M-40: Proper maintenance of keg spears with regard to safety of personnel and equipment

K. GRANTHAM (1); (1) Micro-Matic, Brooksville, FL, U.S.A.

Packaging (Bottles, Draft and Cans)
Saturday, June 7 - 1:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Level 4, State Ballroom

With the growing number of breweries in the United States there has been a sharp increase in the number of people involved in keg maintenance. Some of these people have been properly trained, and some have not. Many craft brewers come from the home-brewing market and often bring unsafe practices with them. Given the fact that beer kegs are under pressure, there are certain safety practices that must be followed to avoid catastrophe. Personnel should be properly trained, and the correct tools should be used to perform proper keg maintenance. There are also filling-machine preventive maintenance practices that should be followed to ensure the maximum life of the keg spear. Machines out of tolerance, causing damage to the CO2 valve, account for approximately 90% of leaking keg spears. The remainder is from damaged kegs coming back from the market, improper spear installation, or subjection to improper temperatures and concentrations of chemicals used in cleaning. By implementing a few preventive maintenance practices, a brewery can eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of lost beer related to these issues, as well as protect their reputation in the marketplace.

Ken Grantham joined MBAA as a new member in September 2013. He worked as a sales engineer for an automation company for 13 years, focusing on the food and beverage industries. During this time he worked with major breweries on automation projects in both brewhouse and packaging areas. He has worked for three years in his current position as sales manager–beer packaging for Micro-Matic.

View Presentation

Brewing Resources

Ask the Brewmasters Technical Quarterly MBAA Webinars MBAA Podcasts Food Safety Brewery Safety Vendor Search