For Inspection, Handling, Washing, Filling, Maintenance and Repair
Written for the Colorado Brewers Guild by Jon Graber, Micro Matic Packaging Division
Kegs are a robust and durable package; therefore their inspection for safety and integrity as containers for quality draft beer is often neglected. It’s common for kegs to have suffered damage or years of normal wear-and-tear resulting in compromised safety and quality assurance. Less common, but a real threat is posed by unauthorized individuals tampering with your kegs. Yet these kegs will continue to cycle into and out of your brewery and distributors’ and customers’ premises without an inspection program.
To mitigate the threats posed by these kegs to your draft beer quality and customer satisfaction, proactive steps must be taken toward segregation and quarantine of kegs that should no longer be used – needing repair or to be scrapped. For this to occur reliably, everyone who handles your kegs must be on board and have at least minimal training for identification of these kegs.
Brewery personnel specifically handling kegs daily; especially those who will conduct cleaning, repair and maintenance of kegs; must have high-level training. This training should be based on written SOP, using best practices and using only proper techniques and tools.
This set of Best Practices guidelines, in three parts should be used as intended: providing guidelines to build your own in-house program and SOP specific to your brewery’s operations and requirements. It should not take the place of a comprehensive training manual or SOP customized to your brewery.
Part 2, Keg Repair and Maintenance
2A – Circlip Removal and Installation: providing detailed, step-by-step instructions using appropriate tools
2B – Determining Correct Keg Spear Length: providing instructions for ensuring the keg spear in hand is the correct length for the keg into which it will be installed
2C – Keg Maintenance: providing recommendations from Micro Matic on establishing a maintenance program for your kegs with Micro Matic Keg Spears*
2D – Rebuilding Micro Matic Drop-in Keg Spears: providing step-by-step instructions for rebuilding certain Micro Matic keg spears using appropriate techniques, tools and parts*
2E – ID and Service of Micro Matic Threaded Keg Spears: providing instructions on differentiating between various types of safety clips found on Micro Matic threaded keg spears*
*presented here as an example – other keg spear manufacturers may offer different guidelines