What's A Keg Coupler & What Are They For?
If you're new to draught beer dispense, then you may just be wondering what a keg coupler is and why you might need one. In a nutshell, a keg coupler is responsible for driving the beer from the keg, through to your tap. It does this by connecting to the keg and diverting gas onto the beer which pushes the beer out of the keg through the sphere.
Using The Right Keg Coupler
News to some, depending on which beer you are planning on drinking (if you have a home bar) or serving (if you own a bar) then different beer brands will have different keg couplers. Let's take a look at the types and which brands they fit:
A Type Coupler:
The keg connector for one of the most famous global beer brands Guinness. You'll also need this keg coupler type for other prestigious brands such as Camden Hells and Camden Pale Ale. The
A type coupler is connected by raising the handle fully of the connector ensuring the base is completely flat, then sliding the fitting directly over the keg sphere head and pushing down until you feel the click.
Used for dispensing products from eco-friendly kegs. Usually plastic keg, that can then be put out into recycling. The gas pushed in the keykeg is used to squeeze the beer out of the keg (which is usually bagged) which means the gas driven into the keg does not fuse into the product. The coupler can also be used to then release the air from the keg in order to dispose of it for recycling. Keykeg connectors are now getting very popular in the craft beer market as typically keg sizes are smaller and less concerned with volume than maybe the mainstream brands would prefer. You can connect this coupler to the key keg by raising the handle up and placing over the sphere head, there are 3 outter teeth that once turned clockwise or anticlockwise will slip over the keg head, you can then press down to connect.
One of the more popular couplers, the grundy is designed similarly to the keykeg coupler with the tri-lobe circular twist fitting to the keg. Many mainstream brands use this coupler such as Coors Light, Carling, Becks Vier, Magners, Budweiser and Bud Light to name a few.
Another one of the famous coupler designs is predominantly used in the UK. The Sankey connector is used for prestigious such as Peroni, Estrella, Heineken and Birra Moreti to name a few.
Minor Trouble Shooting
Gas leak from the gas inlet - Most common fault here is the gas pipe has split, most people try wrapping tape around this to reduce the leaking gas but this will be a futile attempt. Isolate the gas by turning off your gas from the secondary valve to the keg. If you have pipe cutters or even rose hedge pruners you can disconnect the pipe, cut back past the line split and reconnect to the coupler. Other minor faults here could be a loose fitting on the non-return valve that would just need tightening.
Beer leak from the product outlet - Pretty much the same as above, this usually occurs when a product line has snapped causing beer to leak. Disconnect the beer and cut the pipe back using pipe cutters, then reconnect the pipe.
Side Note* Both of the above issues can usually be avoided if the user isn't too forceful when changing, reconnecting and moving kegs - these are very likely user-generated faults.