Cant Dispense Guiness


Hi everyone,

I will admit to you all that I am fairly new to the trade, having taken over a pub only a few months ago now, but I have worked in pubs for a fair time.

Today I changed my Guinness Keg as usual and did exactly the same as I do every time.
Just in case – here are my steps
Dispense stops
Go to cellar and see cellar bouy is empty and so is keg
Turn gas off
Uncouple old Keg
Recouple new Keg
Turn Gas on
“Bleed” Cellar bouy (or whatever you call it!)
Make sure the ball is at the top and not blocking the line
Therefore gas is on – cellar bouy is full up with Guinness and the ball is at the top of the bouy.

When I went back to dispense it worked for so long then started frothing until it stopped. Back to the cellar and the Cellar Bouy was empty again!
I checked the gas and I still have at least 1/2 tank of 70/30, so I did the whole uncoupling and recoupling again, redid the cellar bouy and tried again.
I noticed that one of my other gases was on the borderline (C02) so I changed that because I know that when I line clean my Kegs all my gases have to be ok for the whole system to work.
But Every time I tried to dispense the Guinness the cellar bouy emptied again! I had to give up and say that the Guinness was off!
I can also see that there is a lot of air gaps in the lines from the Keg to the Bouy

Has anyone any idea what has happened – Gas seems ok and the keg is coupled correctly. — Could there be a problem with the Keg?

Thanks for all your help

Cara at the Queen Victoria


  1. if you have gas at the coupler then it sounds like a faulty keg seal or coupler seal. best way to find out is try another keg if you have one

  2. What an excellent description, seems like you have done everything right. But as there are bubbles in the line from the keg are you sure it isn’t the mixed gas bottle that is empty? It depends where the gauge is placed on your system if the gauge is connected to the bottle then that may tell you what’s in the bottle but if it further away all it is just telling you the pressure that’s in the line. As soon as it starts to go down that means you have to change the bottle as its not delivering the right pressure. It will be something simple like this. The reason you may not be having trouble with other bitters on the same gas is they will be half empty and will have some gas in the keg pushing it through. Also they have a gas pump assisting them using another gas, while Guinness doesn’t normally have a gas pump.

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