I Can’t Pour: Gas Edition
Beer lives in a keg. Beer dispenses into my glass at the tap. Everything that happens in between is magic or run by gnomes, depending on the day. If you don’t leave cookies out for the gnomes, they get annoyed and take it out on my beer. Give them the damn cookies. I’m tired of waiting on a gnome.
It’s easy to blame draught system issues on magical beings (whether they truly exist is up to you,) but that likelihood is extremely minimal. When I take tech calls about an inability to pour beer, I have my list of questions to ask to eliminate variables: did you switch your kegs recently, do you have gas, is the gas on? Let’s focus on those last two, as they go hand in hand for tech calls.
Whether your system is direct draw, long draw, or you’re tailgating with a party pump, you need gas pressure to dispense beer. If you have a party pump, you’re using the internal gas pressure of the keg, so good luck and tell Chad to quit pumping it while you pour – it’s not helping. If your system is more sophisticated, you need to see if you have gas, that the gas is on and at the right pressure, and that all the valves are open. In the case of a Trumix® blender, you need both gases, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen.
Most systems will pour beer after you run out of gas. The keg, when partially full, is its own gas supply for a little while. Unused beers will pour OK and the good sellers will quit first. Every keg will begin to pour slower and slower until it stops. As it begins to pour slowly it will probably get foamy.
If your system is suddenly pouring like absolute garbage, check your gas supply. It could be empty, turned off, or the applied pressure could be wrong.