Beer Gas Setup - Who has made the leap?

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Jmarsh544

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I have always had my eye on running beer gas for a stout tap, but for whatever reason have not made the leap. Who has made this leap and was it worth it? Is it as easy as dedicating a tap, buying another tank and regulator, and pouring a great pint? Any recommendation or pointers on making it happen?
 

day_trippr

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[...]Is it as easy as dedicating a tap, buying another tank and regulator, and pouring a great pint? Any recommendation or pointers on making it happen?
It's pretty much that easy/hard. But if you love nitro'd stout, totally worth it.
Yes, a dedicated mixed gas cylinder with a cga580 valve, a matching nitro-capable regulator, and a decent stout faucet form the entry cost, and that can get up above $200 with all-new bits...a bit staggering, frankly, but it only hurts once ;)

I was fortunate to pick up a 40cf cga580 cylinder from a fellow HBTer years ago for $40, roughly half the cost of a new one. Then the war club of a stout faucet from Micromatic was a $75 dollar ding, and the regulator was another $60.

But I pull a short pour of my nitro'd imperial chocolate stout every evening just before I hit the rack. And I sleep like a stone ;)

Cheers!
 
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Jmarsh544

Jmarsh544

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Thanks for the insight! What does a fill of that tank cost? Similar to CO2?
 

day_trippr

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I imagine that varies considerably from vendor to vendor. The last fill I had cost $30...

Cheers!
 

Tbagger

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I bought a 5# beer gas tank and regulator (about $150 total). My keezer has intertaps so I just bought a restrictor plate nozzle ($10) and was good to go. Totally worth it and I'm now spoiled and can't drink stout on Co2 anymore. And it's fun to experiment with what beers are good on nitro. I am about to hook up a saison to it to see what its like. lol
 

BBBF

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I use an old, Perlick gas blender to mix nitrogen and co2. You need two tanks and 3 regulators to do this, but you save on gas.
 

Anyhowe

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Beer gas is a no brainer purchase. Cost differential, if any, is not material. And don’t limit yourself to stouts and porters. You will be amazed at nitro ales in general.
 

Beardless

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Literally just purchased/setup mine the last couple of weeks. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of straightforward info about regulator pressure vs. beer temp (like those nice CO2 charts that exist) so I found dialing in the system and the initial setup to be more thought and reading than I was expecting (although I’m sure my first time setting up CO2 was just as involved).

But yeah it is pretty much that simple. I guess similar rules apply to force carbing- fast or slow. From what I’ve read some people set their beer gas to ~30# and let it sit. Others force carb like they would with CO2 at a high pressure and then put the beer gas on after.

I initially did a force with CO2 and rolling the keg and then hooked up beergas at like 28# (I was afraid to over carb). First couple of pours were beautiful. After a few pours and a couple days, it ended up being under carbed. I have since adjusted up the gas to the 32-34# range. Gonna check it again in a couple days, but initially it looks like it is good.

So yeah- another thing that’ll be a bit of tinkering probably at the beginning until it is figured out. But well worth it IMO.
 

day_trippr

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Very nice looking impy you've poured there. Did you post the recipe anywhere?
Multiple times, but my google-fu is failing to track any of them down.
So...

stout_Page_1.jpg


Cheers!

[edit] Whoops - just noticed this: contrary to the image I actually pitch two packs of S-04 per five gallons as this is a bit too big a beer to trust to a single pack...
 
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Anyhowe

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Literally just purchased/setup mine the last couple of weeks. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of straightforward info about regulator pressure vs. beer temp (like those nice CO2 charts that exist) so I found dialing in the system and the initial setup to be more thought and reading than I was expecting (although I’m sure my first time setting up CO2 was just as involved).

But yeah it is pretty much that simple. I guess similar rules apply to force carbing- fast or slow. From what I’ve read some people set their beer gas to ~30# and let it sit. Others force carb like they would with CO2 at a high pressure and then put the beer gas on after.

I initially did a force with CO2 and rolling the keg and then hooked up beergas at like 28# (I was afraid to over carb). First couple of pours were beautiful. After a few pours and a couple days, it ended up being under carbed. I have since adjusted up the gas to the 32-34# range. Gonna check it again in a couple days, but initially it looks like it is good.

So yeah- another thing that’ll be a bit of tinkering probably at the beginning until it is figured out. But well worth it IMO.
I force carb to 5 psi and set the beergas to 30.
 

Qhrumphf

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My local welding supply has 75/25 beer gas in tanks that'll fit a standard CO2 regulator.

I use it for beer occasionally. I mostly use it for nitro cold brew coffee.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I recommend carbonating stout to no more than 1.2 volumes on straight CO2 prior to putting the keg on 70% nitro at 30-35 psi (my Micromatic faucet is happiest at 35). Otherwise you'll get an excessively boisterous pour and the lovely cascade will be lost...

Cheers!
 
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Qhrumphf

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fwiw, I recommend carbonating stout to no more than 1.2 volumes on straight CO2 prior to putting the keg on 75% nitro at 30-35 psi (my Micromatic faucet is happiest at 35). Otherwise you'll get an excessively boisterous pour and the lovely cascade will be lost...

Cheers!
This. I either set at 35 PSI and leave it (takes a while), or will carb to 1.2-1.5 vols with CO2 first.

My setup likes about 35 PSI as well.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, even folks that never drink beer enjoy it.
What's not to like? It's basically dessert in a glass :D

Cheers!
 

Northern_Brewer

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EnglishAndy

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Multiple times, but my google-fu is failing to track any of them down.
So...

View attachment 618277

Cheers!

[edit] Whoops - just noticed this: contrary to the image I actually pitch two packs of S-04 per five gallons as this is a bit too big a beer to trust to a single pack...
Thanks a million for posting that. It looks fantastic. I'm going to transcribe it into Beersmith right now in case it gets lost again.
 

lupulinaddict

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I bought a setup and I’m ready to make some beers for it. I have had some commercial stouts/porters on nitro that have had a lackluster head that kind of bugged me. Head wasn’t as thick and the bubbles seem less condensed for my liking. It was more like a standard head on a beer. Im wondering if that’s just from an in balanced system, or if I should add something more to the grain bill to help thicken the head? The recipe @day_trippr posted has what seems like a normal amount of flakes barley and carapils and the head looks awesome.

Also, any advice on filling a growler from nitro?
 

Jag75

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20181129_180039_1.gif
I made the leap last year and absolutely love it . Dont want a stout any other way .
 
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Jag75

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I bought a setup and I’m ready to make some beers for it. I have had some commercial stouts/porters on nitro that have had a lackluster head that kind of bugged me. Head wasn’t as thick and the bubbles seem less condensed for my liking. It was more like a standard head on a beer. Im wondering if that’s just from an in balanced system, or if I should add something more to the grain bill to help thicken the head? The recipe @day_trippr posted has what seems like a normal amount of flakes barley and carapils and the head looks awesome.

Also, any advice on filling a growler from nitro?
I tried filling bottles from my nitro set up. Doesnt work . The Nitro falls out and your just left with low carbed stout . At least that's what my experience has been like . Tried it a few times , same results .
 

Qhrumphf

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Yep nitro works the way it does because it doesn't stay in solution. Once you pour it, it's gone. That goes for bottle, growler or glass. The way commercial ones are bottled/canned is convoluted- I know Guinness is or at least was protective of their widget technology.
 

Jag75

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Yep nitro works the way it does because it doesn't stay in solution. Once you pour it, it's gone. That goes for bottle, growler or glass. The way commercial ones are bottled/canned is convoluted- I know Guinness is or at least was protective of their widget technology.
The one I'm trying to figure out is Nitro Merlin Milk Stout from Firestone Walker . I dont see a widget in the can . Has nice cascading and creaminess.
 

AF1HomeBrew

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I bought the regulator and faucet for Nitro 4-5 yrs ago, but life happened and I never got around to getting a tank. Earlier last month I finally splurged and bought one at the local Airgas store since I had brewed an Irish Stout for St.Patty's day. My Irish Stout was awesome. Looking forward to making more of it, because it doesn't last long.
 

Qhrumphf

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The one I'm trying to figure out is Nitro Merlin Milk Stout from Firestone Walker . I dont see a widget in the can . Has nice cascading and creaminess.
Hmm. Perhaps canned robotically in a nitrogen-filled chamber under enough pressure to keep the nitrogen in solution long enough to seal it? No idea how/if that'd work, but thats all I got.

Or perhaps it's because large scale hop storage is on my mind.
 

gnef

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Am I the only one that got rid of a full stout setup?

I had an 80 CF tank, regulator, and three stout faucets at one time. I realized that it was too much trouble for my personal setup. I also didn't like that stout faucets are essentially really big rear sealing faucets. Since I have 14 beers on tap, I wouldn't drink from the stout faucet(s) that often, so when I would try, the restrictor plate was clogged with dried beer and/or mold. Cleaning out those holes was also a pain.

After many years of holding on to the setup, I decided to sell it and standardize to one faucet for everything, and I am actually quite happy with that decision. I suppose it is one of those things that varies from person to person.

I hope you enjoy your nitro setup!
 

day_trippr

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Dude, you have like umpteen kegs on line and thrice that count waiting in the walk-in.
That's "extreme dispensing" conditions that the other 99% will never have to deal with ;)

Cheers! :D
 

gnef

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Dude, you have like umpteen kegs on line and thrice that count waiting in the walk-in.
That's "extreme dispensing" conditions that the other 99% will never have to deal with ;)

Cheers! :D
Ha! I suppose I am in a unique position and have a different perspective because of it.
 

Qhrumphf

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You need to pull off the restrictor plate and clean it. Just like everything else. But it gets cruddy fast. The commercial rec is cleaned nightly. But when in use I clean mine at least every couple days.

If you're letting things sit so long they're growing mold between cleaning, the stout system ain't your problem, and forgive me if I don't want to try your beer.
 

gnef

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You need to pull off the restrictor plate and clean it. Just like everything else. But it gets cruddy fast. The commercial rec is cleaned nightly. But when in use I clean mine at least every couple days.

If you're letting things sit so long they're growing mold between cleaning, the stout system ain't your problem, and forgive me if I don't want to try your beer.
Honestly speaking, with 14 taps, some don't get used for months at a time, depending on my preferences. I have had some beers be on tap for years.

Line I said above, my personal setup is somewhat unique, and my perspective may not apply to the population at large.

If you ever change your mind and are in the Atlanta area, you are welcome to try anything that I have. I can only have 14 on tap at once, but I've got about 80 kegs in the walk in aging and ready to go.
 

gnef

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Do you not clean your lines or faucets either?

Just saying.
Not as often as I should, that's for sure!

It is one of the reasons I moved to bev seal ultra though, it doesn't need the same frequency of cleaning as standard PVC lines, and has worked exceptionally well in that regard. I do have a full manifold and recirculation system for cleaning though if you are interested in how I clean so many lines. The next time I use it, I can post pictures for you if you like.
 

day_trippr

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Let us not brow beat a brother dealing with one of the ultimate high-class problems :D
 

Qhrumphf

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I'm well familiar with the setup. With that many taps it's a huge undertaking otherwise.

Just if you're drinking from a keg sporadically I'd probably clean the line/faucet (stout or otherwise) before letting it sit.

Moldy faucets are gross.
 

gnef

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I'm well familiar with the setup. With that many taps it's a huge undertaking otherwise.

Just if you're drinking from a keg sporadically I'd probably clean the line/faucet (stout or otherwise) before letting it sit.

Moldy faucets are gross.
Thats one of the reasons I listed why I sold off my stout setup. The inherent design of a stout faucet is prone to sanitation issues due to where the seal is. There is always beer exposed behind the restrictor plate. It was too much trouble for me, but it may not be for others that have fewer faucets and a smaller system to manage.

I never had any issues with my ventmatic or perlick forward sealing faucets, including the 650ss ones I'm using now. I have taken them apart and examined them, and they look great on the inside, even after years of use.
 
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