Why isn't my nitro coffee not cascading when I pour it?

Serving nitro coffee can be finicky because nitrogen isn't as soluble in liquids as other gases like CO2 are. Here are some things you may want to check and try if your nitro coffee is not cascading well or if there isn't much of a frothy head on it.

Getting your nitro coffee to pour with a vigorous cascade effect can sometimes be hard to dial in, but once you figure out the proper mix of requirements, it is usually very easy to consistently replicate. Here are a few things to check if your nitro coffee is not cascading when being poured out of a stout faucet.

  • Check your serving pressure

    Nitro coffee should be dispensed at a high pressure (35-45psi) for a couple reasons.
    1. The higher pressure helps to keep the coffee infused with nitrogen.
    2. The higher pressure increases the effectiveness of the restrictor plate that is found within the stout faucet.
  • Use a Quick Cascade Keg Lid

    Using a Quick Cascade Keg Lid helps to infuse nitrogen into your coffee (rather than just pushing nitrogen into the headspace of your keg). In order for the Quick Cascade Keg Lid to work effectively, you have to have your nitrogen line connected to the Quick Cascade Keg Lid, rather than to the gas in post on the keg. Believe it or not, this step is often missed.
  • Use a NitroNow Nitro Infuser

    Using a Nitro Infuser is a newer way to load your coffee with nitrogen on its way from the keg to the faucet. We've had clients report using less nitrogen and actually less coffee as well due to the amount of infusion that occurs within the nitro infuser module. 
  • Check to make sure that coffee grounds didn't make their way into your keg

    If you're serving at a high pressure and you are using a Quick Cascade Keg Lid and you're still not getting a good nitro pour, there may be coffee grounds in your keg and/or beverage lines that is restricting the flow prior to the coffee getting to the faucet. You can sometimes check for grounds by unscrewing the tip of the stout faucet and looking inside at the restrictor plate to see if anything is caught in there. If that looks clean, you may have coffee grounds in the keg dip tube and/or the keg post which are preventing flow. Anything that ends up in the keg or in your beverage lines or faucet that prevents the flow decreases the effectiveness of the restrictor plate that is found in the tip of the stout faucet.

  • Try the "old school" method of agitating your keg

    If you've eliminated coffee grounds - try agitating the keg to see if that makes a difference - pickup and shake, or lay on the ground and rock it back and for for a minute or two. If it starts pouring well after that, then we're not getting good infusion of nitrogen into the coffee. Make sure the coffee is cold (33F-38F) when infusing nitrogen.

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