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Subject: Nitrogen?
Author: nightbrewer
Jan 3rd, 2013
9:24 am
Hey dar boys (and gals). I'm tinkn of expanding my dispensing to include nitrogen. Is it worth the expense? I enjoy Boddingtons and Guinness and imagine a beautiful creamy head on my beer with nitro. But I ask you people that have nitro, is it worth it?
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: Wateriseverything
Jan 3rd, 2013
2:20 pm
I think it would be cool, just tried a Port Brewing Poor Vato double IPA on nitro yesterday pretty awesome. It gave this big IPA a whole new dimension. This brew came in at 10.5%. I think a nitro set up would be cool to use & try out on different types of brews.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: jbillingsle01
Jan 3rd, 2013
9:30 pm
what do you need for nitrogen? just a different regulator?
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: Longshot
Jan 3rd, 2013
9:45 pm
From my understanding, it requires a separate nitrogen/CO2 tank with regulator and a special tap that dispenses at higher pressure than standard CO2 (upwards of 20 PSI). I'd be curious to hear from someone who has done this.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: DConn
Jan 3rd, 2013
10:00 pm
You can always do what Guinness did before they used nitro. Their beers came with a syringe. You'd suck up some beer and shoot it back into the glass. It produced the cascading head and decarbonated the beer for the smooth mouthfeel, just like nitro.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: Edelstoff
Jan 3rd, 2013
10:25 pm
You could also consider purchasing a Perlick creamer faucet. I have a couple and like them pretty well.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: nightbrewer
Jan 3rd, 2013
10:54 pm
From Keg connection the costs of adding the complete setup of Nitro not including a Keg is about $240 shipped to your door in America. This includes the lines, empty nitro tank, regulator and tap.

I have the Perlick creamer faucets already and they are very nice. Pushing back on the handle creates extra foam when you need it.

I expect Nitro to give that creamy smooth head and mouth feel you get from some of the more popular beers. I'm not out to clone Guinness but I am very interested in making Reds and Imperial Stouts with Nitro. Hell I think I would try doing this with a Euro Lager and even American Hoppy IPAs.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: osubrewer
Jan 5th, 2013
12:40 pm
I have a nitro tank, regulator, and stout faucet and it works great. You can have a very small tank as you carb the beer with CO2 and can drive it with nitrogen to pour. It works as well and as easy as the Guiness you buy on tap. I don't think anything else can replicate the smooth creamy quality you can get with nitro, in fact it seems to make even a more bitter beer seem smoother.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: nightbrewer
Jan 6th, 2013
1:23 am
Thanks for the comment all! I've taken the plunge and placed my order. I can't wait to pour my first nitro stout.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: MollyHatchet
Jan 9th, 2013
4:03 pm
I see on ebay you can buy an adapter to use a regular regulator on a tank of nitrogen. I was looking into thise at my local gas supplier. The guy told me to expect to pay about twice as much for the gas, and it last about half as long. I thought it would be nice for some stouts, IPA. IIPA, scottish ales.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: murfreesboropd
Jan 9th, 2013
4:17 pm
I went the cheap way with trying to replicate this. I bought some plastic balls and poked a pin hole in them. Sterlized and put them in the keg to resemble a widget. Then went out and got a creamer faucet. While its not a "nitro" pour, I do get a helluva creamy head like one would went emptying a can of Murphys or Killkennys. I like it with my Irish ale brews and my Ninkasi Tricerahops clone.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: mtyquinn
Jan 9th, 2013
9:55 pm
I don't have much experience with setting up Nitrogen, but it seems like a great addition to your home brew arsenal. Go for it.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: nightbrewer
Feb 26th, 2013
5:26 am
Ok I'm reviving this thread based on my purchase the Nitro set up for about $240 and some experimentation over the last month. I want to share what I've learned and ask for help. Is there anyone out there that knows a good process to properly nitro a stout to get the cascading bubbles. I think I've achieved this but I'm hoping there is a proven method.

I tried to "nitro" or dispense two different stouts and a Belgium Ale using Nitro instead of CO2 and the regular tap. Here is what I've learned.

1. The Nitro tap is a huge different. It forces the beer to foam while pouring, so if you are trying to serve a regular beer using a nitro tap your going to get too much foam.

2. Using a nitro tap reduces the hop and malt aroma dramatically. I served a chocolate stout that had a 1 lb of chocolate nibs in secondary making it burst with chocolate flavor but when using the nitro tap with CO2 (no nitro) the aroma and much of the flavor vanished. It's kind of like the nitro faucet ripped the flavor out of the stout.

3. Taking a fresh keg of stout and forcing it with 30 PSI (nitro 76% and CO2 25%) for a week results in flat beer. Nitro is hard to get mixed with liquid.

4. Carbonate a stout to about 5 psi with CO2 and then a week for 30PSI (nitro/CO2) delivers the the Guinness cascading down bubble that make a grown man cry. You are then left with the cream head you'd expect with a Guinness.

During this process I've learned that using Nitro to dispense stouts is like putting training wheels on a stout. It will make any half decent stout turn amazing. I love Guinness but after all this I've lost a lot of respect for the drink. I feel I can make stouts that are more interesting than the typical Guinness with that same cascading bubbles and creamy head. A Guinness is actual a lighter stout than most of the Imperial, Oatmeal, Chocolate etc stouts I'd had.


All in all this was a great purchase and I recommend that if you like stout and Guinness that you should take the plunge and do Nitro. It's a whole new dimension to making beer.

Cheers.

PS Adding Nitro to a Belgium Beer was evil. I thought it might add the "Bodington effect" but it was just plain evil. Ripped the flavor out and added too much bubbles.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: WApilot
Feb 26th, 2013
5:45 am
Yes, i love my stout faucet. It is a great addition and change-up for my beers. My $.02, you're gonna like it
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: nightbrewer
Feb 26th, 2013
6:09 pm
WApilot, how do you nitro your stouts? Time Temp Pressure?
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: Kaz
Feb 28th, 2013
5:37 am
Not sure if its a proven method, but have had had any miscues.

1. Ferment beer and let clarify (rack into secondary if you want).
2. Rack and chill keg with minor positive pressure.
3. If your nitro/CO2 tank has been setting vertical for a while, take and shake and roll around on the floor (Alley/Brew Gas will separate/ stratify if let sitting for a long time)
4. Take mostly uncarbonated keg of beer and connect N2/CO2 blend (most off the shelf blends are 60 N2/40ish) to keg and pressurize and if you have a check valve on your IN line you can shake connected and if not presurize with about 50 PSI and then disconnect. Shake the keg like a paint shaker.
5. Peat and repeat, 5-10 times.
6. Let settle for a period of time and then connect to nitro tap. Walla, you will have a nitro keg.

The key to a nitro keg is not to over-carbonate. The less CO2 the better. If you can't sit the pint glass under the tap and fill the glass to the top without to much foam then you are ok, foam means too much CO2. If you have that problem bleed CO2 from keg, N2 does not dissolve or release from the beer so don't worry about the N2.

Good luck,

Kaz



Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: WApilot
Feb 28th, 2013
6:08 am
nightbrewer-
after fermentation, I rack to keg, set CO2 pressure to approx 5psi, leave in kegerator (around 45F) for one week. I then change from CO2 over to beergas and change temp to around 50F in kegerator and set beergas pressure to 30psi. Charge for 10 minutes then pour. I do like to turn off my beergas cylinder after use each day.
Remember, nitrogen is ONLY the driving force to push the beer through the stout faucet so there is no need to "carbonate" the keg with beergas
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: nightbrewer
Feb 28th, 2013
4:24 pm
Guys, much appreciated instruction. So do I understand correctly that nitrogen is used because it does not create foam and is a gas that is able to push the beer through the line without adding gas to to beer. 5 psi CO2 charged keg with a 30 psi Nitrogen pushing it out will result in the desired result. Right?

Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: Kaz
Feb 28th, 2013
8:57 pm
Yes, you do want to dissolve a small amount of Nitrogen into the beer for a true nitrogen type, Guinness style beer. Nitrogen does affect the flavor of the beer and the size of the bubbles in the foam. Here are a couple examples of effects nitrogen has on beer http://www.thebrewsite.com/canned-beer-week-why-beer-widgets/ and http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110308/full/news.2011.140.html. Alley or beer gas is used so that the beer does not become over carbonated when the beer sits under pressure. In order to get the nitrogen dissolved (not soluble in liquid like C02) into the beer you have to shake or bubble the nitrogen through the beer. In order to get the nitrogen to come out of the beer you have to push it a higher pressure through a Guinness type tap. you can do the other way, but then it would not be exactly the same. I can usually tell when brew pubs cheat and do not use nitrogen in the beer. Takes the server longer to fill the glass and the foam is not as dense.
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: Kaz
Feb 28th, 2013
9:00 pm
Here is explanation on how the pros do it.

http://discussions.probrewer.com/showthread.php?12141-Best-way-to-Nitrogenate-beer
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: BrewerBob
Feb 28th, 2013
11:08 pm
Thanks for all the info Kaz!
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: WApilot
Mar 3rd, 2013
3:32 am
You can use the higher pressure on beergas because nitrogen, being an inert gas hence the female top of the cylinder, it does not saturate into liquid. Tell us your results, i know you'll enjoy the looks on friends faces when you present them that cascading beer
Subject: Re: Nitrogen?
Author: nightbrewer
Apr 5th, 2013
4:16 am
Just poured some Guinness clone with my Nitro setup. What a friggin easy beer that is 95% the same as the real thing. Mouth feel , creaminess and taste are spot on. I just have to work on the twang or bitterness.

Recipe here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S5i7_5p-jLigwI33djgODpUIwDWsRSS0pD-5rjW0c4c/edit?usp=sharing

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