Keurig Partial Cup Brewing

Four solutions to help …

On a regular basis this problem arises with our readers and it’s one of the most common issues we come across, not only on our site but what we see across the net with sites dealing with Keurig brewer issues. The issue normally arises, as the name suggests, through the brewer not making a full cup of coffee on one or more of the cup size settings.

Solution 1 – Keurig Descale and Clean

Sometimes a brewer can start to only brew a partial cup. This problem is generally the result of the brewer not being cleaned and in particular the exit needle being clogged with coffee or other grounds from the different K-Cup portions.

Cleaning of B60 Entry Needle

If you suspect this to be the case then a good clean of the machine should do the trick. If you would like some guidance on this, in particular the cleaning of the exit needle, which can be a little fiddly, we recommend you have a look at our article on how to descale a Keurig by clicking here section for this particular process; and in particular our new article on how to clean the exit needle.

A key issue to remember with these cleaning processes is to always make sure you do a good rinse through of the brewer. In particular when running white vinegar through the machine, this can leave a rather bitter taste and you will soon know about it if the brewer hasn’t been sufficiently rinsed.

Photo of burping a Keurig B60

Solution 2 – The Keurig Burp

A solution that some readers have found work, if only for a short period, is what we call the Keurig burp. We have written a separate guide for this process and you can find this guide here.

Photo of an air pump being removed

Solution 3 – Air Pump Replacement

The air pump sits below a solenoid in most Keurig brewers and a problem can arise if the solenoid develops a leak – which they too often do. Even a very slow leak, over time, can cause the electric air pump to seize or work intermittently. We are finding this comes up more and more with our readers and it is a design fault that Keurig are aware of.

The brewer will generally have no trouble filling the boiler unit from the water reservoir. But rather it doesn’t build water pressure, which is the job of the air pump, to then force the water from the boiler unit through a tube connected to the entry needle, into the K-Cup, and then into your coffee cup. With an air pump problem a brewer may be able to produce a partial cup of coffee, and then with the next brew make nothing at all.

Now, the air pump can be fixed but this fix is a mission in getting the Keurig panels off and then getting access to the pump. The pump does not cost much, but it’s quite a job in its replacement. However, if it is something you would want to have a go at fixing we have an article covering replacement parts like the air pump and a repair guides section that will help in issues such as removing the machine’s outer casing to get access to an air pump.

Solution 4 – But Don’t Do This …

Please don’t do what this chap did in this YouTube video. In putting that type of pressure through the intake system runs the risk of it splitting or rupturing the tubing or a seal that takes the water from the water reservoir and into the boiler unit. Having high pressure water being injected into the Keurig within its casing is not what you want and can lead to all sorts of other issues including water damage of power transformers and pump units. You please … don’t do this at home!