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Old 09-07-2006, 07:22 PM   #1
ayrton
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Default Creamy heads

Why does that always sound dirty?

Anyway, I frequent a local brew pub where I live (which happens to be #13 on BeerAdvocate's top 50 places to get a beer in the US), and they make a *fantastic* oatmeal stout that they call Shade Mountain Oatmeal Stout. It's seriously like drinking silk. It's ridiculously smooth and has a very Guinness-esque head. My question is this: what accounts for that smoothness and HOW in God's name can you get that style head? Standard corn sugar does not give me the desired effect.

SWMBO loves it more than I do, and she wants to try to replicate it. We made a batch of oatmeal stout the other day, and she hates it when beer is strongly (read: normally) carbonated, and likes it to have more of a Guinness-level carbonation. I don't know how to achieve this result. Help!


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Old 09-07-2006, 07:47 PM   #2
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Nitrogen!

You need to get a set up with a beer gas (80% nitrogen 20% CO2) and a tapper with a restrictor plate. They look a little different than a normal tap - long and thin.

I now have 2 taps and have room for 3 in my current set up. I'm seriously considering getting a nitrogen setup for the 3rd one.


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Old 09-07-2006, 07:50 PM   #3
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Here is a link to one

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Old 09-07-2006, 07:50 PM   #4
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Ah, that explains why they won't let you take any of that stout home in a growler - they said it's stored with nitrogen and would get flat by the time it got home. But what about the smoothness of the drink itself? Is that a water hardness/softness issue?
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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Oatmeal has very good heading properties and make for great mouthfeel. I'd suspect a high dextrin malt as well. Creating the head when served often depends on serving the stout on nitro (a nitrogen/CO2 mix) and a special faucet. I've had moderately good results using a champaign yeast to finish the stout in the keg.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:35 AM   #6
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Check where you get your gas refills. Some parts of the country require a Nitrogen tank while others will fill a CO2 tank. A nitro tank has a different fiiting and requires a different regulator.

I got a screaming deal on ebay and ended up with the full nitro setup. As it turns out in PHX, they typically ditribute the N2/CO2 beer gas in CO2 cylinders. So instead of exchanging I have to wait for a fill. Oh well, for the price I got it for, it was worth it.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:01 PM   #7
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Doesn't lactose also give smoothness and a creamier head?
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:11 PM   #8
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Lactose helps the smoothness of the beer, but mainly adds sweetness. The Oatmeal is what is making the head like that.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzman
Doesn't lactose also give smoothness and a creamier head?
Lactose does give body and promotes head but not it cannot replicate the classic Guiness pour, cascade and tiny bubbled smooth head.

That is the nitrogen/co2 mix at work combined with the high pressure and restricted flow of the above mentioned tap.

See this post starting at 5. It describes a DIY way to imitate a nitrogen pour.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=7465

Also.

I put Cheese's Caramel Cream on nitro.. lookie here
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...4&postcount=56
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Lactose does give body and promotes head but not it cannot replicate the classic Guiness pour, cascade and tiny bubbled smooth head.

That is the nitrogen/co2 mix at work combined with the high pressure and restricted flow of the above mentioned tap.

See this post starting at 5. It describes a DIY way to imitate a nitrogen pour.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=7465

Also.

I put Cheese's Caramel Cream on nitro.. lookie here
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost...4&postcount=56
Nice looking brew. I'll pm you my address. j/k That is also a very interesting read about the syringe. Looks like a science project I wanna try.

While on the subject...so how does Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale get its head? It separates much the same in the glass after a pour (I love to watch that magic happen). Is that just from standard force carb then? Added lactose and/or MD?



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