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Thread: Nitrogen "carbonation" for stouts etc

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Miramichi, NB, Canada
    Posts
    8

    Nitrogen "carbonation" for stouts etc

    Hi, this has been talked about before but I'm in the process of starting a new brewery. Is there a simple (ish) solution? We will have a nitrogen capture system. I would love to serve true Nitro stouts and porters... Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    212
    Assuming that this is draft stout...

    Spund carb the stout to about 5 psi and complete fermentation. Crash cool to 34F and maintain 5 psi and allow to settle yeast and drop out. Rack to bright tank with a sock screen and allow to settle again; hold at 5 psi and 34F until ready to keg. Bring pressure to 15 psi head pressure and keg off.

    Serve at 45-50F under nitrogen/CO2 blended gas 70/30 at 20-22 psi through a nitro faucet.

    There isn't any actual nitrogen dissolved in the beer. The Nitrogen blend keeps the stout at the right low carbonation level and at higher pressure to allow a creamy breakout of CO2 and foam.

    Adjust temp and pressure until a perfect pour.
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    686
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Hicks View Post
    Assuming that this is draft stout...

    Spund carb the stout to about 5 psi and complete fermentation. Crash cool to 34F and maintain 5 psi and allow to settle yeast and drop out. Rack to bright tank with a sock screen and allow to settle again; hold at 5 psi and 34F until ready to keg. Bring pressure to 15 psi head pressure and keg off.

    Serve at 45-50F under nitrogen/CO2 blended gas 70/30 at 20-22 psi through a nitro faucet.

    There isn't any actual nitrogen dissolved in the beer. The Nitrogen blend keeps the stout at the right low carbonation level and at higher pressure to allow a creamy breakout of CO2 and foam.

    Adjust temp and pressure until a perfect pour.
    This is the poor mans "nitro", there are a number of systems available to nitrogenate your beer. Most are inline while you're filling the keg, some are inline while you are serving. The other way to do it is get a pressure rated brite tank, at least 30 psi, then you nitrogenate the same way you carbonate. I forget what the name of one of the systems is, but its the same people that make nitro coffee at all the coffee shops now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    212
    Nitrogen is inert and does not remain in solution for long. If injected inline on the way to the faucet, I suppose you can get some tiny bubbles and foam.

    The poor man's nitro works every time.
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    212
    Injecting nitrogen or blended gas into bright tank or keg is a good way to scrub overcarbonated beers of excess CO2.
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    837
    Many ways to do this.

    Basically start with a beer/stout about 1.3-1.5 vol CO2 and then nitrogenate to saturation.

    That can happen a number of ways: a custom nitrogenation plant (basically creates an extremely high pressure environment by a multi stage centrifugal in a narrow tube matrix that drives N2 into solution - classic solution) or you could use a contactor membrane (a bit pricey but works at the molecular level at low pressure), you could also use a cellarstream (to nitrogenate on the way from the keg to tap), using it inline if you have 2 bar+ rated systems.

    I have done it all ways. COntactor membrane is easiest and best.

    Any way you do it, remember that the solubility of N2 is miniscule. Also remember PV=nRT.

    Pax.

    Liam
    Liam McKenna
    www.yellowbellybrewery.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Saint Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    3
    Carbonate the beer with regular old CO2 to 1.8 Volumes. Over the next 2 days degass the tank and use straight food grade nitrogen and bump it through the carb stone to whatever max pressure your tank can handle. (6-8 times over 2 days works fine). If you can connect a nitro tap to the tank it makes it that much easier to know when its done. TC Barb to tubing (6ish feet) to a nitro tap. Push the beer at 25 or so PSI. You know its ready when you get that perfect Guiness style pour. Package the beer by using nitorogen on the tank and serve it with a good 70/30 beergas blend to keep the remaining co2 in the beer and keep it from going flat.

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