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Old 05-04-2009, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default Black and Tan Q's

I'm planning on having homebrew black & tan pints soon. However, I have a few questions.

What allows the seperation? Is it primarily FG? My English Pale Ale came out with a much lower OG than Beersmith predicted, so I am worried that the FG will be too low.

How much FG differential is required for good separation?

Is the carbonation also a factor? I recently bough some bottled Guinness and Bass to "practice." I could not poor with any separation. My friend had similar problems despite using various spoon techniques. We then got some canned Murphy's that was super-carbed and practically blew out of the can when opened. We could get separation with the Murphy's (and it had an amazing creamy head). Interestingly, if left to sit a bit, the beer eventually blended into a mud beer losing some of the crisp separation at poor.

My EPA will be bottled and I am planning to keg the stout. Obviously, the stout should be a dry stout rather than some huge imperial stout to give the necessary lightness.

I know others on the forum have achieved good results in this area, but given my struggles with purchased beers, I'm not sure it's all that simple.

I appreciate any thoughts/comments. Thanks.



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Old 05-04-2009, 09:41 PM   #2
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from wiki:

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The Stout and Pale Ale are not immiscible in the same sense as oil and water. Most layered drinks depend on the use of ingredients with different specific gravities, but in this case both beers have approximately the same specific gravity; the high viscosity of the stout is the only reason that it can be layered over the ale. In practice, this means that creating a layered Black and Tan requires a little more finesse than, say, making a Brain Hemorrhage shooter. Guinness suggests filling the glass halfway with your "tan," tilting it at a 45 degree angle, and slowly adding the stout. Of course, the normal spoon-layering technique can be used as well. Finally, know that the layering has more to do with flair bartending than with the drink itself, and an unlayered Black and Tan is perfectly acceptable in many parts of the world.


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Old 05-04-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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Ugh. That begs almost as many questions as it answers. If "viscosity" is the trick, why did bottled Guinness fail and power-canned Murphy's succeed? Also, what can a home brewer do to increase the viscosity of a stout and is there a way to measure viscosity?

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Old 05-05-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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I've got a "lagerhead" black & tan turtle that hangs on the lips of the glass - works great, but a backwards bent spoon works well. Pour your first beer rather quickly - plenty of head helps a lot. Pour the second one over the rounded (convex) side of the spoon slowly, let it drizzle thru the foam. Expect the foam to climb over the sides and drip down, making a mess -- but voila! I can do this with almost any two beers. Heavier beer on bottom, of course. Even though Guinness is about 4.5%avb, it's a 'thinner' beer and sits on top well.

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Old 05-05-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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I always thought it had to do with Guinness using nitrogen/C02 mix and other beers using C02. The nitrogen being lighter than C02, it stays on top of the "heavier", more dense beers.

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Old 05-05-2009, 06:25 PM   #6
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When I make them with Guinness, I don't use the "Draught style" with the nitrogen swizzler - I use the old-style glass bottles with just plain carbonation... so while a nitrogenated beer may float easier, it's not necessary.

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Old 05-05-2009, 06:27 PM   #7
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nitrogen definitely helps, spoon is necessary. You can use beer gas (no2/co2 blend) with a regular tap, too. It works better with the nitro taps, but works just fine with out them.

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Old 05-05-2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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I've tried it a bunch of different ways with spoons and turtles, regular co2 and nitrogen widgets, and the only thing I've found that consistently works is having a significant head on the bottom layer, and a nice slow pour over a spoon/turtle on the top layer. There might be more to it than that, but I've never had a pour work without a good head on the pale ale.

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Old 05-05-2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the help guys. I guess I need to go back and give the bottled guinness another try. Obviously, Bass and Guinness SHOULD work, but so far we are 0 for 3 on our Guinness attempts (with good success on Murphy's).

For my homebrew B&T, I plan to make the stout as "light" as possible to help the cause. We'll see if it works out. I wanted the EPA to be 'heavy,' but it appears I missed my number there. It will be fun either way.

Thanks again.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatinma View Post
I always thought it had to do with Guinness using nitrogen/C02 mix and other beers using C02. The nitrogen being lighter than C02, it stays on top of the "heavier", more dense beers.
except Guinness has a higher/heavier gravity than the Bass underneath

i have yet to use my brolly spoon that Bass sent me free last year. one of these days though...


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