Owning your own beer dispensing system in your home probably won't come without its complications. Many problems can be fixed by simple upkeep and maintenance, but sometimes trickier issues crop up and affect the taste of your beer.
For example, as we discussed earlier, the temperature of the keg is very important in pouring a perfect glass of beer. If your beer is producing a sub-par taste or appears too foamy or cloudy, then temperature may be too high or too low. You can usually fix this by changing the refrigerator's temperature to better accommodate the type of beer you're serving or by simply letting the keg cool down more. Many American lagers may be stored and served at about 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3 Celsius) temperature, but imports, stouts, ales and others will vary. It's important to check with the liquor distributor before setting up each keg to make sure you are preparing it properly.
Faulty pouring can also be caused by the following:
- A kink in the lines
- Incorrect length of hose for the beer line
- A loose connection somewhere in the system
You can check the connection by making certain that the coupling is tight and that air is not leaking in anywhere. If the beer line is what's causing the trouble, you might need to replace the line to ensure it is correct length.
An incorrect amount of pressure from the carbon dioxide can cause problems as well, but you can check this by keeping an eye on the psi (pounds per square inch, which is the degree of measurement). If the psi is too low, the beer will be flat and pour too slowly, but if it's too high, the beer will pour too fast and have excessive head, or foam at the top. These problems are likely to result if the carbon dioxide regulator is improperly set. The pressure you need will dependent on the type of beer you use, but many beers require about 12 psi to maintain a strong and consistent draft.
For more information on kegerators, pouring and brewing beer and other related topics, follow the links on the next page.