What to do if the beer is pouring foamy, flat, wild, cloudy & off-tasting?

What to do if the beer is pouring foamy, flat, wild, cloudy & off-tasting?

Posted by Ron on 23rd Sep 2019

When we brew beer, there are plenty of problems we might have to face, from foam in a kegerator to off-tasting beer. The good news? There is always a solution – it just depends on what is causing the issue in the first place.

We took a look at some of the most typical problems and have some helpful tips on how to keep your beer fresh, tasty, and foam-free at all times.

What Does It Mean When a Beer Is Flat and What to Do to Prevent It?

Much like automobile tires, beer can also be flat. So what is a flat beer? How is flat beer different? Well, if beer is flat, it basically means that the bubbles are missing. It’s lost its fizz and isn’t carbonated anymore.

This is obviously not a good sign since most people would agree that flat beer:

  • does not taste good at all
  • shows that something is wrong with your dispensing setup

If you noticed your beer has been pouring flat, you don’t need to worry. All you have to do is identify the cause, then you can fix the flat beer problem.

Here’s our quick guide:

Why is my home brew beer flat?

Potential cause Solution
Temperature is too cold Increase the temperature on the refrigeration unit
(should be between 360 to 400F depending on the style of beer)
CO2 pressure is too low Adjust your regulator to increase the pressure
Glasses are dirty Wash your beer glasses thoroughly to remove any grease
and rinse with cold water before pouring

How to Stop a Keg From Foaming?

Another problem many draught beer enthusiasts face is keg beer coming out foamy. This might be happening for a number of reasons - let’s see what the usual suspects are.

Why is my home brew foamy?

Potential cause Solution
Wrong Co2 pressure (usually too high) To check the pressure, see the gauge on the top of 
your CO2 regulator - it should tell you what the current pressure is.
The optimal pressure range is between 10 to 12 psi.
Adjust the pressure and you will never face the
“why is my keg pouring all foam” problem again.
Clogged/dirty beer lines Dirty beer lines clogged with residue and mold can make
beer tap too foamy. Make sure you clean your beer lines regularly.
Beer line too long For a typical home draft beer dispensing setup,
an ideal length for beer lines would be 5-6 feet.


Other possible issues that could cause your beer to be foamy or wild-tasting could include broken, leaking or dirty tap/faucets, so be sure to check those out, too.

Why Is Beer Cloudy and How to Clean It?

If your beer is coming hazy and/or not clear, then it is cloudy – usually not a good a sign. Although fermentation can make your beer cloudy, there could be an issue with your draught beer system.

To clear up cloudiness, check out the troubleshooting guide below:

Cloudy beer causes

Potential cause Solution
Keg overchilled/frozen Make sure the refrigerator temperature 
is always between 360 to 400F
Beer faucet opening partially Always open your beer faucet quickly,
to the full extent
Dirty/clogged beer lines Use beer line cleaner to get rid of
any mold and residue

Why Isn’t Beer Pouring?

This is one of the easiest problems to fix. The first thing you can do is check if the keg is empty. Sometimes, when you’re enjoying a nice cold pint, you might be having too good of a time to realize the keg has run dry.

If that isn’t the case, be sure you tapped the keg properly. Check the keg coupler and all of the air/beer line connections to make sure they’re all set up just right.

If all of that is in order, the last thing to check is the gas supply. It could be turned off, or the supply has run out. Flip that back on or replace the empty tank for a filled one. 

Why Does Beer Taste Bad?

Finally, if your beer just isn’t tasting quite right or leaving a bad taste in your mouth, there is probably something up with your draught system.

What’s making your beer taste off? Here are some common issues and their solutions:

The most common cause is a lack of proper cleaning. If your beer starts to taste off all of a sudden, be sure to do these things first:

  • clean your beer lines properly using the right cleaner
  • clean your glasses thoroughly and rinse with cold water before every pour
  • check the overall air quality of wherever you’re brewing and pouring – be sure it is free of obvious odors and contaminants

If all that checks out and the taste is still off, check your pressure source for any leaks and/or flow contamination.

Conclusion

If your beer isn’t pouring or tasting quite right, don’t stress. Take a look at our quick troubleshooting guide to figure out the issue and find the solution. The fixes are quick and easy – we’ve got you covered.

Bad Beer Troubleshooting

draft beer troubleshooting