Mystery ingredient in Duvel?

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Birrofilo

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The document by "The ****************" states that "coagulable nitrogen 20-40 mg/I" is a positive factor for foam stability. " Boiling too hard will drive coagulable nitrogen out of the wort which is a problem since it’s very foam positive. "

What is "coagulable nitrogen" in layman terms?

At first glance, one might assume that the head purging with nitrogen might help with foam stability.
 

Birrofilo

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"Nitrogen" in that context means protein/polypeptides/etc, not Nitrogen gas.
I see, thanks. The same source also says "Nitrogen 130 - 180 mg/l" and I was wondering what was the coagulable nitrogen.
 

VikeMan

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I see, thanks. The same source also says "Nitrogen 130 - 180 mg/l" and I was wondering what was the coagulable nitrogen.
Look at that along with the line right above that. Together, it reads "MgSO4 Precipitable Nitrogen," which is proteins of the right size (molecular weight) that they can be precipitated by MgSO4. It doesn't mean you want them to be precipitated. I think MgSO4 precipitation of these proteins is done (in labs) in order to weigh the resulting precipitate, i.e. to determine how much was originally in the wort.

Coagulable Nitrogen is a different subset of total nitrogen, which I believe is determined by boiling to cause coagulation (and then precipitation).

There's nothing on that page that has anything to do with Nitrogen gas.
 
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ep_brew

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This discussion reminded me of a recent podcast; Beer Foam with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #231. Bamforth said when he was at Bass he'd add a small amount of nitrogen to the kegged beers to increase foam stability.
 

Vale71

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This discussion reminded me of a recent podcast; Beer Foam with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #231. Bamforth said when he was at Bass he'd add a small amount of nitrogen to the kegged beers to increase foam stability.
And with that, Dr. Bamforth's credibility takes a further dive...
 

Birrofilo

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Another source saying that "nitrogen-CO2 mix can help with foam stability"


The proof is in the pudding and if Brulosophy is reading here, then maybe we will see some test soon :)
 

twd000

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Unfortunately that's pure poppycock. They claim they're dosing the bottles to 15 ppm of N2. That would me 15 milligrams per liter of dissolved N2.
A quick calculation shows that this correspond to N2 saturation at 25°C for a partial pressure o 0.26 bar.

OK, let's set aside the fact that you have around 8 grams of CO2 per liter and only 15 milligrams of N2 and that's 500 times less N2 than CO2 so how is that going to make a difference in a foam bubble that will be made of 99.5% CO2?

Let's just apply gas laws and determine the equilibrium pressure for 15 ppm of N2 at 25°C. I'll spare you the calcs and just give you the result: 0.26 bar absolute pressure. Wait a sec, air is 78% nitrogen, at a nominal atmospheric pressure you have almost 0.8 bar N2 partial pressure. This means that simply by exposing beer to air you would get three times the amount of dissolved N2 that they claim to be actively dosing in their bottles...

So basically they claim to be dosing N2 in the bottles by actually taking away? Does that make sense to you? To me it certainly doesn't.

I must say the amount of hype and misinformation circulating on the topic of nitro serving is really astounding.
I found this article and wonder if it explains the disconnect. Your equilibrium calculations are at 25C, but they are using cryogenic nitrogen, which is something like -200C


" You must use cryogenic liquid nitrogen to achieve a pressurized headspace in order to get the nitrogen to dissolve into solution. "

I highly doubt that the mega-breweries are buying snake-oil based on a misunderstanding of gas physics:
" VBC has worked with large, international breweries like Guinness, Sam Adams, Miller-Coors, and others, plus small (but expanding) breweries like Sierra Nevada, Wachusett, Sebago, Genesee, Great Lakes, and many others...."
 

Vale71

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Sure, but the beer would have to be kept at -200°C as well which is clearly impossible. A minuscule drop of liquid N2 would instantly warm up to ambient temp (its thermal capacity is really minimal compared to, say, water) and the system would reach equilibrium at ambient temp. This means either dozens and dozens of bar (=explosion) or it's all complete nonsense.

I must say such claims are not just bordering into false advertising territory, they're smack in the middle of it.

By the way nowhere does it say that the companies they mention have ever bought anything specific from the, just that they "worked" with them. If I cleaned the floor at Guinness I could make the same (worthless) claim. This is a prime example of CYA.
 

twd000

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Sure, but the beer would have to be kept at -200°C as well which is clearly impossible. A minuscule drop of liquid N2 would instantly warm up to ambient temp (its thermal capacity is really minimal compared to, say, water) and the system would reach equilibrium at ambient temp. This means either dozens and dozens of bar (=explosion) or it's all complete nonsense.

I must say such claims are not just bordering into false advertising territory, they're smack in the middle of it.

By the way nowhere does it say that the companies they mention have ever bought anything specific from the, just that they "worked" with them. If I cleaned the floor at Guinness I could make the same (worthless) claim. This is a prime example of CYA.
So your hypothesis is that VBC have managed to dupe their clients, the largest breweries in the world, with a billions of dollars in market share, an army of PhD chemists, biologists, and process control engineers on staff, into spending tens of thousands of dollars on LN2 dosing equipment for the packaging line, that does nothing?

A little humility goes a long way in learning new information. I recommend you try it.



"

As well as Starbucks, Chart’s liquid nitrogen dosers are used by the likes of Black Rifle Coffee, La Colombe Coffee, Califia, Oskar Blues Brewery, Left Hand Brewing, Second Self Beer Company, Vault Brewing Company, Samuel Adams (flagship brand of the Boston Beer Company), Ballast Point Brewing (Constellation Brands), Firestone Walker Brewery, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Molson Coors, and Labatt Brewing.

“We provide Sam Adams the whole package of the liquid nitrogen delivery system,” Tabangay said.

“We provide them with the engineering of where to position the liquid nitrogen doser, engineering of what doser to put in the specific canning or bottling line and training for installing and starting up the doser. Every year we have been selling between 300 and 400 dosers and the majority go to craft brewers.”
"
 

Vale71

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So your hypothesis is that VBC have managed to dupe their clients,
And your hypothesis is that the world should work in way that completely differs from what well established science tells us just because some company's marketing department says so? Please...
 

twd000

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And your hypothesis is that the world should work in way that completely differs from what well established science tells us just because some company's marketing department says so? Please...

You should writeup a white paper with your gas calculations and send it off to MillerCoors, Sam Adams and Budweiser to explain to those rookies why the expensive nitrogen dosing systems they've been using for decades can't possibly work. They might even send you a free case of beer for saving them so much money!
 

Vale71

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For the last time then I'm done with you and your disrespectful attitude.

The guys at MillerCoors, Sam Adams and Budweiser are using (if they're using them at all, you cannot possibly know) these systems for the purpose they were designed for. Namely:

1 - reducing TPO in canned beer
2 - increasing can stiffness in beers carbed to low level to reduce damage during transportation

Now these clowns are, entirely on their own, making ridiculous claims that nitrogen is somehow magically making beer better and gullible people are rushing off to buy any beer that has NITRO on the label. You really think that their customers are going to publicly refute those claims because they're tired of earning more money? Seriously?
 

twd000

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I've run into this situation at work before. A very smart person in an adjacent technical field gets introduced to a new idea that doesn't mesh with their theoretical knowledge. Instead of listening with an open mind to the experts with years of experience, they continue digging themselves into a hole telling them how it CAN'T POSSIBLY WORK the way that it clearly does, and is working, as has worked for years. Usually there is some critical detail or nuance or assumption that they're missing, but rather than allow themselves to learn, they insist on telling them why they're wrong. When the know-it-all throws up their hands and leaves the meeting, the pros roll their eyes and get back to work.
 
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day_trippr

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All I know is I have always found Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro in a bottle a disappointing experience.
They say "pour hard", but it still ends up dull from the jump.

Otoh, I've had Young's Double Chocolate Stout in both a widget can and on tap - the former is pretty good for canned, but the latter was sublime, which immediately sent me off to come up with something at least that good (this was ~15 years ago - and I totally killed it :D).

So there's "nitro" and there's "nitro", and the two may not meet...

Cheers!
 
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