Do all kegs have the same taps? What are the different keg types?
Do all kegs use the same taps? What are the different types of beer taps?
This post is designed to help you determine which size keg you need as well as guide you through determining which connector / keg coupler you will need.
There are a variety of different keg types and sizes. Below, I have put a comparison together showing keg types, volume and brief description.
What is the difference between a Homebrew / Cornelius (Corny) Keg and a Commercial Keg?
Homebrew or Cornelius / Corny Kegs have a top that opens, which allows you easier filling with homebrew. They also have two posts that are used with specific types of connectors. One post is for gas in and the other is for liquid out. There are two connector types, pin lock and ball lock. Ball lock tends to be more common. See image below for the comparison.
Commercial kegs have a sanky style connection on top which is made for keg couplers, which are shown below.
What is a keg coupler?
A keg coupler connects to the top of the keg and allows CO2 to enter the keg and beer to dispense, which can be seen in the “How does a draft beer system work?”
What is the Brand of the beer you will be drinking?
To determine which Keg Coupler you will need, it is important to know what brand of beer you will be dispensing.
Commercial kegs use a letter system to determine which keg couplers match certain kegs. Different brands use different keg couplers which also tends to be specific to the region of the world those beers are brewed. Below is a quick reference to keg couplers and keg brands.
D SYSTEM: Fits Most North American Beers (Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Labatt, Molson, most craft beer kegs … etc)
S SYSTEM: Fits Many Import Kegs (Heineken, Becks, and Amstel Light)
A SYSTEM: Fits Many German Kegs (Spaten, Warsteiner, and Paulaner)
M SYSTEM: Fits Some German Kegs (Schneider, Aventinus, and Einbecker)
G SYSTEM: Fits Some European Kegs (Bass, Boddingtion's, Caffrey's, and Anchor Steam)
U SYSTEM: Fits Some European Kegs (Guinness and Harp)