First venture into Nitrogen and Stout faucet

The Homebrew Forum

Help Support The Homebrew Forum:

Brewmastermk

New Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
8
Just to report in on my foray into nitrogen and stout.

Brewed a beer according to the Velveteen Milk Chocolate Stout recipe, and being new to All Grain and having broken my main thermometer, I was a little off with my temps, I think the reason I ended up with a high OG an FG. About 5.8% in the end.

First time I ever used a corny keg too, having used only King kegs or bottles in the past. And I also invested in a beer gas 3070 nitrogen tank and a stout faucet, in for a penny…

I hit it with 35psi and left it 2 days. 3m of beer line. After 2 days I was honestly a bit disappointed. No head. No cascade. Slow pour. Thought I might have to shorted the beer line to ignite some excitement…

I did fortunatelt realise I’d jumped the gun a lot on the conditioning and carbonation time though so upped to 40psi and left another week. I gave afterall been brewing kits and stovetop AG for 10-20 years now, but only to bottle or poly keg.

Even though I know I ought to leave it longer, even after 10 days from kegging this is beautiful. Cascade lasts a good few minutes. Creamy head sticks around until the glass is empty, and the taste is epic.

Why didn’t I move to all grain and nitrogen sooner? I can’t buy stuff this good in any pub anywhere…let alone nearby…

Next up I’m going to get a low alcohol Mild/session ale on the go, but I think that’ll need a CO2 set up…
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
625
Location
Paremata New Zealand
All grain does make a big difference. Nitro is great for beers that suit it as your stout.

I try and finish my beers off as a pressure ferment for the CO2 vol I want then when I keg it and put the nitro on it's ready to go straightaway. If your beer gas is 70 % nitrogen 30% CO2 and its at 30 psi on the beer gas. THat means a nitrogen pressure of 21psi and CO2 of 9 psi , so you don't aim very high on your CO2 vols with the pressure ferment. Similarly you can in the future force carb with the CO2 cylinder to get the 9psi vols equivalent ( ie at 6celsius that's just over 2 vols of CO2) which will be quicker and cheaper than trying to do it with the beer gas. Then once CO2 carbed put it on the beer gas.
 

Brewmastermk

New Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
8
All grain does make a big difference. Nitro is great for beers that suit it as your stout.

I try and finish my beers off as a pressure ferment for the CO2 vol I want then when I keg it and put the nitro on it's ready to go straightaway. If your beer gas is 70 % nitrogen 30% CO2 and its at 30 psi on the beer gas. THat means a nitrogen pressure of 21psi and CO2 of 9 psi , so you don't aim very high on your CO2 vols with the pressure ferment. Similarly you can in the future force carb with the CO2 cylinder to get the 9psi vols equivalent ( ie at 6celsius that's just over 2 vols of CO2) which will be quicker and cheaper than trying to do it with the beer gas. Then once CO2 carbed put it on the beer gas.
Thanks for the pointers. I had certainly been thinking to use CO2 to carb before hooking the beer gas up, but hadn’t encountered pressure fermentation before - I guess that’s in equivalent like priming that I used to do with the poly kegs, but you do it in a secondary fermentation vessel, and then transfer over to the main keg once done? What vessel would you pressure ferment in? Another corny keg - and then pressure transfer to not lose the CO2?

cheers,
Mark
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
8,659
Reaction score
5,716
All we need is a picture. I have been thinking of getting some nitrogen, I have a stout or porter on tap throughout the year. I plan to move some thing around in the garage so will see if there is room
 

Brewmastermk

New Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
8
All we need is a picture. I have been thinking of getting some nitrogen, I have a stout or porter on tap throughout the year. I plan to move some thing around in the garage so will see if there is room
Will try and get some photos today and get them uploaded. My setup is very slapdash mind, I have very limited space in the corner of a small old shed. It does at least prove one doesn’t need a full blown man cave to get a good result…
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,746
Reaction score
1,429
Location
North Wales
All grain does make a big difference. Nitro is great for beers that suit it as your stout.

I try and finish my beers off as a pressure ferment for the CO2 vol I want then when I keg it and put the nitro on it's ready to go straightaway. If your beer gas is 70 % nitrogen 30% CO2 and its at 30 psi on the beer gas. THat means a nitrogen pressure of 21psi and CO2 of 9 psi , so you don't aim very high on your CO2 vols with the pressure ferment. Similarly you can in the future force carb with the CO2 cylinder to get the 9psi vols equivalent ( ie at 6celsius that's just over 2 vols of CO2) which will be quicker and cheaper than trying to do it with the beer gas. Then once CO2 carbed put it on the beer gas.
Not quite right, although I used to make this error until recently. It was only when things wouldn't add up that I began to twig what I was doing wrong:

You do indeed need to be talking in PSI, but you are actually calculating figures that are PSIG. I.E. you are calculating relative to ambient pressure (that's what the "G" means, it averages about 14.7 PSI at sea-level) whereas you want absolute pressure (or; relative to a vacuum).

So: At 30PSIG that's 30+14.7=44.7PSI. Your CO2 pressure will be 44.7x30%=13.4PSI. Or: 13.4-14.7=-1.3PSIG. Minus! That's a bit weird (even at 6C that is going to be a lot less than 2 volumes of CO2). That's why you need the high pressure + cold + time; to get some nitrogen to dissolve (it doesn't dissolve easily). @Brewmastermk is beginning to figure this by upping the mixed-gas pressure and leaving it longer.

Ironically, the low CO2 levels is what makes the stout/porter "smooth" 'cos it means less carbonic acid ... like the original hand-pumped naturally conditioned stuff before the 1960s (now that is even weirder!).


Pressure fermenting and force carbonating with pure CO2 gets the volumes of CO2 up to higher levels as the 30/70 mixed gas is only diluting the existing CO2 slowly. Beer recently fermented will have just short of 1 volume CO2 already in it.
 

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
625
Location
Paremata New Zealand
Here's a picture of one my stouts on nitro and one finishing off pressure fermenting in a fermentasaurus. IMG_20210615_223254.jpg IMG_20210615_225204.jpg IMG_20210509_090552.jpg
@peebee
Of course you are right about the figures, if the beer was CO2 at 2vols and then the nitrogen beer gas it probably would pour too foamy and taste fairly sharp due to that carbonic acid.

The other way to get a nitro type pour is to use air it's 80% nitrogen and serve your beer through a beer engine with a stout sparkler.
Beer engine 1.jpg

That isn't a stout sparkler on this engine though. Similar but different in the taste.
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,746
Reaction score
1,429
Location
North Wales
Relevant perhaps?

Maltodextrin

No nitrogen but not cold either. Over 5psi so not as "smooth" as it could be? It's Porter but being an early 19th Century "clone" it's more "stout" than today's "Stout".

I'd normally put this on hand-pump (no sparkler) but with 1-2PSI CO2 as per my so-called "treatise" (which isn't linked at this moment 'cos Google bust the links!). I'm sure the ambient serving temperature and highish FG (h-e-a-v-y!) ensures there is no need for nitrogen.



[EDIT: The other likely contributor to "no nitrogen" is this Porter has conditioned for 4 months. These things (long maturing, serving temperature preferences and specific gravities) are probably why a profit-centric company like Guinness turned to developing nitrogen conditioning in the 1950s.]
 
Last edited:

RoomWithABrew

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
625
Location
Paremata New Zealand
@peebee
My manuka smoked porter, maturing with some oak spirals for the last 4 months should be great then in another couple when the weather gets a bit colder.

Anyone got some ideas as to how Guinness was done before nitro, was it a blend from 2 casks, one of going off draught guinness mixed with fresh cask guinness?
 

peebee

Out of Control
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,746
Reaction score
1,429
Location
North Wales
@RoomWithABrew ... Here's something I wrote a while back:

If you do start experimenting, I should add that I did try to emulate the "high cask, low cask" system without success. But I've only tried it once. So my failure means nowt.

The "high cask" was a special small cask with exceptionally thick staves (2" if I remember rightly). Note the casks were all wooden then. The "high cask" was filled with fermented stout and a good measure of unfermented wort. It would ferment in the cask creating very high pressure (for a cask). The low cask was filled with fermented out stout (no priming). It was served by pumping a measure of "low cask" stout into a glass and topping it up from the "high cask".

It was used until quite recently (1970s, 1980s perhaps). I used to know someone who said he travelled on the boat from Cork <Dublin! :rolleyes: > with the fermenting Guinness. I now believe he was talking about these "high casks".
 

Latest posts

Top