Draft Beer Troubleshooting

To diagnose a draught problem, hold a clean glass at a 45 degree angle under the faucet and open the tap completely. Use the troubleshooting guide below to find a potential cause and solution for your problem.

ProblemPotential CausesSymptomsPossible Solutions
No Beer is Coming OutKeg is emptyGas will rush out of faucet Connect a full keg
Gas tank is emptyOther draught lines will start to pour slowly, gas tank volume gauge will read “0″Connect a full gas tank
Gas valves are shut offBeer pours very slowly and stops, but gas tank volume gauge shows that there is gas in the tankTurn the toggle so that it is parallel with the gas line
Beer line is frozenBeer trickles out or stops in one tap or multiple adjacent tapsTurn the glycol system off for 1 hour, then try pouring
Beer is Pouring FoamyBeer lines are dirtyBeer slowly becomes foamy over several weeks time and lines have not been professionally cleanedContact a professional draught servicing company to clean lines every 2-3 weeks
Gas regulator set at wrong pressureBeer pouring very rapidly or very slowly, with excessive foamAdjust pressure – downstairs keg systems should be set at about 24 P.S.I., and direct draw systems (under the bar) should be set at about 10 P.S.I.
Keg storage or coolant temperature is too high Beer pours above 40°F with excessive foamLower the cooler temperature, limit traffic through the cooler door, and lower the temperature of the glycol reservoir to about 35°F
Beer was just deliveredThe first few pints in a keg pour foamyWait 1-2 hours, then pour again
Beer “Burps” or SputtersThere is a warm spot, kink, pinhole, or bacteria buildup somewhere in the beer lineThe beer starts pouring fine, then “burps”Check to see if a full keg could be sitting on a beer line. If not, check the insulation and seals on the line with a sponge and warm soapy water, and plan to get lines cleaned
There is a bad seal around the faucet or keg coupler (sankee)The beer starts pouring fine, then “burps”Replace washers in the keg coupler and faucet or exchange for new equipment
Beer Tastes “Off”Beer tastes metallic when running through recently cleaned linesAll beers on draught have a metallic tasteLines cleaned with caustic acid can leave a faint metallic taste. You can request that your lines be cleaned with a chemical-free method, or just pour a few pints off and the taste should return to normal
Beer has a strong buttery or butterscotch flavorDiacetyl could have formed in the beer during fermentation, creating this off tasteThe keg is filled with bad beer and should be returned to the distributor, with a request to notify the brewer
Beer has a “creamed corn” flavorD.M.S. could have formed in the beer during fermentation, creating this off-tasteThe keg is filled with bad beer and should be returned to the distributor, with a request to notify the brewer
Beer tastes stale, with a papery or “wet cardboard” aromaThe keg could be past it’s expiration date, or air could have been pumped into the kegEnsure that you are pressurizing kegs with CO2 or G-mix from a gas tank, not with oxygen rich air. If the keg has been on tap for longer than 4 weeks, it can go bad, and should be returned to the distributor

 


Helpful videos, courtesy of Micro Matic USA

Keg to Glass Virtual Tour

Beer System Cleaning

Anatomy of a Kegerator