Nitrogen Vs. CO2 - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
texwake
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Mar 2012
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Ok this might be to my poor thread searching skills but I could not find the Pros and Cons of carbonating using CO2 or Nitrogen. Is it just the same? Just the avalibility and cost?
Thanks!

 
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
hatepickingnames
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Beers arent carbonated with nitrogen as it is very reluctant to go into liquid solution. Beers are all carbonated with co2. Some however are served with a mixture of nitrogen and co2. Typicaly a mix of 80/20 or 85/15 co2 to nitro (beergas). The nitro allows the beer to be served at high pressure. The small amount kf co2 keeps the beer carbonated.

You can carb up with beergas but it may take a while?
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
nickelmcgee
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No they are not the same. Nitrogen has very little solubility in liquid and cannot be used alone. A “beer” gas mixture (75% nitrogen, 25% carbon dioxide) is used for beer carbonation never straight nitrogen. The advantage of this gas is that you can achieve low carbonation levels (for certain style) but still have a high enough pressure to move the beer from the keg to the tap. This is because carbon dioxide solubility is based on the particle pressure of CO2 in the mixture.

 
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #4
boscobeans
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CO2 adds flavor, think water vs seltzer. It also dissolves well in water, beer, wine etc.

Nitrogen. I had a 4 head wine tap in a bar I owned and we used a nitrogen (pure Nitrogen at over 2200psi. in the main cylinder, not beer gas) system to pressurize the 5 gallon kegs. The wine came out with no fizz or change in flavor. It was the same from the tap as it was from the bottle.

bosco

 
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
jhall4
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Aug 2012
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To summarize the above:

Only carbon dioxide (CO2) can carbonate beer.

Nitrogen (N2) is used for increasing pressure inside a keg without introducing any extra gas into solution.
This is useful for:
  • serving wine on tap (100% N2)
  • pushing beer through long/elevated lines (N2/CO2 blend)
  • serving beers that will pass through a restrictor plate (think Guinness) to create a creamy head (N2/CO2 blend)

 
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
audger
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Apr 2011
., Connecticut
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just for comparison...
the solubility of CO2 in water at 20*C is about 1.65grams of gas per kg of water.

nitrogen is less than .019 grams of gas per kg of water; or about 1% of the rate of CO2

 
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:00 PM   #7
boysbrew2012
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Apr 2012
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That makes sense....i was curious as this girl and I were talking and she was telling me to move from bottles to kegs and use nitrogen to move my IPAs through the tap and I was like are you kidding me? I have heard of (as you mentioned in the above thread) moving guiness and other creamy beers through using a beer blend so that in its own right sounds fantastic. I just purchased a fridge for fermenting and am really itching to setup a keg/tap setup in the fridge door. =) Thanks for all the info everyone!!!

 
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:10 PM   #8
732Brewer
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Dec 2013
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My local shop sells:

Nitrogen 75 / 25 CO2
Nitrogen 60 / 40 CO2

I was under the assumption that I would get pure co2 but it seems that from doing reading, I want a blend. Guys please comment on what you get when you fill up. Thanks!

 
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
JuanMoore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 732Brewer View Post
My local shop sells:

Nitrogen 75 / 25 CO2
Nitrogen 60 / 40 CO2

I was under the assumption that I would get pure co2 but it seems that from doing reading, I want a blend. Guys please comment on what you get when you fill up. Thanks!
Depends on your serving temp and carb level, but most people are better off with a higher CO2 content blend. Most nitro faucets work best at 30-35 psi, and you want the equilibrium pressure of the carb level and temperature to be close to your serving pressure. You'll want to keep the carb levels fairly low either way, since nitro faucets usually make a foamy mess if the beer is carbed over ~1.8 vol. The 75/25 blend is also known as G-mix, which stands for Guiness. That's because it's used to serve Guiness, which is carbed at 1.2 vol, and stored under commercial conditions of 35-36°. Most people prefer either slightly higher carb levels, or slightly warmer temps, either of which will work better with a higher CO2 level blend.

Here's a handy calculator for gas blends-
http://mcdantim.mobi/easypsig.html
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:15 AM   #10
732Brewer
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^ with that said, wouldn't it be easier running a low psi and all co2 to simplify things (for the home user)? Sounds like your saying that because the lines are so long they need to run high psi, apposed to the home user running under 10psi. Please correct me if I am wrong.

 
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