Draft System Troubleshooting: How to Fix Foamy Beer 

Draft System Troubleshooting: How to Fix Foamy Beer Draft System Troubleshooting: How to Fix Foamy Beer 

Consistency is what every seasoned hospitality operator is looking for. Through consistency, bars offer repeatable good impressions, as well as quality offerings that build trust and confidence with patrons. Setting and maintaining standards for consistency will help your business run on tighter margins, boost revenue, and maximize profit.

Behind the bar, it’s never been more important to ensure perfect beer pours with optimal foam, carbonation, and aroma. Through perfect pours, bars and restaurants can maximize their keg yields, decrease pour costs, reduce line times, and increase guest satisfaction.

Draft System Troubleshooting
BarTrack's revolutionary BRU (beverage reporting unit).

How to Stop Beer From Foaming

Foam, also known as head, is a beautiful thing. In fact, there is a specific amount of foam required to retain a beer's taste and aroma so that it may be drunk and enjoyed just as the brewer intended. However, too much foam or too little can negatively impact the drinking experience and the bar's bottom line. According to our cumulative data from thousands of BarTrack users nationwide, foaming issues account for more than 10% of waste out of every keg on average. Over 90% of foaming issues are caused by temperature and foams, closely followed by human error in the pouring process. 

So, you notice a beer being poured foamy, what can you do?

1. Assess your draft system knowledge. Draft systems are complex, and every system is unique. If you are new to working with draft systems, aren’t dialed into the science, or haven't taken a previous course, check out our From Grain to Glass educational series or reach out to a draft system specialist from BarTrack. 

2. Diagnose the issue. Watching as a beer pours out of the faucet can help managers and bartenders diagnose the root cause of the issue. Is the beer coming out of the faucet foamy, fast, or too slow? 

  • Low pressure: If the beer is coming out of the faucet foamy and has an air pocket, constant bursts of foam, or coming out slow, this more than likely is a low-pressure situation. 
  • High pressure: If the beer is coming out of the faucet clear and then explodes and foams in the glass, that is almost always caused by a high-pressure issue. 
  • Low temperature: If the beer is coming out of the faucet clear with little to no head and remains that way when it hits the glass, this means the temperature is more than likely too low. This will cause bloating for guests, as the CO2 is going to come out of the beer in the guest’s stomach instead of in the glass. The CO2 particles are too cold to move around and degas when supposed to.
  • High temperature: If the beer is coming out of the faucet very foamy, it could be caused by the beer being stored at too high of a temperature. In order to be accurate on this assessment, you can double-check with a thermometer. 
  • Hardware issues: Some hardware errors that could occur are dirty, broken, or loose faucets, broken regulators, kinks in the beer line, missing parts in the keg coupler, and more. 

3. Reach out to a draft technician. If temperatures are set properly and you believe there may be a pressure issue causing beer to pour foamy, it’s time to call in an expert. There are many variables to consider when optimizing draft system balance and ensuring draft beverage quality. With experienced teams and tools, you can be rest assured the problems can be diagnosed and solved to maximize efficiency

Ultimately, the only tried-and-true solution for all draft systems is to have a quality assurance tool that will report on important draft line metrics like pressure and temperature and alert you when there is an issue. Quality assurance tools maximize revenue, minimize waste, and reduce the impacts of draft system issues like foamy beer by giving management teams access to insightful real-time quality data over every pour from inventory to sale. BarTrack’s platform allows even new bar staff to easily identify draft system anomalies so they can stop waste before it happens.

While the industry average for draft beverage keg yield is reported to be somewhere between 75%-80%, establishments that implement BarTrack’s technologies can see efficiencies over 95%. We have built a suite of transformational products that enable businesses to increase their profits and create remarkable drinking experiences for their patrons.

Reach out to BarTrack and our team of draft system specialists who can help guide you in the right direction. 

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