Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Nitro that Beer

I decided that a further rationalization for the Kegerator was to do the one thing i could not have down without one: Brew some honest to god Nitrogenated Beer. You know that thick smooth taste that you get from Guiness? Well, it doesn't just come from their specific recipe. No, there's more magic at work, precisely, instead of just pumping CO2 into it, they use a mix of Nitrogen and CO2, which produced that thick head and awesome mouthfeel.

After digging around a bit, I found some decent info on how to keg nitro beer. Seems like there are two key ingredients for this:
The former basically aerates the beer as it is poured, which is necessary because nitrogen isn't water soluble like CO2. This is also the reason, why Guinness had to invent the rocket widget to nitrogenated their bottled and canned beer at time of serving, because otherwise the Nitrogen wouldn have stayed in solution.

The beer gas is basically a 75% Nitrogen, 25% CO2 blend, which you can either mix on the fly using some fancy Gas Blender or you can just get your gas pre-blended in a single bottle. This latter path is the one I'm going to go down. From what I've been able to divine from various web pages, Nitrogen usually comes in a higher PSI rated bottle. You can use a regular CO2 regulator with the proper adapter. I also gather that you can use your plain CO2 bottle with the regular regulator if you can find a gas provider which will fill your lower PSI rated bottle with a nitrogen mix. We'll see where along this line of options i end up


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