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force carbonate with nitrogen

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shawndietrich

Post Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:22 pm

force carbonate with nitrogen

Can you force carbonate with nitrogen I could use co2 if I have to but nitrogen is cheaper and I have some right now. Also what is a good pressure to carbonate and to extract the beer from the keg?
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BrewerGeorge

Post Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:03 pm

No. Nitrogen won't absorb. Nitrogen is used to push beer out of a sparkler faucet at high pressure to make that pretty N2 head of foam. You still have to carbonate it first with beer gas (mix of CO2 and N2) or pure CO2.
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P-J

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Post Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:46 pm

George Schmidt wrote:~~~ You still have to carbonate it first with beer gas (mix of CO2 and N2) or pure CO2.

Hey George,

Can you carbonate with beer gas? Check out my thinking and correct me where I'm wrong.

Starting with a keg of flat beer (nearly - I say that as there is residual co² left from fermentation.), I add beer gas through the regulator. The pressure builds in the keg and only the co² of the mix is absorbed. More mix is pushed into the keg and then that co² is absorbed also. A point is reached where a steady state of pressure is reached and no more gas is pushed into the keg. However, the head space contains far less co² than you would want so that carbonation can not complete to the level desired as the mix in the head space is much higher in nitro than co². (The nitro does not infuse and desolve into the beer at a rate that would allow equalization of co² & nitro.)

I'm trying to think this through as I've always carbed with pure co² and then dispensed with beer gas at the higher pressure (equalized for the % of co² in the mix.)


Am I way off base here???? Help and bail me out here...!!!

Thanks,
Paul
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firemarmot

Post Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:57 am

P-J,

My limited review of the forum tells me you could force carb on a beer gas mix, but if you want to do so properly you need to calculate the partial pressures of the gasses involved. I would point out that like all force carbination if you over-pressurize your keg, you will over carb your beer; there is no magical stop carbination point, rather it is a function of the temperature of the beer and pressure of the gas applied.

It is also my understanding that it is incorrect to presume that no nitrogen will be absorbed by the beer, simply put, nitrogen is less readily absorbed by the beer, yet a small amount IS absorbed resulting in altered flavor and aroma (this is why generally all beer is not pushed with beer gas unless it is on exceptionally long runs).

Hope my limited knowledge is of limited help.
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chuck

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Post Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:12 am

Yes you can here is a document with instructions that tells you how to do it. Just go down to the Nitro info.


http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/
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QC

Post Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:25 am

P-J

Your ananlysys is essentially correct. The head space gradually becomes depleted of CO2 and to carb with beer gas requires venting the head space to allow fresh mix in there. Since beer gas is a lot more expensive than CO2 this is an expensive way to do it.

To answer shawndietrich's question: you can't carbonate with pure nitrogen because nitrogen is not carbon dioxide! As George pointed out Nitrogen is only slightly soluble. If you try to dispense an already carbonated beer with pure nitrogen it will quickly go flat as the CO2 will come out of solution until the partial pressure of CO2 int he headspace matches the CO2 pressure in the beer.
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Pileus

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Post Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:36 am

Re: force carbonate with nitrogen

shawndietrich wrote:Can you force carbonate with nitrogen I could use co2 if I have to but nitrogen is cheaper and I have some right now. Also what is a good pressure to carbonate and to extract the beer from the keg?


No, Nitrogen is an inert gas - it does not readily absorb into solution. The whole purpose of using nitrogen, as opposed to CO2, is to keep the beer relatively gas free thus allowing the use of a restrictor plate in the faucet without massive amounts of foaming. Forcing beer throught these tiny holes in the restrictor plate effectively wraps protien around the CO2 creating that fantastic, silky smooth, ever lasting head.

I'm not sure where chuck is looking, I cant find it. The part I looked at said:

3. Force-carbonate the beer with CO2 only to
approximately 2 vols of CO2. Refer to the
following chart to find the correct regulator setting
based on the temperature of your beer.

Hope this helps.
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P-J

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Post Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:42 am

QC wrote:P-J

Your ananlysys is essentially correct. The head space gradually becomes depleted of CO2 and to carb with beer gas requires venting the head space to allow fresh mix in there. Since beer gas is a lot more expensive than CO2 this is an expensive way to do it. ~~~

QC,

Thanks for that. I can see it working where the head space is vented and fresh gas is introduced. Yup, expensive way to do it.

Thanks again.
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P-J

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Post Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:59 am

Re: force carbonate with nitrogen

Pileus wrote: ~~~ I'm not sure where chuck is looking, I cant find it. The part I looked at said:

3. Force-carbonate the beer with CO2 only to
approximately 2 vols of CO2. Refer to the
following chart to find the correct regulator setting
based on the temperature of your beer.

I think this is what Chuck is referring to:

From The document Homebrew Nitrogen System
Method B -
Because the beer is not technically carbonated with
this method
, you can save time and skip some of the
steps listed above. However, this method does require
additional components that are not included with this
system. If you use Method B to nitrogenize your beer,
you will first need to attach a stainless steel diffusion
stone to the gas-in dip tube of your keg (use about 2
feet of 1/4” ID tubing for a 5 gallon keg).

1. Cold-condition the beer for several weeks to
maximize yeast flocculation; alternatively, use a
fining such as gelatin or isinglass. This will help
prevent the restrictor disc in the faucet from
becoming clogged.
2. Keg the beer and chill to 35°F.
3. Connect the nitrogen regulator/cylinder assembly
to the keg, open the valve on the cylinder and set
the pressure to 15 psi. Allow keg to pressurize for
one hour.
4. Close the cylinder valve and relieve pressure in the
headspace of the keg.

5. Connect the liquid line to the keg.
6. Open the cylinder valve. Using the adjusting screw,
set dispensing pressure to 35 psi and pour a
sample; adjust pressure as necessary.


Then in the trouble shooting section:

No cascade of bubbles when pouring
• The dispensing pressure on the nitrogen regulator
is too low; use the adjusting screw to raise the
pressure.
The beer was not carbonated with CO2
sufficiently
; disconnect the nitrogen regulator and
increase carbonation level using CO2


The text bolding is mine. This sort of follows what QC has pointed out.

Anyway, Thanks all.
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P-J

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Post Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:26 am

firemarmot wrote:P-J,

~~~ you could force carb on a beer gas mix, but if you want to do so properly you need to calculate the partial pressures of the gasses involved. I would point out that like all force carbination if you over-pressurize your keg, you will over carb your beer; there is no magical stop carbination point, rather it is a function of the temperature of the beer and pressure of the gas applied. ~~~

firemarmot,
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around your info about partial pressure. I absolutely agree with what you are saying to a point.

Absolute pressure also plays a major role in beer gas carbing. Once an absolute pressure is established within the keg no more beer gas will enter. The regulator does not care about partial pressure. The beer will only absorb the gas available in the keg within it soluability range for a particular gas. Co² will readily absorb - pressure decreases - more gas enters - etc.. Now a point is reached where the keg pressure maintains a steady state, however there was minimal total co² available for carbonation. Keep in mind that beer gas is generally only 25% co² and far less co² would be available than would be required for a typical carb level. Now venting the head space would flush the high level of nitro so the process can continue. But that is way expensive.

Anyway, I do appreciate your thoughts. It got this old brain cranking. :lol:
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Lakstins

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Post Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:49 pm

Re: force carbonate with nitrogen

Ok... ahh... :roll: I actually have forced carbonated a brew with Nitrogen.
Disclaimer: (I have two taps. One of my fittings came loose on one line which left me with a empty tank of carbon dioxide. What was I to do? All I had was full tank of nitrogen and it was the weekend. So I thought... What the heck?)

Because nitrogen tank is a mixture of both nitrogen and carbon dioxide it took a while for both to eventually dissolved into it. However, the beer doesn't seem to be able to maintain a good head nor can it hold proper carbonation. It is interesting though. When you draw a glass with the stout faucet, it gives to much of a head. The flavors not bad, but the head dissipates quickly and the beer taste half carbonated. When you draw a pint with normal carbon dioxide, it still develops a head with a slight curtain at the top. You can actually tell the nitrogen has been dissolved in it. That head then quickly dissipates (within a minute or so) into a pint that basically resembles and tastes like soda pop with a flavor that's not so good. :oops:
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markusg

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Post Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:06 am

Re:

P-J wrote:firemarmot,
I'm still trying to wrap my mind around your info about partial pressure. I absolutely agree with what you are saying to a point.


I am a bit removed from Grad school, but for transport/difussion/dissolving type problems the partial pressure of a particular gas is what is usually most important. Although if the other gasses are soluable they may reduce the amount of CO2 capable to be absorbed, but that is not really the case with N2.

So the solubility of CO2 into the beer is determined by the partial pressure of the CO2 not the absolute pressure. so if the mole fraction of the gas is 25% the partial pressure of CO2 .25* Total pressure so you would need to increase the pressure to get the same amount of CO2 into solution. where this comes into play is that if you do not purge the tank, as the CO2 is dissolved in the beer the partial pressure of the gas is lowered, but the total pressure is only reduced by a fractional percent of what the partial pressure is reduced by. So when new gas is introduced the partial pressure of CO2 in the headspace will be less then 25% so you will actually get less CO2 in solution then you would by using pure CO2 at 25% of the total pressure of the beer gas.

So an example of the math (wrong, but simplified since I don't have a calculator). If the Beer gas tanks has 25% CO2 75% N2 by mole fraction. keg total pressure 100 psi. lets say 80% of the CO2 dissolved into the gas. the total pressure reduces by .8*.25*100psi so to get back up to 100 psi more gas comes in and now 20% of the head space gas is 25% CO2 the other 80% is only 5% so now the partial pressure of CO2 is only 9psi instead of the original 25psi. It would keep filling until it hits an equilibrium but it would end with a partial pressure less then the in the original beer gas mixture.


What is interesting is that you can get flow from low total pressure plenums to high total pressure plenums if using a selectively permeable membrane as long as the partial pressure of the permeable fluid is lower on the high pressure side.
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rstump

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Post Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:02 am

Re: force carbonate with nitrogen

If you did, wouldn't it then be called nitronate?
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Denny

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Post Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:12 am

Re: force carbonate with nitrogen

rstump wrote:If you did, wouldn't it then be called nitronate?


+1!
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is.

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onthekeg

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Post Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:22 am

Re: force carbonate with nitrogen

Lakstins wrote:Ok... ahh... :roll: I actually have forced carbonated a brew with Nitrogen.
Disclaimer: (I have two taps. One of my fittings came loose on one line which left me with a empty tank of carbon dioxide. What was I to do? All I had was full tank of nitrogen and it was the weekend. So I thought... What the heck?)

Because nitrogen tank is a mixture of both nitrogen and carbon dioxide it took a while for both to eventually dissolved into it. However, the beer doesn't seem to be able to maintain a good head nor can it hold proper carbonation. It is interesting though. When you draw a glass with the stout faucet, it gives to much of a head. The flavors not bad, but the head dissipates quickly and the beer taste half carbonated. When you draw a pint with normal carbon dioxide, it still develops a head with a slight curtain at the top. You can actually tell the nitrogen has been dissolved in it. That head then quickly dissipates (within a minute or so) into a pint that basically resembles and tastes like soda pop with a flavor that's not so good. :oops:


You didn't carbonate, the beer already was "carbonated" before your tank went south. Inert gas has a serious title. Beer included. If anyone wants to question me beer gas has CO2 in it as well. If you hit a keg for 20 years at 30 psi with N2 only, you will push beer out, but it will be flat. Try that.
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