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Trouble Shooting Foamy Draft Beer

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Problem Potential Causes Symptoms Possible Solutions
No Beer is Coming Out Keg is empty Gas will rush out of faucet Connect a full keg
Gas tank is empty Other draught lines will start to pour slowly, gas tank volume gauge will read "0" Connect a full gas tank
Gas valves are shut off Beer pours very slowly and stops, but gas tank volume gauge shows that there is gas in the tank Turn the toggle so that it is parallel with the gas line
Beer line is frozen Beer trickles out or stops in one tap or multiple adjacent taps Turn the glycol system off for 1 hour, then try pouring
Beer is Pouring Foamy Beer lines are dirty Beer slowly becomes foamy over several weeks time and lines have not been professionally cleaned Contact a professional draught servicing company to clean lines every 2-3 weeks
Gas regulator set at wrong pressure Beer pouring very rapidly or very slowly, with excessive foam Adjust 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 40F with excessive foam Lower the cooler temperature, limit traffic through the cooler door, and lower the temperature of the glycol reservoir to about 35F
Beer was just delivered The first few pints in a keg pour foamy Wait 1-2 hours, then pour again
Beer "Burps" or Sputters There is a warm spot, kink, pinhole, or bacteria buildup somewhere in the beer line The 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 lines All beers on draught have a metallic taste Lines 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 flavor Diacetyl could have formed in the beer during fermentation, creating this off taste The 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" flavor D.M.S. could have formed in the beer during fermentation, creating this off-taste The 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" aroma The keg could be past it's expiration date, or air could have been pumped into the keg Ensure 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