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Brian Robinson

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Any of you beer brewers know of any good sources for nitrogen carbonation for small batches? I'm working on a few batches of stouts and really want them to be served with nitrogen instead of CO2. Problem is, I'm only looking at 2-3 gallons for each batch.

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I've never done nitrogen carbonation, but back when I was doing kegs and CO2, there were gas supply places that could pressure test tanks and fill them. They are often medical gas suppliers, or fire system places, or welding places, ...

 

I'm curious, are you planning to keg or bottle? There's a brewery here in Colorado doing a widget-less nitro bottled stout (Left Hand Milk Stout). Results are ok, I didn't think it performs as well as the fancy widget-cans. They suggest pouring the beer hard from the bottle, and I had to practically turn it upside-down to get any sort of nitro "cascade" effect. End result was a pretty flat beer, but with the typical tight, creamy head from a nitro serve. You might try contacting them and see what they could tell you.

 

You really got me thinking about this -- I've force carbonated with a CO2 tank w/ regulator and corny kegs, but never with nitrogen. And then do you need a fancy Guinness-style tap for serving? Keep us posted, I'm interested to hear how this turns out!

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And then do you need a fancy Guinness-style tap for serving?

 

That's the plan. I've already got a Guinness tap, but I'm just concerned about finding a 2-3 gallon mini-keg that has the proper fixtures to attach to it. Is there some kind of conversion kit, or are there kegs that small that have the regular style connections? I've always bottled my batches in the past, so have no idea about the keg side of things.

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Sorry Brian, sounds like a question for the homebrew shop. I've known guys who have had small kegs (3 gal.? sounds about right), and all of the fittings were the same as the 5 gallon soda kegs. But things change, and my info is all at least 15 years old ...

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Hey Brian - you can definitely find 2 1/2gal corny kegs with the same fittings as the 5gal - they're not cheap:

 

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/KEGS-C109.aspx

 

Nitrogen tanks also employ a different regulator than CO2:

 

http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/guinness_store/guinness_regulator/index.shtml

 

Here's a thread addressing the "nitrogen force-carbonating" issue:

 

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/force-carbonating-nitrogen-156590/

 

Hope this helps.

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Perfect. Thanks! I'm planning to add a Guinness tap to the two normal taps I have in my bar when it's finally built out next year, so it's worth the investment to 'do it right' this time.

 

Cheers!

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