Draft Beer Troubleshooting
Foamy pours or other issues with your beer? Here are some common issues and how to fix them!
Excessively Foamy Beer
Too Warm - Your keg must always be kept between 35º and 40° degrees.
Too Much Pressure - Set your regulator to 8-12psi for most beers. You may need to pull the pressure release valve ring to release some pressure and lower the output psi.
Old or Improper Beer Lines - Replace old beer lines. If the beer line is discolored, yellow or dirty, it must be replaced. Beer line should be 3/16" inner diameter, and at least 8 feet in length. Shorter lines tend to have more foaming issues.
Dirty Draft System - Disassemble the non-gas components of your draft system. Clean all surfaces the beer runs through with warm water and draft system cleaning solution. It's best to
Warm Spots in Your Beer Line - All beer lines should be kept inside your fridge to maintain consistently cold temperatures.
Improper Pour - Keeping the beer from falling those few inches from the tap to the bottom of the glass is essential for a proper pour with just the right amount of head foam.
Wet the inside of the glass before pouring. Hold the glass at a 45 degree angle, with the beer pouring in as close to your glass as possible. Open the faucet quickly and completely.
Beer is Too Cold - Turn the temperature up. Your keg must always be kept between 35ºF and 40° degrees.
Not enough pressure - Increase the amount of CO2 by turning the regulator adjusting screw clockwise. Set your regulator between 8 and 12 PSI.
CO2 Leak - While we do everything we can to make our kits reliable, any CO2 draft system should be tested for gas leaks regularly for safety and to prevent costly wasted time and CO2!
CO2 is generally harmless, but it can be dangerous in enclosed spaces. So regularly check your draft system fittings and fix any leaks immediately. Even a slow leak can drain your tank in just a few days, and your keg will go flat. So give everything a quick spray test to check for any leaks each time you tap a new keg.
Greasy or soapy glasses - Do not wash beer glasses with other glasses that have contained milk, or other fatty substances.
Bitter beer, Off Taste, Sour Beer
Beer is too warm or beer is too old - Second fermentation may be occurring giving bitter beer taste, or the beer spoiled. Always keep kegs between 35ºF and 40° degrees, and use it before its expiration date.
Bacteria growth in your system - Other living things love beer, too. It's essential to give your CO2 draft system regular cleanings to remove bacteria, mold, beer stones, and other buildup that will taint your beer's taste and make it unsafe to drink.
Improper Beer Line Tubing - Beer is absorbing plastic taste and odor from the use of improper tubing. Replace with beverage rated PVC tubing.
Keg beer, unlike packaged beer, has never been pasteurized. As a result, keg beer is full of live yeast, which gives beer a better flavor. But keg beer will turn sour if the temperature is allowed to get over 45 degrees for even a short period of time. A short 15 minute drive in 90 degree weather will bring a keg up to this temperature. So always keep your keg COLD!
Keeping your keg at the proper temperature and under the constant pressure from a CO2 system is essentially life support for a keg. Under these conditions, kegs can last several months.