Mini Nitrogen Regulator

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Begbie

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Hi all. Tried searching for this subject but couldn't find what I was looking for. Being a lover of Stouts and Porters, I've always wanted to be able to pour from my 5L mini kegs using nitrogen to get that smooth creamy texture. Well, I've suggested to the wife that santa could get me a mini nitrogen regulator, and despite the funny look, it's been sanctioned (her response was 'what a **** present'. She isn't a home brewer obviously).

So, has anyone got experience of using the mini nitrogen regulator that you can buy on TMM? It would be good to get feedback before santa orders a **** present. 😁
 

Begbie

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Bump...

Can anyone advise? Got the regulator plus Nitrogen bulbs in the basket, ready to purchase.
 

thegrantickle

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The reg is fine for dispense. Bear in mind you will use a hell of a lot of nitrogen to actually nitrogenate the beer because nitro is far less soluble in water than CO2, and therefore requires a lot more pressure to do so. I wouldn't use bulbs to nitrogenate, I'd use a proper nitrogen tank and regulator and then use bulbs for a portable dispense option.
 

Begbie

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The reg is fine for dispense. Bear in mind you will use a hell of a lot of nitrogen to actually nitrogenate the beer because nitro is far less soluble in water than CO2, and therefore requires a lot more pressure to do so. I wouldn't use bulbs to nitrogenate, I'd use a proper nitrogen tank and regulator and then use bulbs for a portable dispense option.
Thanks TGT. The description on TMM website (see screenshot below) says that you should just carbonate as normal and only use the Nitrogen to dispense. It says that one 2g bulb should dispense 4.5L of still liquid and more if already carbonated.

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So, will I still get a smooth pour of stout if only being used for dispensing? I'm no Scientist or Gas Engineer, but I would have thought that the Nitrogen will just act as a pressure source to help push the already carbonated beer through the dip tube, tap and into my glass. Or, does the Nitrogen mix with the beer in the keg, giving you a gas mixture?

I've also been searching YouTube videos for advice, but they're all just on purely Nitro or CO2.
 

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thegrantickle

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Pub gas cylinders for nitro pours are usually 70/30 Nitrogen/Co2 or 100% nitrogen. I guess if you carbonate with CO2 then dispense with nitrogen you'll get some kind of mix? Seems a bit uncontrolled to me - I wouldn't personally do that, but up to you. I would either use 70/30 all the way or Nitro all the way.
 

thegrantickle

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Also, bear in mind that for a nitro pour, you will need a tap with a restrictor plate.
 

Begbie

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Hmmm, it's sounding like the purchase might not fully fulfil the need! I get the feeling that I would end up spending £45 on a reg and bulbs, only to spend more further down the line to achieve that smooth creamy Guinness-like stout. Further research and self-restraint from clicking that 'proceed to checkout' is required!
 

thegrantickle

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Hmmm, it's sounding like the purchase might not fully fulfil the need! I get the feeling that I would end up spending £45 on a reg and bulbs, only to spend more further down the line to achieve that smooth creamy Guinness-like stout. Further research and self-restraint from clicking that 'proceed to checkout' is required!
I'd agree!
 

RGeats

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I have the nitro dispenser you are talking about. When I first tried it on a very low carbonated stout it worked great, then I carbonated it slightly more, and i got a lot of foam! I also found with a 19l corny I had to use a lot of the bulbs towards the end of the keg so I gave up. With you trying it with a 5l keg it might work better.
 

Begbie

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I have the nitro dispenser you are talking about. When I first tried it on a very low carbonated stout it worked great, then I carbonated it slightly more, and i got a lot of foam! I also found with a 19l corny I had to use a lot of the bulbs towards the end of the keg so I gave up. With you trying it with a 5l keg it might work better.
Aha! Someone with product experience! So, my stout has done its 2 weeks of carbonating (by batch priming with a sugar solution to maybe 2.4 volumes, if I remember correctly) in the mini keg - if I was to use the mini nitro regulator to dispense, I will get the smooth creamy texture then?

I've been looking online at gas suppliers in my area, and although out of stock at the moment, there is a 5L cylinder of 70/30 gas for £54. I would just need a suitable regulator. Decisions decisions.
 

RGeats

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I'm not sure if you will. Like I said, I ended up with loads of foam trying it with carbonated beer. The stout spout has a restrictor plate in it, which needs higher pressure to force the beer through. This releases any CO2 in solution, which leads to the creamy head if done correctly, or just loads of foam if not!

You would need a different regulator if you wanted to use the bigger cylinder obviously. Going for a big cylinder would be cheaper in the Long term, if you plan on doing lots of stouts.
 
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