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Troubleshooting Guide: Draft Beer System

By Rich Pulsifer April 12, 2020

Draft Beer System Troubleshooting Guide

 

Problem: BEER IS FOAMY

Symptoms:

1. Partially opened faucet agitates the beer

Diagnosis: Improper pour

Treatment: Open faucet completely and quick. Hold glass at correct angle and distance.

2. Pouring into an un-rinsed glass

Diagnosis: Frosted or frozen glasses

Treatment: Rinse glass with fresh cold water before pouring

3. Beer comes out too fast or too slow

Diagnosis: Regulator is set at wrong pressure

Treatment: Adjust regulator for Direct draw systems set at about 15 p.s.i. Long draw systems set about 20 p.s.i..

4. Beer temperature is above 40 F

Diagnosis: Temperature of coolant or keg storage is too high

Treatment: Lower the temperature to 34 – 38 F, lower the glycol reservoir to 35F

5. First few pours are foamy from a new keg

Diagnosis: Keg was just delivered

Treatment: Wait 1-2 hours then use

Problem: NO BEER IS COMING OUT

Symptoms: 

1. Air or Gas comes out of the faucet.

Diagnosis: Keg is empty

Treatment: Connect a full keg

2. Nothing comes out of the faucet

Diagnosis: Keg Coupler is disengaged

Treatment: Re-connect keg coupler twisted all the way down.

3. Gas tank (Co2) gauge reads “0” beer lines pour slowly

Diagnosis: Gas tank is empty

Treatment: Connect a full gas tank

4. Tank has (Co2) gas. Beer pours slowly and stops

Diagnosis: Beer Gas valves are turned off

Treatment: Turn the valve parallel to gas line

5. Beer trickles out of one or more adjacent faucets

Diagnosis: Beer line is frozen

Treatment: Check beer cooler temperature, 34-38 Fahrenheit. Turn off glycol system for 1 hour then try pouring.

Problem: BEER TASTES FUNNY

Symptoms:  

1. All draft beers have a metallic taste

Diagnosis: Recently cleaned beer lines

Treatment: Pour a few glasses out to completely rinse the cleaning solution from the beer lines

2. Beer has a strong butterscotch or creamed corn flavor

Diagnosis: DMS (Diacetyl) could have formed in the fermentation process

Treatment: Return keg with bad beer

3. Stale taste and aroma of wet cardboard

Diagnosis: The keg “use by date” may have expired.

Treatment:  Replace keg with a fresh one. Tapped kegs over 4 weeks can go bad.

Problem: BEER SPUTTERS,  BURPS AND SPITS

Symptoms:

1. Beer pours fine then sputters and burps

Diagnosis: There is a kink, bacteria, warm spot or pinhole somewhere in the beer line

Treatment: Check to see if any kinks or heavy objects are sitting on the beer line. If not, plan to clean the lines

2. Beer pours fine then sputters and burps

 Diagnosis: There is a kink, bacteria buildup, warm spot or pinhole somewhere in the beer line

 Treatment: Check to see if any kinks or heavy objects are sitting on the beer line. If not, plan to clean the lines

3. Beer pours fine then sputters and burps

Diagnosis: Bad seal around the faucet or keg coupler

Treatment: Replace washers of the faucet and keg coupler or replace with new equipment

Problem: BEER IS FLAT

Symptoms:

1. Beer has no “head”

Diagnosis: Not enough pressure

Treatment: Check C02 tank and regulator is on, possibly increase pressure

2. Beer has “head” but quickly disappears

Diagnosis: Glasses are not “Beer Clean”

Treatment: Use non-patroleum detergents and rinse glass in fresh cold water before serving

Problem: BEER IS HAZY AND CLOUDY

Symptoms:

1. Beer is not clear

Diagnosis: Temperature is too low

Treatment: Set the refrigeration to 34 – 38 F

2. Partially opened faucet agitates the beer

Diagnosis: Improper pour

Treatment: Open faucet completely and quick. Hold glass at correct angle and distance.


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