Beer Has Gas!

It’s no secret that to be successful in any field, one must stay informed and educated. Lucky for me, in the beer business, furthering your knowledge usually amounts to a pretty good time. Last week, I attended an advanced draft beer training course called The Dispense Institute. Yep, that’s right – I got to go to beer school.

Taking Notes at Beer SchoolFor three days I took notes, tapped kegs, controlled temperature, played with the pressure and talked beer with my classmates. I learned more than I could ever squeeze into one blog post, so I’ll limit my knowledge regurgitation to one simple point that really hit home; beer has gas!

If you think back to your days in chemistry class, you’ll remember that when chilled, gasses contract. This being said, if the beer you’re serving is too cold the gas will contract and your beer will seem flat. Often times, we’re inclined to remedy this by increasing the pressure, however that can actually cause more problems! Once the beer hits a warm esophagus and the gasses expand again, whoever is drinking the now-over-carbonated beer will quickly fill up with gas. In bars and restaurants this is bad news because they will likely feel fuller, sooner and not order as much beer.

Temperature Control at Beer SchoolIn the same sense, if you tap a keg that is too warm, the gasses have expanded and you’re going to end up with a lot of foam coming out of your faucet. Bartenders are inclined to dump the foam and keep pouring, without realizing there’s even a problem. This is unfortunate, as the more foam you dispense or “bleed off,” the more you lower the gas content of the beer. Your foam dumping will quickly cause your keg to go flat. Who wants flat beer?

Keep your kegs at a cool 38°F and you’ll be on the right track! Need a little help? Try a SmartStrip and you’ll be on your way to better beer.

For more common problems and their solutions, see our troubleshooting guide, or feel free to post your questions right here on the KegWorks Blog! With 6 official beer scholars in the building already, we’d be happy to help!


1 Comment

  • Hannah March 30, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    Wow Liz, those are some great tips for fixing flat or foamy draft beer. Thanks!

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