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Old 07-29-2010, 06:12 AM   #1
Ringmaster
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Default Should you condition darker ales?

I was doing some light reading on guinness trying to figure out why it supposedly tastes better in ireland when i found this article. Someone mentions that darker ales should be served warmer.

I usually drink lager so this is all kind of new to me.. But is it true? do darker ales taste better at room temperature? and if it's true is it still important to condition them?

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Old 07-29-2010, 07:13 AM   #2
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Guinness taps in Ireland are pressurized with nitrogen, while taps in the US (and elsewhere, I assume?) are pressurized with carbon dioxide.
That's not entirely correct. Guinness taps are always pushed by a nitrogen/CO2 gas mixture
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ringmaster View Post
I was doing some light reading on guinness trying to figure out why it supposedly tastes better in ireland when i found this article. Someone mentions that darker ales should be served warmer.

I usually drink lager so this is all kind of new to me.. But is it true? do darker ales taste better at room temperature? and if it's true is it still important to condition them?

I think that the whole Guinness doesn't travel story is a thing of the past. It goes back to when it was a cask beer and long sea journies would allow the beer to get stale.

The main reason I can fathom is that there is Guinness and then Guinness Export and they just don't taste the same.

Years ago when I worked in bars here we used to have two Guinness taps, the front bar was a warm tap, at room temp and the lounge tap was cooled. A lot of the older clientelle picked the warm tap as they were used to the old cask Guinness, the younger clentelle who were used to chilled lagers etc always picked the cold tap, and the odd person picked a half and half with a mix of both taps.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by vinyl_key View Post
That's not entirely correct. Guinness taps are always pushed by a nitrogen/CO2 gas mixture
That is not the case.

In Germany there was the standard CO2 setup or bars boasted about having the original proper Nitrogen setup.

So there were definitely two setups being used in Germany.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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In general the darker or heavier a beer is the warmer I like it. I kinda keep an eye on recomended serving temperatures, about 55°F is the highest I have seen.

I am personally better able to appreciate complex malt bills at warmer serving temps.

For a refreshing cooler after mowing the lawn a North American light lager at 35-40°F works for me.

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