"Sorry, Brew Interrupted. Now What?

Posted on Fri, Jan 19, 2018

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Keurig® brewers are a very polite group of kitchen appliances. When they are out of water they ask for more with a tactful “please” and when they experience an operational error an apologetic “sorry” softens the blow. Although I appreciate the gentility, it does not make the occurrence any less frustrating. Kind words on the computer screens of our coffee makers are not the answer to cure our Keurig® woes; it is knowledge. Knowing what to do when your Keurig® faces a troubling event is the key to reduced coffee stress.

Keurig® troubleshooting: What do do when your screen says “Sorry, brew interrupted.”

This is also known as the overpressure message and may say “water under pressure” instead. Keurig® units are equipped with pressure sensing technology. Water pressure is pivotal in single-serve coffee brewing. It is the same science behind a correct espresso pull. Varying amounts of pressure offer a different result when the coffee meets your mug. When it comes to K-Cup® coffee brewing, this may also mean avoiding an exploding K-Cup® pod or more commonly a clogged brew needle.

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Photo credit: Pexels.com

The brew needles of your Keurig® machine can become clogged by lodged coffee grinds or leaves of tea. Water cannot pass the clog and will, therefore, rise in pressure behind the traffic jammed area. Keurig® technology will then cue the unit to shut down and display the “water under pressure” or "sorry, brew interrupted" messages.

The good news is, just removing the clog should quickly solve this issue.

Tools needed:

  • The brewer maintenance accessory tool
  • A paperclip (if you do not have a brewer maintenance accessory tool
  • A mug
  • Filtered water
  • A K-Cup® pod
  • Keurig® brewer descaling solution (maybe)


  1. Carefully remove the spent K-Cup® pod that was in use when the error appeared.
  2. Use the brewer maintenance accessory tool to clean the puncture needles in the brew basket of your Keurig® coffee maker using the steps outlined here.
  3. If you are using the paper clip method, clean the brew needles using the instructions listed here.
  4. Run 3-4 water only brew cycles with no K-Cup® pod in place.
  5. Try to brew another K-Cup® pod


Photo credit: Pexels.com

This process should clear any blockages in your brew needles and allow the Keurig® brewer to function at proper pressure levels. If it did not work and you receive the message again consider these options:

  • Try cleaning your brewer with Keurig® descaling solution or distilled white vinegar.
  • Try a different brand of K-Cup® pods. Sometimes the fault can be placed on the particular run of coffee pods and not the machine at all. Trying another brand can determine that possibility.
  • Are you using softened water? The high level of sodium ions in softened water tends to alter the state of coffee grinds or tea leaves making them less able to be penetrated by water causing potential clogging as a gelatinous covering forms around the substances. Try bottled water instead.
  • Try using the high altitude setting (if your unit is equipped with this option).
  • Try using the “strong” setting (if your unit is equipped with this option).

If none of these suggestions work, your machine may be faulty. Luckily, Keurig® offers a generous one year warranty on their revolutionary coffee makers that will keep us brewing on morning after morning!


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Topics: Keurig K-cup FAQ's

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