Having problems getting setup or pouring your nitro coffee? Over the years we’ve helped our customers through a number of issues that can develop after setting up your nitro coffee system. Problems with how the coffee is pouring, issues with nitrogen tanks and faucets, or just taste of the coffee in general. So, we thought we’d share a section from our Definitive Guide To Draft Coffee, where we answer a number of customer questions.
My Nitro Coffee Is Pouring Flat
My Nitro Coffee is not cascading and it does not have a thick, creamy head after pouring. What am I doing wrong?
This question is listed first for a reason… It is the most common question that we get. When using pure nitrogen to pour coffee, the cascading pour can sometimes prove to be elusive. This problem is typically resolved by one of two things
- Serving Pressure
- Time Under Pressure
Serving pressure should be in the 35-45psi range. We’ve had great success serving in this range and getting the rich, cascading pour that is reminiscent of a pint of Guinness. Time under pressure – unfortunately you can’t just hook up the keg and pour. The gas needs time to infuse into the liquid. We recommend hooking the keg up to gas while at serving temperature 34-40F and pressurizing to about 45psi. The keg should be left at this pressure for 24-48 hours.
My Coffee Has A Harsh Bite
My Nitro Coffee has a harsh bite to it after it has been in the keg beyond a day. What is causing this?
This is typically caused by using a beer gas (75N/25CO2) blend. Over time, the CO2 permeates the liquid and begins to give the coffee slight carbonation that causes a slight bite and strange mouthfeel. While serving with beer gas can be advantageous in situations where you are in a hurry to achieve a cascading pour with a rich, creamy head, we do not recommend that it be used in a day-to-day setting due to the fact that it can cause a change in flavor.
Can I Fill My CO2 Tank With Nitrogen?
Can I just fill my CO2 tank up with nitrogen and use that to serve nitro coffee?
No, that’s not going to work. A CO2 tank has a different connection than a nitrogen tank. If you have a CO2 tank, chances are you have a CO2 regulator. Your CO2 regulator will not attach to a Nitro tank. Also, CO2 tanks and Nitrogen tanks have different pressure ratings. CO2 tanks are typically aluminum, while nitrogen tanks are typically steel. You can find nitrogen tanks in aluminum, but they will likely not be filled with as much gas as the same size steel tank because the pressure ratings on aluminum tanks are not as high as steel tanks.
Problems With My Faucet
My faucet is wobbling and not secure
This is usually just a simple fix of securing the shank nut tighter on the back of the shank. If the faucet is loose or leaking from the shank, use a faucet wrench to tighten the faucet coupling nut onto the faucet tighter. If you are using a draft tower, pop the top off of the tower, and using a deluxe faucet wrench, tighten the nut to secure the faucet tighter on the tower. If you are using a standard shank, access the shank nut and secure it while holding the front of the shank in place.
Why Does My System Not Pour?
My system won’t pour, what am I doing wrong?
Here are a few quick checks you can make first:
- Is your system pressurized?
- Does your regulator gauge show pressure?
- Does the pressure relief valve on the regulator blow off?
- Does the keg pressure relief valve blow off when pulled?
If the system is fully pressurized, you likely have a clog. Check your faucets – if using a nitro faucet, your restrictor plate might be clogged. If the faucets are clear, you may have a clog inside of the keg, either in the dip tube or in the liquid out post. Both will require that you disassemble your keg. If using a non-commercial kegerator, make sure your liquid lines are not touching the cooling plate in the back of the fridge. This will freeze the line, preventing liquid to move through it.
Still, Need Help?
Don’t see an answer to your question? Feel free to contact us to see if we can help you out. Or, order the Definitive Guide To Draft Coffee for the complete manual on how to set up a draft system from start to finish. It’s a 62-page ebook that does a deep-dive into a draft system for coffee and nitro coffee. Inside the ebook, you’ll find an extensive Table of Contents that lets you click directly to the section you’re interested in ready. We cover the following topics:
- Total System Overview
- Types of Gas To Use
- Setting Up Your Regulator
- Using Cornelius Kegs
- Attaching Beverage Lines & Faucets
- Pro Tips
You can also check out our Drips & Droughts Podcast: #42 Nitro Coffee – A New Experience & A Great First Impression. It’s a cool episode where we introduce nitro coffee to a first-timer!
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