Why is it essential to turn off the gas supply before disconnecting a keg of lager


Not essential, but good practice. The keg coupler is designed to stop the gas supply as you disconnect from a keg. If a keg coupler is faulty the gas may not turn off and the resulting escaping gas may cause any beer which is in the neck of the empty keg or the full one to blow about. So yes, I would always turn off the gas whilst changing a keg.

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