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Thread: Replacing Guinness

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Napa CA
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    Replacing Guinness

    We have been asked by a local restaurant to replace Guinness with our own brown ale on nitrogen. At the pub, we carbonate to 2.0-2.25 vol Co2 (head space 15-16psi), and use a Cellarstream nitrogen-mixing unit to pour at that tap (18 psi).
    My question is how do go about putting my brown ale on this tap designed for Guinness. I know I might have to change the keg fittings. I have not been to the restaurant yet to see the cold box, thatís on Monday. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated
    Nicholas Campbell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Wollongong, NSW, Australia
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    Nicholas,
    great job at getting Guinness off tap at a local. The Guinness lie has been going on for too long.

    Anyways, it seems as though your only problem for gassing a beer for a nitro tap is Nitrogen gas. Not fittings, etc, you'll need to gas your brown to the same levels with a 70% nitrogen mix, and then make sure the beer is served under it too, or use a "Guinness gas". Another thing, one that gets my goat: make sure the staff serving (if they're young) understand that a nitro beer takes time to pour, and not to rush it.

    Brew Before Dishonour!
    TIM Thomas
    Head Brewer
    Five Islands Brewing Company
    Wollongong, NSW
    Australia

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    63

    The Guinness Lie?

    Please elaborate on this Guinness lie you speak of. I'm just wondering what you have against Guinness. There seems to be an overall disliking of large breweries in this forum. It seems as though Anheuser Busch, Miller, Coors, Pabst, and any large brewer (over 1 million BBLs) who doesn't target the craft market is on a most wanted list in this forum.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Wollongong, NSW, Australia
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    The Guinness lie that I infer to is the fact that alot of Guinness sold around the world is nothing but a pale lager or ale brewed by the supplier in that country, and flavoured with an extract called GFE, and hit with nitro. That's why it tastes different everywhere else in the world, and not like it does in Dublin.

    I really have nothing against the ethics of the bigger breweries, just their beers.

    BBD!
    TIM Thomas
    Head Brewer
    Five Islands Brewing Company
    Wollongong, NSW
    Australia

  5. #5
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    Oct 2003
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Circling back to the original question, I have been asked to do the same thing with my stout (replacing Guinness) at 3 different places now, but was hoping to take a shortcut or two to get there...

    So, what do you think I would get when I'd put on a keg of my American stout at 1.25-1.5 volumes of CO2 on a nitrogen-pushed (75/25) Guinness tap?

    And what's the benefit to bars that push ALL their beers with this nitro/CO2 mix... other than flat beer?

    Scott

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Wollongong, NSW, Australia
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    Scott,

    In answer to your question: "American stout at 1.25-1.5 volumes of CO2 on a nitrogen-pushed (75/25) Guinness tap?" I'm not too sure, you'd get a slightly creamy beer, but a rather flat beer too. The difuser in the Guinness tap would mess around with the CO2 pretty much.

    The main benefit of using a "CellarMix" or 70/25 mix is to cut back on over carbonation on slower moving beer in my experience, and for beers being pushed a long way from cellar to bar.

    Has anyone tried Argonating a beer? I've heard a little bit about it, it supposedly doesn't affect the aroma and flavour too much whilst keeping the beer at that creamy look, etc.

    BBD!
    TIM Thomas
    Head Brewer
    Five Islands Brewing Company
    Wollongong, NSW
    Australia

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
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    Carbonate the stout to 1.8-2.0 vol CO2 and then do a nitrogenating cycle. Purge the head pressure and nitrogenate slowly through the stone until the head pressure is back to 15 psi (or higher if your tank is so rated). Do the same thing for the next two days, then keg as normal. Push the beer with "beer gas" 70% N2/ 30% CO2 through a Guinness style faucet at about 35 psi, which you will have to supply since the Guinness distributor will come and get theirs back, thank you very much. And then, on top of all that, unless your stout has a finishing gravity of about 1.2 Plato, get ready to explain to the waitstaff and owners why your beer won't pour a black and tan like Guinness.

    Worked for us! Except for the last part, which I am still trying to find a good way to explain.

    Cheers,

    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
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    963
    The benefit for bars pushing with mixed gas is less foam waste. The pub owners love the money in their pocket, the customers either like the more liquid in their glass or dislike the fact that the beer is flat. For long draw systems, mixed gas may be the only feasable option, but too few draught installers do it correctly with enough back pressure of CO2 so as not to make the beer flat.
    And about Guinness, it seems comical to me that all this Nitrogen stuff is an artificial method attempting to replicate the traditional pour from a British beer engine (hand pump) without the mess and fuss of actually pulling a pint. Simply a cheapening/"modernization" of a delicious but pain-in-the-ass century-old serving method.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2003
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Hey, thanks for all he solid info everyone. Amazing how the trends are the same town to town.

    I'm not a huge fan of nitrogenated beers, but some people just love that texture. I never realized that the origin of nitro serving was to mimick a cask ale carbonation level and head. It seems a drastic path to take with all the extra equipment (taps, gas systems, etc...) when you could avoid most of the cask ale "problems" - like spoilage by installing a breather and using CO2.

    Maybe it's all just been a scheme by Guinness to solidify their spot in the marketplace with a unique setup that requires a significant effort to change over to someone else's product? BRILLIANT!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
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    Actually, it is usually much cheaper to change a Guinness tap back to a normally-dispensed beer - just switch out the tap and coupler, switch the gas supply to the same as the rest of the beers, and bob's your uncle. Then all the pub owner has to buy is one supply of gas, plus he's probably paying less for the replacement beer than Guinness at $130 for a 13.2 gallon keg.

    It's just the power of the brand that keeps it going stong in spite of all the extra gizmos needed to pour it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Napa CA
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    Thank you everyone for you help and insight. I visted the restaurant yesterday and discovered that they are running guinness through a makeshift jokey box behind the back bar and storing the keg in less than ideal conditions. The reason they want to change from guinness was that they were wasting too much product due to foaming. No wonder!
    I will most likely decline the offer to replace guinness, but see if i can replace one of the other standard taps.
    Thank you again!
    Nicholas Campbell

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK
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    Re replacing cask beer serving systems with nitrogen etc. It's simple really. The reason chilled and filtered (and more recently pasteurised or sterile filtered) beers came about is to increase the shelf life of the product. The publicans were too cheapskate to clean the lines regularly, which meant throwing a small amount of beer away each time. Plus the state of the cellrs was too variable, often being too hot in summer, too cold in winter, which meant it was difficult to keep beer with the correct "condition" (CO2 content) and particulalry when warm led to rapid microbiological build up and spoilage in the beer. Filtered keg bee virtually resolved this at a stroke, albeit at a loss of flavour and aroma. But this loss was more often than not offset by lack of spoilage - so the brewer could have a production programme with smaller peaks and troughs, and more consistent albeit blander beer.

    I guess Guinness just investigated the dispense process more closely, and matched the close head with distinctive creamy colour set against the black beer before anyone else thought of the idea. The use of nitrogen for ales and lagers is a comparatively new phenomenon, started mainly (entirely ?) by British brewers trying to reduce declining sales of ales by making pseudo cask ale, with th eability to cool it further and hopefully capture some of the lager market. It certainly worked well for a few years, though the ale market in the UK is still declining.

    Cheers
    dick

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