Keg Serves

Once in a while a customer will tell us that a Keykeg will serve too foamy, this is maybe once every 6-12 months, I thought I would write a blog post about this so I can add some details and also try and gain some feedback from our Keykeg customers.

Keykegs are the plastic things we use and we keg-condition them for carbonation, this means we ferment a beer out completely and then add sugar to it before kegging to create natural carbonation.

We want our beer to be right and consistent, so please if you do serve our kegs then feel free to get in touch in any of the usual ways and tell us about your experiences.

It would be wrong of us to react to a single customer mentioning something and change whole batches of kegged beer when no one else has said anything.

I’m going to go through as many variables as I can from storage temperature of kegs to how you pour a pint, and nearly all bar setups have differences and its impossible for a brewer to react to each and every different setup…

  • What Temperature is the beer stored at? – Please aim for 11-13c as a minimum for keg beer, more ideal would be 4-8c, beer stored at ambient temperature can cause problems on some bar setups.
  • Flow Controllers – These should be set to allow a smooth non-fobbing pour, they can be on-tap types or under-bar types and they can be quite fine to adjust. The size of beer line can also effect things, a thin 3/16″ beer line of about 2 meters long can slow the beer flow and make it hard to get a head on your pour, this would help should you think a beer is too lively.
  • Chiller Temperature – I would guess that most chillers are a fixed temperature (4-8c), though the Lindr Keg machines that we have have a dial to set the cooling, for a Lindr machine I would set the dial at 5 or more for a good consistent pour through the flow-control-taps.
  • Speed of Pour – Never rush a pour, a good pour can be the difference between letting a split second of beer hit the drip tray before catching in the glass or catching everything from turning the tap on. That initial bit of tap-fob can ruin an otherwise perfect pint. Always open a beer tap fully when pouring, no messing with it half open! The same goes for topping up a glass, be sure to waste that little bit of tap fob before catching in the glass.
  • Serving Pressure – Ensure your Gas or Compressor pressure is sufficient for your kegs and bar setup, 40psi should be sufficient for most beers, check the limits of the kegs you serve so you know the Maximum. Pressure keeps the bubbles in the beer, too low pressure will allow the bubbles to escape and cause problems.
  • Different beers – Different styles of beer can serve differently, work with the beer you are pouring. Variables like; Angled Glass, Glass pushed close and almost horizontal with tap nozzle, nozzle in beer, nozzle above beer, catch that tap-fob for more head, vary height of pour for either more or less head.
  • Newly Connected Kegs – Freshly hooked up kegs can be more lively until you have poured a few pints, you can slow down the Flow rate for new kegs and gradually speed it up the more pints you’ve served until you have an adequate flow rate.
  • Clean Glassware – and you don’t need those annoying head-keeper patterns on the inside of the glass. Renovate Glasses when necessary.
  • Some bar setup are better than others – Everything matters.

So please do give us feedback on carbonation levels.