Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: dtblank on February 23, 2010, 03:59:38 pm

Title: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dtblank on February 23, 2010, 03:59:38 pm
I just got my set up in to put my beers on beer gas.  I was wondering do I force carbonate with CO2 like I normally do and then serve with beer gas or do I force carb and serve with the beer gas and at what pressures?
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: beerocd on February 23, 2010, 06:31:08 pm
"Beergas" vs CO2 I would assume means a nitrogen mix. Usually used on stouts, but I guess you can use it on anything.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dtblank on February 23, 2010, 06:33:05 pm
Thats the plan, and may throw a few other styles on there just for the fun of it.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: beerocd on February 23, 2010, 06:34:20 pm
But you're gonna nitrogen all the beers - regardless of style?
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dtblank on February 23, 2010, 07:25:13 pm
I plan on using beer gas for stouts and then maybe a few other styles just for fun.  I already have a system using co2 for all of my other beers using just co2.  Just not sure about how to force carbonate beers using "beer gas".
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dbeechum on February 23, 2010, 07:51:38 pm
The best way to operate with beergas is to force carb with CO2 at the appropriate carbonation volume. Then use the beer gas to drive it.

Nitrogen is virtually insoluble in beer so you really don't gain much by trying to force it into the beer.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: beerocd on February 23, 2010, 08:16:46 pm
The best way to operate with beergas is to force carb with CO2 at the appropriate carbonation volume. Then use the beer gas to drive it.

Nitrogen is virtually insoluble in beer so you really don't gain much by trying to force it into the beer.

So, the only reason for Nitro is to be able to push at higher pressure to overcome the restrictor plate in the stout faucet? Who's ultimate job is to knock CO2 out of solution.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dbeechum on February 23, 2010, 08:19:31 pm
Without grossly overcarbonating the beer, yes.

Really, the whole point of beer gas is to avoid overcarbing a beer when put through a high pressure run. In the case of a stout faucet, they want to keep the overall CO2 level really low, but force it through the restrictor plate. In bars with long beer line runs, you use a gas mix to drive the keg at a high enough pressure to overcome line resistance, but still avoid dumping excess CO2 into the beer.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dtblank on February 23, 2010, 08:23:04 pm
The best way to operate with beergas is to force carb with CO2 at the appropriate carbonation volume. Then use the beer gas to drive it.

Nitrogen is virtually insoluble in beer so you really don't gain much by trying to force it into the beer.

Thanks thats what I needed to know. 
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: zee on February 24, 2010, 02:18:28 am
Without grossly overcarbonating the beer, yes.

Really, the whole point of beer gas is to avoid overcarbing a beer when put through a high pressure run. In the case of a stout faucet, they want to keep the overall CO2 level really low, but force it through the restrictor plate. In bars with long beer line runs, you use a gas mix to drive the keg at a high enough pressure to overcome line resistance, but still avoid dumping excess CO2 into the beer.

so would that mean that in a homebrew chest freezer setup beer gas is totally unnecessary, even for stouts if you can set your pressures and line lengths properly?
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dbeechum on February 24, 2010, 05:42:18 am
so would that mean that in a homebrew chest freezer setup beer gas is totally unnecessary, even for stouts if you can set your pressures and line lengths properly?

If you're not pouring through a restrictor plate.. sure.. but the second you're going through a stout faucet and want to maintain low carbonation - onto the beer gas with you!
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: zee on February 25, 2010, 03:10:35 am
the reason i'm asking is that i have both co2 and beer gas. i tend to carbonate on co2 and then serve using beer gas. its not something i am committed to at all. i got the beer gas to serve stouts and whatnot, and just sorta ended up serving everything on beer gas. my hope was that somehow the beer gas would a. make the beers a little creamier and b. make the beer less foamy. sounds like i'm just wasting gas . . .
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: dbeechum on February 25, 2010, 04:57:00 am
Actually depending upon the levels that you're carbonating at and then running your beer gas at - you may be keeping sufficient pressure on your system to pour, but over time losing carbonation as there isn't sufficient CO2 concentration to maintain the carbonation level.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: zee on February 26, 2010, 04:49:46 pm
eenteresting. maybe thats why it seems to help with foaming, because i'm actually just at a lower co2 volume than i think.

how does that work actually? i'd think that co2 would dissolve into solution independent on other things in the headspace. e.g. at x temp and y pressure once equalized there will be z volumes of co2 in solution no matter what the composition of the gas in the head space due to the laws of diffusion. e.g. i wasn't aware that concentration was a factor.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on February 27, 2010, 04:17:55 am
In simple terms:

"Beer Gas" is something like 1/3 CO2 and 2/3 Nitrogen.  Since the Nitrogen essentially doesn't carbonate the beer, it allows you to triple the pressure w/o overcarbing the beer thereby pushing through the stout faucet restrictions.

Most carbonate w/ CO2, then serve on the beergas mix.
Title: Re: Force carbonation with beer gas
Post by: brewsumore on March 09, 2010, 01:09:37 am
Any recommendations for a "sweet spot" level of carbonation (co2 volumes), prior to dispensing with beer gas? 

I guess that begs the question of what to look for in a pour.  I'm assuming you want the cascade effect that creates a decent head and that creamy appearance, while leaving a respectable amount of carbonation and lacing  when drinking the glass of beer.  I've been reading that the beginning co2 level should be between one and two volumes, and then dispense at equivalent beer gas pressure - say dispensing at 13 psi beer gas for a beer previously carbed with co2 to 1.8 volumes, carbed/served at 38F.

When I tried at that low a level I didn't get enough of a cascade effect to intrigue me, and then overcompensated by carbing to 2.4 volumes and dispensing with beer gas at 33 psi, which resulted in lots of foam and flat beer.

I guess I'm slowly dialing it in!