Being able to diagnose your draft beer system is important to your business’s profitability. Staying on top of the quality of your pours can mean the difference between making money on each pour or sending it down the drain. Kegworks offers this article on troubleshooting your draft beer system.
If you own or work at a bar or restaurant, you understand that keeping your draft beer dispensing system in proper working condition is an integral part of maintaining your bottom line. When your commercial draft beer system isn’t working properly, you run the risk of creating unhappy customers who may leave your establishment with a less than satisfactory experience to look back on.
Luckily, most common issues with your draft beer system, including foamy, flat, or cloudy beer, are easy to diagnose and troubleshoot. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that the vast majority of issues can be traced back to one of three things: improper temperature, improper pressure, or general cleanliness.
The following quick guide will arm you with information to help you make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your beer flows freely and your customers remain happy.
Instead of being mostly liquid with just the right amount of creamy head on top, the glass is filled with wasteful foam. Here’s what might be wrong:
The temperature is too warm. Lower the temperature in the refrigeration unit that holds your kegs (ideally, to between 36º and 40ºF). If using glycol to dispense, ensure that your glycol bath is set to dispense at that range as well.
The CO2 pressure is too high. Adjust your regulator to lower the CO2 pressure.
The faucet is dirty or broken. Inspect faucet and washers and replace both as needed. Every few weeks, remove and disassemble your faucet, then clean it with hot water and a brush.
The beer hose has kinks or obstructions. Inspect your hose and make corrections, if necessary.
The beer was poured improperly.
Serving flat beer, or beer that doesn’t have the right level of carbonation, will quickly drive away customers. Beer at its best has a certain effervescence that helps enhance the drinking experience. In many ways, flat beer is the exact inverse problem of beer that is too foamy (or over-carbonated). If your beer is coming out flat, here are some potential problems to address:
The temperature is too cold. Raise the temperature in the refrigeration unit that holds your kegs (ideally, to between 36º and 40ºF). If using glycol to dispense, ensure that your glycol bath is set to dispense at that range as well.
The CO2 pressure is too low. Adjust your regulator to raise the CO2 pressure.
The glass is dirty. Grease is the enemy of carbonation. Ensure your glasses are clean, and rinse with cold water just before pouring.
Cloudy or hazy beer is unattractive and offputting to say the least. If you wouldn’t want to drink a glass of cloudy beer, why would your customers be any different? If you’re experiencing this problem, try this:
The temperature is not remaining steady. Check your refrigeration unit to ensure that your keg isn’t being exposed to alternating warm and cool temperatures. Never let your keg get above 45ºF.
The beer lines are dirty. For best results, you should clean your beer lines between every new keg, or approximately every 2-3 weeks.
The beer is old. Beer doesn’t stay good forever. Check the expiration date on the keg and/or institute an inventory management system that helps you keep track of your kegs.
The PERFECT Pour
Using the proper gas mixture is one of the most important factors that influence pouring a great pint of beer. All draft beers are brewed with a certain amount of carbon dioxide dissolved into the beer and it is important to maintain that level of CO2. A 75% nitrogen and 25% CO2 for “nitrogenated” beers like Guinness, Kilkenny, Caffrey’s, etc. which have a relatively low carbonation content (1.2 volumes) and a 50% N2 and 50% CO2 for domestic and craft beers which have a higher CO2 content (approx 2.5 volumes). Maintaining the carbonation content in beer allows you to pour the proper “2 finger” head on every beer from the top to the bottom of each keg resulting in increased yields and profits for your establishment.
Contact TCSCO2 at 866-SODA-GAS or fill out the form below. We’ll be happy to get you set up correctly.
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August 29, 2017 – We unfortunately responded to an EBay posting for a 13 ton Carbon Dioxide tank located in Oklahoma City. When we questioned it, the seller said to contact them outside Ebay where we ran into a “Praneet Pande” who had a really smooth line of BS. We were pressured to wire them money to a Bank of America Account which we did to the tune of $10,500 which was the tank and rigging onto our trailer.
Turns out – Universal Wrecking (with their website listing them as being in Tom’s River NJ) is nothing but a group of fly-by-night scam artists polished at the art of pulling scams. Universal Wrecking claims to be located at: 230 Washington Street Suite A3 Toms River NJ 08753 ——- Headquarters of the Scam !!!
Take a look at their website to see who they are: www.universalwrecking.com
—- BEWARE of UNIVERSAL WRECKING CROOKS — THIEVES —
Due to their aggressive nature to get the money wired to their bank account we were admittedly nervous since all the listed numbers come up as cell phones. Here are the crooked players involved:
- Praneet Pande: 703-855-1583. Claims to be their salesman on the road.
- Steve Vesseli: 732-718-1400 Apparent owner of Universal Wrecking
This job was apparently the demolition of a large building in Oklahoma City located at 200 E Britton Rd Oklahoma City, OK 73314. This is owned by the Oklahoman Newspaper and I’m being told that they were the ones that hired all these criminals — the job was 100% mishandled by allowing thieves on site to commit scams with their assets. Who’s to say they didn’t profit from the scams?
We have endless text messages from Praneet and Steve Vesseli saying it’s the other guy’s fault, not us, we don’t have enough money to pay you back, we will mail half back, then make payments, will have a 3rd party attorney contact you, blah, blah, blah.
We have police agencies in three states working on this now so others don’t get robbed by these unscrupulous criminals. Steve Vesseli of Universal Wrecking and his co-hort Praneet Pande are CROOKS / SCAMMERS.
If they are quoting you on demolishing anything — RUN FOR THE HILLS — THEY ARE CROOKS
Please spread the word, share this blog about Universal Wrecking of Toms River NJ- are nothing but THIEVES.
If you’re demolishing ANYTHING or are approached to BUY anything from Universal Wrecking — hit delete. They are criminals and we have endless facts, wire transfer with their banking information, photos, and texts. These are no good, souless pieces of garbage thieves.
Drop us a note if you’re considering using them and we will provide you actual copies of EVERYTHING we described above. We were robbed for over $10,000 by Vasseli and Pande – we don’t want to see others scammed like we were by these criminals.
Tri-State Carbonation Service understands the environmental impact automobiles can have on Mother Earth. They are helping in the fight to reduce emissions by converting their vehicle fleet to run on clean, efficient propane gas.
Tri-State Carbonation Service is going green with propane autogas fleets!
Propane gas was approved as an alternative fuel in the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane gas has been a commercial engine fuel for over 80 years powering more than 4 million vehicles across the world. It is the third most popular engine fuel after gasoline & diesel fuel. Propane is clean, cost effective, safe and a reliable alternative fuel.
Tests by the USEPA show that propane powered vehicles can produce 30 – 90% less toxins and smog-producing carbon monoxide and approximately 50% less toxins & other smog producing emissions than gasoline engines. Visit the US department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center to learn more about propane vehicle emissions.
Tri-State Carbonation Service is proud to be on the forefront of environmental issues by having a propane autogas fleet!
Kegs are stored in a keg fridge. The location of this keg fridge is usually under the back of the bar or in a walk-in cooler near the kitchen. In some restaurants or bars, the beer can be coming from as far as 50 feet away! Without proper beer line cleaning and maintenance, draft beer can become tainted and contaminated.
This is bad for the bar / restaurant owner and the beer lover alike!! Knowing the importance of cleaning beer lines is an invaluable lesson for any restaurant or bar owner.
How do beer lines become dirty?
Yeast – Beer contains yeast. When lines are not properly cleaned, yeast builds up and can clog the lines as well as effect the taste of the beer being served. Yeast build up may result from a small amount left from the brewing process. It can be recognized by its white or grey color and is usually found on the surfaces of the beer system that are exposed to air: faucets, keg couplers and drains for example.
Mold – We all know that mold can be hazardous to your health. Mold also has an effect on beer. When the beer system is exposed to the air there is a risk of mold growing. It can be recognized by its brown or black color and is found on surfaces that are exposed to air: faucets, keg couplers and drains.
Beer Stone – Beer stones are Calcium Oxalate deposits that are created during the brewing process and is a result of combining calcium and oxalic acids or salts at cold temperatures. Beer stones will build up and eventually flake off on the inside of the beer lines if not properly cleaned. They have a negative effect on the taste and quality of beer.
Bacteria – Bacteria found in beer is in small enough amounts that they typically do not present a hazard to human health. However, a bacteria build up can be potentially harmful. In addition, if lines are not cleaned properly the bacteria will negatively effect the taste and quality of the beer.
Effects of Dirty Beer Lines
Why is it important to clean beer lines? Different people have different tolerances to any number of molds and bacteria. Some of the schmutz in an unclean line will cause a different reaction in people who are more sensitive than others. In addition to possibly getting customers sick, uncleanliness will result in the quality and taste of the draft beer being negatively effected.
Some bars and restaurants are hyper about changing and cleaning beer lines. They understand this procedure will result in delicious tasting draft beer that will leave their customers coming back for more!
Do’s & Don’ts of Beer Line Cleaning:
- Do use effective line cleaning chemicals
- Do remember to flush the beer from the lines with water before cleaning
- Do clean lines regularly
- Don’t use just soap and water
- Don’t forget to wear protective gear when handling chemicals
- Don’t forget to flush chemicals from lines with water after cleaning
Dirty keg lines result in poor beer quality and possible customer health issues that should be very concerning for restaurant and bar owners. All this is assuredly passed down to their customers and leads to a unpleasant customer service experience!
Yeast, mold, beer stones and bacteria have different effects on different people. The presence of these items in beer lines will negatively effect taste and quality. Use the correct chemicals and flush the lines with water before and after cleaning beer lines. With regular cleaning of beer lines, restaurant owners can serve their customers with great tasting beer without worry!