How does a black and tan stay separate?

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Skrimpy

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Is it surface tension? Is it density? What is it that keeps them separate when they are poured. I ask because I made a traditional english pale ale and my buddy made a stout and they were very both very close in flavor and body to guinness and bass but I could not get them to stay separate in the pour. Anyone have any ideas about what I can do to the recipes to keep them separate in the pour? We are brewing using extracts.
 

david_42

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Density, which is mainly the ABV. Shoot for a 1% difference and put the one with the higher ABV on top. If the ABV and FG are similar, chill the Pale and put it on the bottom.
 

Chello

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is there a DIY way to make one or do you need one of the fancy black and tan spoons?
 

Funkenjaeger

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Chello said:
is there a DIY way to make one or do you need one of the fancy black and tan spoons?
If you search, there's been some threads on it. It is generally easiest to use a specialized spoon, however you can easily make the perfect tool from a cheap metal spoon in just a few minutes with a pair of pliers and a hammer.
 
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Skrimpy

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hammer and pliers? Hardly. just take an old spoon you don't use anymore, or that doesn't match your set and bend it to a 90 degree angle on the handle right at the head.
 
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Skrimpy

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Ok, so if the og-fg are similar on the two, chill the ale and pour the stout at room temp, and then with the next batch try to get the og of the stout at least 1% lower than the prior batch.
 

cclloyd

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As stated you need two beers with different specific gravities and it helps to have one of these:



This was fashioned from an old soup spoon many moons ago - long before I started brewing my own. It comes in mighty handy. :}
 

Bearcat Brewmeister

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Has anybody ever tried this with dyed beer (like a green beer at St. Patrick's day)? I was wondering if the dye from one beer would bleed into the other even with a FG difference. I was thinking it would be a cool promotion for a bar during football season to use the team colors in a beer. For us Packer fans, an IPA with blue dye to make it green with a golden light lager floating on top would look cool.
 
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Skrimpy

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Has anybody ever tried this with dyed beer (like a green beer at St. Patrick's day)? I was wondering if the dye from one beer would bleed into the other even with a FG difference. I was thinking it would be a cool promotion for a bar during football season to use the team colors in a beer. For us Packer fans, an IPA with blue dye to make it green with a golden light lager floating on top would look cool.
Or say Red and Yellow for this past Super Bowl?
 

BeerAg

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My wife does a science experiment (she is a teacher) at her school where she dies fresh water red and heats it up, and dies salt water blue and cools it below 32F, and then layers them on top of each other. The colors stay seperated for quite few minutes, at least until the temperature difference subsides.

I sent her an email, so I will follow up with her response later.
 

BeerAg

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So, here is my wife's response:

"If you use dyed water, they have to be different temps and they mix once the temps equalize throughout. If you make a layered drink, they don't mix until they dissolve in each other. We use HI-C red punch (on bottom), blue gatorade (middle) and diet 7-up (on top); this one can last quiet a while if left undisturbed (all class period or more). If you use polar and non-polar substances alternately, they will never mix (corn syrup, glycerin, dishwashing liquid, water, veggie oil, alcohol in that order from bottom to top). The will be slight mixing between the dishwashing liquid and water but if left undisturbed the column will last months."

So, my thought is that if you use a beers with gravities that are different enough, your dyes will not mix.
 
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Skrimpy

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BierMuncher,
I tried that with the two homebrews but they mixed right away. Sweet way to bend the spoon. I have three but never thought of bending them concave side up. I just have one bend, concave side down and no handle to hang over the side of the glass. I think I will turn mine in the opposite direction!
 

Jeffro

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I just did it using Biermunchers recomendation...

Works with my Oatmeal Stout AND my Porter poured ontop of the pale ale I have in a keg.

Maybe it's because the Stout and the Porter were conditioned in bottles? Hell... I don't know.
 

BierMuncher

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BierMuncher,
I tried that with the two homebrews but they mixed right away. Sweet way to bend the spoon. I have three but never thought of bending them concave side up. I just have one bend, concave side down and no handle to hang over the side of the glass. I think I will turn mine in the opposite direction!
Fill the glass half way with beer #1. Lay the spoon on the surface of beer #1 and begin a very gentle pour. As the volume of beer increases, slowly raise the spoon so it moves up as the top of the beer moves up.
 

planenut

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Density, which is mainly the ABV. Shoot for a 1% difference and put the one with the higher ABV on top. If the ABV and FG are similar, chill the Pale and put it on the bottom.
I thought the lower ABV went on top?

Isn't Guinness less than Bass but Guinness is on top?

I've haven't made one.. yet... :)
 

Jeffro

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Fill the glass half way with beer #1. Lay the spoon on the surface of beer #1 and begin a very gentle pour. As the volume of beer increases, slowly raise the spoon so it moves up as the top of the beer moves up.
I leave the spoon in place during the pour for the best results...

Then gently turn it sideways to remove....

Pouring a good B-N-T is more about technique that anything else IMO....
 

reim0027

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I thought the lower ABV went on top?

Isn't Guinness less than Bass but Guinness is on top?

I've haven't made one.. yet... :)
Higher ABV means less dense (alcohol is less dense than water). Less dense liquids float on denser liquids. Therefore, Guinness is higher in alcohol than Bass.
 

remilard

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The lower specific gravity goes on top. This may or may not be the one with the highest ABV since beer is not made of alcohol and water only.

Guinness has lower ABV than Bass Pale Ale.
 

reim0027

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Ah, good point. I assumed the ABV was the biggest factor in specific gravity. Thanks for pointing out my incorrect assumption :D
 
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