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1. What are some common troubleshooting issues?
Almost all dispensing problems are the result of:
Is the keg is stored between 3-7°C, and the same temperature is maintained all the way to the point of dispense?
Is the CO2 pressure between 12-14 psi?
Have the Tap, beer line, and keg coupler have been cleaned (with chemicals specifically manufactured for beer line cleaning) on a regular basis?
Wild Beer - Beer, when drawn, is all foam, or too much foam and not enough liquid beer.
Beer temperature is too warm.
CO2 pressure is set too high.
Tap in bad, dirty, or worn condition.
Kinks, twists or other obstructions in the beer hose.
Beer drawn improperly
Flat Beer - Foamy head disappears quickly; beer lacks brewery fresh flavor
Beer temperature is too cold.
CO2 pressure is set too low.
Cloudy Beer - Beer in glass appears hazy, not clear
Frozen or nearly frozen beer.
Beer that has been unrefrigerated for long periods of time.
Dirty tap, beer hose, and/or keg coupler.
False Head - Large soap-like bubbles, head dissolves very quickly.
2. Pressure: What pressure do I need to set the CO2 beer regulator at?
When dispensing keg draft beer, the goal is to keep the CO2 level prescribed by the brewer. Any change in the CO2 level will alter the taste, pouring characteristics and appearance of the beer.
Most breweries in the U.K. recommend a CO2 pressure between 12-14 psi for all Lager and draft beers. This CO2 pressure will maintain the level of carbonation specified by the brewery.
If you are unsure what the recommended CO2 pressure is for the beer you are dispensing is, simply inquire with the company you are purchasing your kegs from. If they do not know, they can make a quick call to the beer distributor or brewery to find out this information for you.
As there are literally tens of thousands of breweries and brands of draft beer available, it's simply not possible to maintain a listing of the proper CO2 pressure for every brand of draft beer
If the draft beer is dispensed with too low of a pressure, the CO2 that is dissolved in the beer will “break out” of the beer. Initially this will cause the small bubbles of broken out CO2 to float up the beer hose which will result in foamy beer. And over time the low pressure will result in flat beer.
If the draft beer is dispensed with too high of a pressure, over time more CO2 will be absorbed into the beer. Initially, this will not cause any problems, but over time this will result in over-pressurised foamy beer
3. Clean Beer Lines Dispense Quality Beer!
Foamy draft beer can be caused by the build up of bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stones within a beer line. unclean beer lines lower the quality and taste of beer. It is important to regularly clean beer lines, taps, and keg couplers to ensure the dispense of high quality beer. Our beer line cleaning bottles help in maintaining the sanitary level of your equipment and ensure the dispense of fresh tasting quality beer.
The simple process of cleaning takes only a few minutes and is easily accomplished by use of a pressurised cleaning bottle. This process involves pumping water mixed with cleaning chemical into the beer line and letting it soak for the time prescribed by the chemical manufacturer. Then thoroughly flushing the beer line with water to remove all traces of the cleaning chemical. The last and most often overlooked step is to soak the keg coupler and faucet in water with cleaning chemical then brush them clean with a cleaning brush and rinse them clean with water. As maintenance issue, after cleaning it is always a good time to make sure the probe o-rings and bottom seal on the keg coupler are in good condition. As well as the friction washer, coupling washer, and shaft seat on the faucet are in good condition. You should also make sure the probe o-rings on the keg coupler are properly lubricated (with a food grade lubricant) to allow the keg coupler to work freely and prevent wear and tear that can occur when the keg coupler is tapped and untapped to the keg.
For residential applications, cleaning should be performed after every keg or at a minimum of every two weeks. Routine cleaning is essential to maintain quality and fresh taste. For commercial applications, cleaning should be performed at least every week or following brewery recommendations and guidelines. PLEASE NOTE: Only use cleaning chemicals specifically manufactured for beer line cleaning. Only chemicals specifically manufactured for beer line cleaning will dissolve the buildups of bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stone that occur with draft beer. And for safety it is very important that all directions on these cleaning chemicals be followed completely.