I had some vouchers from Christmas to use at one of the online homebrew suppliers and as well as buying some bits for my BrewPi project I also picked up a sparkler tap. My King Keg was still half full of beer, but I got impatient and installed the new tap this afternoon!
I made sure I was suitably sterilised as I was sticking my arm in the barrel, then removed the cap, pulled the hose off the back of the tap and unscrewed the back nut.
The new tap goes on in the same way, there is an o ring to seal on the outside and a back nut to secure it.
The old tap used a 90 degree bend to connect to the float pipe which needs to be removed and the pipe pushed directly on to the back of the new tap so this was removed.
Everything was then reassembled and the pipe and float adjusted. The float doesn’t sit as well without the 90 degree bend there to held the pipe sit flat – I’ll have to see if I can modify this next time I strip the barrel down.
I refitted the lid and injected some CO2 from an 8g bulb and then tested the tap out. You can adjust the bottom of the tap to alter the head size depending on the pressure in the barrel.
After a quick test, it seems like a great improvement. The old barrel tap would result in half a pint of head if the barrel was fully pressurised – the new tap gives much better control over this and made pouring with the correct amount of head simple! It also operates with a lever which gives better control over the old (and stiff) twist tap. I think this will be well worth the money, I just need to remember to remove and clean the sparkler when its not being used.