How to Depressurize a Beer Keg

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One way to depressurize a keg.
One way to depressurize a keg. (Image: Sean Murphy/Lifesize/Getty Images)

A beer keg is a large pressurized steel container for holding beer. Many home brewers purchase used kegs to put their own brew into, saving them the trouble of washing and sterilizing bottles every time they wish to brew some beer. If you have purchased a used keg, the first thing you will want to do before washing and sterilizing the keg is to depressurize it. Depressurizing a keg is quite simple, it is the same process as tapping a fresh keg.

Things You'll Need

  • Beer keg
  • Keg tap

Check to ensure that you have the right tap for your keg. If you are unsure, ask what tap the keg takes while purchasing it, or call on an experienced home brewer friend to come over and have a look.

Press the end of the tap into the round opening located on top of the keg. Line up the notches that are on the keg opening with those on the tap.

Turn the tap clockwise until you feel it lock into position.

Push down the lever on the tap.

Hold down the small lever on the nozzle exactly as if you were filling a beer. Do this until no air comes out, this indicates that the tank is now depressurized.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you simply want to depressurize a keg for drinking, follow the instructions above, but stop once beer starts to come out. After this pump the keg until beer comes out the nozzle at the desired pressure.
  • Do not push down the lever until the tap is locked into place.

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