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Dispensing beer is an art form, but it can be a real headache when something goes wrong. Most dispensing problems can be traced back to a few key issues: improper temperature, incorrect pressure, or cleaning issues.
To help you troubleshoot, here's a quick checklist:

  • Is the keg stored between 36-38°F, and is the temperature consistent throughout the system to the glass?
  • If CO2 is applied to the keg, is the pressure between 12-14 Ibs.?
  • If the gas blend of 70% CO2 / 30% nitrogen (common blend) is applied, is the pressure between 20-25 lbs.?
  • Have the faucet, beer line, and keg coupler been cleaned regularly with the intended chemical solution?

Now, let's dive into some specific issues you may encounter: Fast pouring beer is a real beast. When drawn, it can produce too much foam and not enough liquid beer. This can be caused by a few things: the beer temperature is too warm, the CO2 or gas blend pressure to the keg is incorrect, the faucet is dirty or worn, or there are kinks, twists, or other obstructions in the beer hose.

Flat beer is a real bummer. It occurs when the foam head disappears quickly, leaving you with beer that lacks that brewery-fresh flavor. This can happen when the beer temperature is too cold, the CO2 or gas blend pressure
to the keg is incorrect, or the glassware is dirty.

Cloudy beer is no picnic either. It happens when the beer in the glass appears hazy, not clear. This can be caused by a few things: frozen or nearly frozen beer, beer that has been un-refrigerated for long periods of time, outdated beer, or dirty faucet, beer hose, and/or keg coupler.

Lastly, false head is a real faker. It occurs when large soap-like bubbles appear, and the head dissolves very quickly. This can be caused by improper
glass cleaning or operating the faucet incorrectly. So, there you have it - a quick guide to troubleshooting common beer dispensing issues. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep pouring and perfecting your technique. Cheers!