kegs. They are easily identified by the cylindrical, ball bearing-based valve sitting in the center of the keg's top. Removing this valve is a necessary step if you want to reuse the keg for home brewing or retrofit it for another purpose.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Rubber mallet


    • 1

      Probe around underneath the inside of the upper rim of the valve's collar for the retaining ring with a standard screwdriver. This is the metal tube that is part of the keg, sitting in the center of the keg top. The actual valve sits inside it. You will want to use a smaller screwdriver, so you can get it under the ring and pry with it.

    • 2

      Pry the retaining ring up, take hold of it with a pair of pliers and pull it out.

    • 3

      Identify the locking tabs, which should now be revealed. Take a rubber mallet and use firm taps on the screwdriver to force these locking tabs to turn into an aligned position with the slots on the collar. You are basically pounding the valve around inside the collar, and it will require some force because of the metal-on-metal resistance.

    • 4

      Pull out the valve. Once the tabs and slots are aligned, the valve should come right out.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before attempting to remove the tap, ensure the keg is completely depressurized, or serious injury can result.
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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

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