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Old 04-12-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
Rbeckett
 
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What is the major difference between using straight CO2 or using the beer gas mix? Can you taste any difference, is it more stable or stay in solution longer? The reason I am asking is because beer gas is a specialty gas at my supplier and is much more expensive and I am trying to understand what the benefit of using it versus pure CO2 is. I am not opposed to spendin the extra money if the return is decent, but if the taste or stability is unchanged then I have a tough time justifying the extra expense of mixing the gases. My local supplier is a welding supply facility and can mix it in any proportion I choose, but the mixing fee, plus the hazmat fee in addition to the gas fee starts to become a bit more expensive. Plain CO2 cost me 17 bucks for a 5 pounder, the mix will cost almost double. So is their that much benefit in using mixed gas for a propelant? TIA for your opinions.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
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You only need the beergas if you are running a nitro tap setup, like for Guinness. If you have a normal tap setup then you need to use CO2.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:47 PM   #3
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From the Micromatic website:

Risk of using Mixed Gas Cylinders

Mixed gas in a cylinder with a ratio of 25% CO2 / 75% N2 is appropriate for stout beers but when applied to ales and lagers, allows the beer to go flat because the partial pressure of CO2 is too low.

Gas suppliers have difficulties raising the ratio of CO2 in the mix as this gas eventually liquefies under high pressure in the cylinder.

This mix in a cylinder is expensive, and the ratios of CO2 and Nitrogen can be very inconsistent and the amount of gas contained in the cylinder is low.

The internal pressure of mixed gas cylinders is also considerably higher than a cylinder containing only CO2, thus increasing the potential risk of an accident.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandoLincoln View Post
Mixed gas in a cylinder with a ratio of 25% CO2 / 75% N2 is appropriate for stout beers but when applied to ales and lagers, allows the beer to go flat because the partial pressure of CO2 is too low.
This is an oddly worded statement. Ales and lagers, guess stout isn't an ale, go flat with beergas, but for stout it's "appropriate" somehow. The stout is going to go just as flat as the "ales and lagers" are. I understand that they are trying to say it can be style appropriate, but it just sounds weird how they put it.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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Nitrogen doesn't dissolve into solution as easily as CO2 does. This physical characteristic allows "nitro beers" to be served at high pressure through specialized faucets containing restrictor plates. This pressure/plate interaction creates the cascading creamy head enjoyed with many a beer, not least of which is draught Guinness. Beer gas is unnecessary unless you own a $100 nitro faucet and want to serve beer through it.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter View Post
This is an oddly worded statement. Ales and lagers, guess stout isn't an ale, go flat with beergas, but for stout it's "appropriate" somehow. The stout is going to go just as flat as the "ales and lagers" are. I understand that they are trying to say it can be style appropriate, but it just sounds weird how they put it.
That's true. Maybe Micromatic is just trying to sell their beer system that allows nitro tanks and co2 tanks to be mixed instead of providing accurate information.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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beer gas has to go into a nitrogen tank and be used with a nitrogen regulator from what the gas distributors told me, reason why they are at a higher pressure than co2, 2200 psi co2 is only rated to 1800 psi, and have to have a stout faucet

 
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeergeek View Post
Nitrogen doesn't dissolve into solution as easily as CO2 does. This physical characteristic allows "nitro beers" to be served at high pressure through specialized faucets containing restrictor plates. This pressure/plate interaction creates the cascading creamy head enjoyed with many a beer, not least of which is draught Guinness. Beer gas is unnecessary unless you own a $100 nitro faucet and want to serve beer through it.
The other time beer gas is used is for really long runs, where the line resistance would be greater than the serving pressure. Not really common amongst homebrewers, but used a lot in long draw set-ups in bars and restaurants.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:53 AM   #9
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Same idea though: gas doesn't dissolve well and you can serve beer with it under high pressure. That high pressure either forces beer through special faucets or through long runs of tubing.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Thank you for all of the very informative replies and interesting logic. I used to mix diving gas (Nitrox) and it was a PITA to hit the numbers dead on most of the time. Usually I was within 1%, but it was time consuming and required a lot of attention to keep from having mix issues later on. Thank God for a gas sampler to insure I had done the math right... And dive cylinders are generally somewhere around 2900 PSI when filled so an accident could be a potential life threatening event in any number of ways....

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