How to ice down a keg of beer

How to ice down a keg of beer

Keep your beer cold and refreshing

The modern beer keg is typically manufactured from aluminum or stainless steel. They provide a convenient method of storing, transporting and serving beer.

Kegs of beer are often served at beer festivals, bars, parties, and celebrations. A keg provides a less expensive option and isn’t prone to breakage.

While kegs can be purchased in a variety of sizes, the contents are best enjoyed cold. With proper keg handling and ice placement, every cup will give the perfect beer pour.


Step 1

Check for potential leaks

Having a leaking tub at an indoor party could ruin flooring and is a safety hazard. If the trash can or tub is not new, it could be cracked and start leaking water once the ice starts melting. Check the trash can for visible cracks and holes.

Step 2

Trash can placement

Place the trash can where you will be serving the beer. Once the keg is iced down, it will be hard to move.

Step 3

Transfer the keg

Grab the keg by the handles and place it gently into the trash can with the tap valve facing upwards. Letting the keg slam down into the trash may crack the trash can and will cause foamy beer.

If the keg is too heavy to lift — tip the trash can and the keg onto their sides. Gently slide the keg into the can and then tilt the trash can upright.

Step 4

Ice the keg

Properly icing the keg is critical for cold non-foamy beer. Open the bag of ice and pour the ice into the space between the keg and the trash can/tub. Keep adding ice until the sides of the keg are in contact with ice. There is no need to place ice on top of the keg — the beer is drawn from the bottom of the keg.

Step 5

Let the keg rest

The beer inside the keg may be warm and agitated from transport. Let the keg rest for a few hours before trying to tap it. If the keg was bought warm, it will produce foamy beer until it is completely chilled down.

Step 6

Tap the keg

Take the proper party pump and tap the keg. Before doing any pumping, release the foam in the keg by pouring the first 4-6 cups into a container. These first cups will be mostly foam.

Step 7


Find some cups or mugs and enjoy your cold adult beverage.

Things Needed
• keg of beer
• 4-6 10 lb. bags of ice
• Clean trash can or tub

Tips & Warnings
• Cold beer is less likely to foam. Buy the keg cold and keep it cold until it is needed.
• Let the beer sit a few hours before tapping or risk having foamy beer.
• Overpumping air into the keg will result in foamy beer.
• Kegs tapped with party pumps introduce air into the keg. The beer will go bad within a few days once the keg is tapped.


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