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Old 10-22-2006, 07:46 PM   #1
ochocki
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Default Nitrogen?

I love stout, especially draught style, now I know that brands like Guinness have a nitrogen distributor in the bottle to ensure that creamy style head. Is there any way I can brew a stout to have this same consistency?

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Old 10-22-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
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No and Yes and sort-of. The widget technology is outside of what a homebrewer can manage. You can keg and use a nitrogen/CO2 mix with a stout tap OR you can get fairly close by adding champagne yeast to your priming bucket. I have found that this yeast does a good job of producing the tiny bubbles that gives you that creamy head.

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Old 10-22-2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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So I would just use my regular yeast for the fermentation process and champagne yeast for the priming bucket? How much yeast would I need to use and is there any risk of kicking off another fermentation and having a blowout/bottle bomb? Does it affect the taste at all?

Sorry for all the questions, i'm just excited that there may be a solution.

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Old 10-22-2006, 08:47 PM   #4
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Most of my beers are nitro and David pretty much summed it up. Brew your beer as usual and just serve it with beer gas and a nitro faucet.

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Old 10-22-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ochocki
So I would just use my regular yeast for the fermentation process and champagne yeast for the priming bucket?
Yup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ochocki
How much yeast would I need to use and is there any risk of kicking off another fermentation and having a blowout/bottle bomb? Does it affect the taste at all?


Sorry for all the questions, i'm just excited that there may be a solution.
I'm not sure how much to add, probably the dry package, after you have rehydrated it. Fermentation depends on fermentable sugars being available - not the amount of yeast present.

As far as taste goes, I would think the champagne yeast would dry it out a bit, but shouldn't really have too much affect.

Right D_42?
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:43 PM   #6
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And you can use the poor mans nitro.
Just use a syringe (clean of course) to draw a sample
of beer from your glass and inject it back into the glass.
The nitro would come from the air.

Not as good as nitro from the tap or widget, but it
do work.

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Old 10-23-2006, 01:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ochocki
I love stout, especially draught style, now I know that brands like Guinness have a nitrogen distributor in the bottle to ensure that creamy style head. Is there any way I can brew a stout to have this same consistency?
There is no "nitrogen distributor" in a bottle of Guiness, although there is a widget. No, the widget does NOT contain nitrogen. The widget contains Guiness. If you really want to know how it works, look it up on the 'net, but the widget is just a method to churn up the stout and produce the thick creamy head.

Why nitrogen with stouts? Stouts are traditionally served with that thick, creamy head - but it's not from the nitrogen. That head is produced, on tap, from the restrictor plates in the Stout tap that churn up the beer. They use nitrogen/CO2 mixed to provide enough pressure to push the beer through the tap. If they used straight CO2, the pressures needed to push through the taps would overcarbonate what is traditionally a very lightly carbed beer. So they cut back on the CO2, and added nitrogen, as very little nitrogen dissolves into the beer.

So it's not really the nitrogen that causes the thick creamy head, but the tap (or in the bottles, the widget) that is responsible for it.
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:55 AM   #8
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Ok, so I took the advise and looked the Guinness widget up on the internet. One site said that a small amount of liquid nitrogen is injected into the Guinness before it is sealed in the bottle. So my question is has anybody tried this and if not how much liquid nitrogen do you think it would take?

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Old 10-23-2006, 03:09 AM   #9
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If you're willing to spend the bucks for a nitrogen cylinder and regulator, why don't you just spring for a simple kegging setup as well? I'm not bashing your idea, and it'd be interesting to see if you have any success with nitrogen in bottles. However, the whole idea behind the widget is to make bottled beer taste/feel more like draft beer. My vote is just to make draft beer!

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Old 10-23-2006, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salizar
Ok, so I took the advise and looked the Guinness widget up on the internet. One site said that a small amount of liquid nitrogen is injected into the Guinness before it is sealed in the bottle. So my question is has anybody tried this and if not how much liquid nitrogen do you think it would take?
If you care to make a few bottle bombs that are likely to go off in your hands, go for it. Me, I don't care to pick the glass out of my body.

You can count on Guiness knowing the EXACT amount of liquid nitrogen to put in the bottle. They also have an automatic capper that probably caps the bottle almost immediately, as the nitrogen will likely evaporate very quickly. You, on the other hand, won't have that advantage. If you do manage to get the cap on quick enough to trap any nitrogen, you'll likely have bottles fragging on you left and right. Let's not mention how much fun you'll have trying to fish the widget out of the Guiness bottles, sanitize the little boogers then put them back in.

I agree - getting a stout kegging system/stout tap is the much easier, not to mention safer, route.
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