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Troubleshooting Foamy Beer

Pouring beer

A foamy beer pour is frustrating for your servers and your customers – but to stop the problem, you need to know what’s causing your suds to overflow.

Here are seven questions you’ll need to ask to diagnose a foamy beer problem.

  1. Are you pouring the beer properly?
    Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle about one inch below the beer faucet. Place a hand low on the tap, near the faucet, and quickly snap the handle towards you with one motion, until it stops and the faucet is open.
  2. Did you give your new keg time to acclimate?
    A fresh keg that has been moved from one place to another tends to warm up a few degrees; before you tap the keg, allow it to cool back down to an appropriate dispensing temperature.
  3. Is your beer the right temperature?
    The temperature of non-pasteurized ale and lager beers should range from 36° to 38°F all the way to the tap. If the beer temperature rises even slightly above 38°F, you will get foamy and/or cloudy beer.
  4. Is your thermometer accurate?
    Calibrate your thermometer with an external tester to be sure.
  5. Are you using appropriate CO2 pressure and carbonation levels?
    Any change in the CO2 or carbonation levels from what a brewer suggests will alter the beer’s taste, pouring characteristics and appearance.
  6. Is your beer system properly balanced?
    The first step to balancing a beer system is to establish the applied gas pressure gauge (PSIG) of 100 percent CO2 required to propel and maintain the beers carbonation to the brewer’s specification. This is based on the beer’s CO2 volumes and the temperature of the beer.
  7. Is your beer system clean?
    One of the most common causes of foamy draft beer is a buildup of bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stones within a beer line – a big reason why regular, professional beer line cleaning is a must for your bar or restaurant.

Fall is prime beer season – make sure your beer lines are clean! Contact Irish Carbonic today for professional beer line cleaning and beer line installation and service for your Rochester- or Buffalo-area bar or restaurant.

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