This guide explains how to change a beer keg correctly, specifically a Sankey type of keg, also known as s-type. We use the Sankey type for all of our returnable kegs at Pillars Brewery and many other breweries use the same type with their steel kegs. 

Is your keg a Sankey?

Check for an S shape marking at the bottom on the keg connector. The two visible notches need to line up with the coupler on the keg. 

How to connect the keg:

  • Step One: Line up the coupler
  • Step Two: Rotate 90 degrees in a clockwise direction
  • Step Three: Squeeze the handle and push down until it clicks

You only need to squeeze the handle initially to free the mechanism and give you the ability to close or open the handle. If you continue to squeeze the handle whilst attempting to attach the keg then it won’t lock on. 

To take off a keg coupler you can follow the previous steps in reverse.

How to disconnect the keg:

  • Step One- Squeeze the handle and lift up
  • Step Two- Rotate 90 degrees in an anti-clockwise direction
  • Step Three- Lift coupler handle off of the keg

The coupler should always be disengaged before trying to connect, if not then beer will spill out. 

Keg Hygiene

If a coupler is not connected to a keg, a good place to leave it is on a cleaning socket on the wall. Remember that the probe on the bottom of the coupler goes into the keg. If you leave it on the floor or if it gets dirty, the dirt and bacteria will make contact with the beer in the keg when you connect it. Putting a keg coupler onto a cleaning socket uses the same method as a keg. 

If you haven’t already got a pure alcohol spray bottle in your cellar, we would recommend you invest in one to sanitise your couplers between keg changes. Often people think that performing a line clean is sufficient to keep a couple clean, but that isn’t the case. Take a look at your coupler, is it actually clean? Is there build up around the main body and the fittings? To clean, simply use a bowl or a bucket of fresh warm water and a brush. Submerge the coupler and scrub it. If you do this alongside every line clean and sanitise your coupler end between keg changes you will ensure that you pour the best pints possible.