Draft System Woes: Kick Off-Tasting Beer in the Bud

There’s a pub on the corner of the street I used to live. I won’t mention its name but after, on two different occasions, I had the worst tasting draft beer in my life, I relegated said pub to a bottle-only drinking joint. I asked the bartenders if they had ever, in the history of their employment, cleaned the beer lines, checked air lines, etc. They answered with blank stares. I wasn’t surprised.

Whether you’ve got yourself a draft system at home or you’re the proud owner/employee of a commercial bar, don’t let this sad, stomach-churning fate happen to you. If you’ve got funky tasting draft beer, there’s three possible scenarios/ways to fix the situation and keep draft drinkers happy once again.

1. Dirty Draft System

The most likely scenario, draft beer systems get dirty and need to be cleaned after every half keg. This may sound too time consuming but it’s really not and the result is glorious. Clean beer lines and the entire system—and I mean disassemble your faucet, scrub it with a brush, the works—using inexpensive cleaning compounds made just for draft systems. Problem solved.

2. Contaminated Air Line

Check your air line and replace it if need be. If your air lines are dirty but don’t need to be replaced, wash them through with your beer line cleaner and rinse them clean. Boom.

3. Old Beer

This is always a possibility if you’re just not running through your keg of beer as quickly as you thought you would, or have in the past. The simple solution here? Buy a fresh keg.


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