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How to use DME in place of Nitro for a stout?

Hello-

I’m making a 5 gal Dry Stout with CO2 forced carbonation. Unfortunately I don’t yet have a nitro tank and would like to know if anyone has experience with priming their keg with DME in place of nitro in order to create that great creamy head?

Cheers to All
Rob

[quote=“BrooklynRob”]Hello-

I’m making a 5 gal Dry Stout with CO2 forced carbonation. Unfortunately I don’t yet have a nitro tank and would like to know if anyone has experience with priming their keg with DME in place of nitro in order to create that great creamy head?

Cheers to All
Rob[/quote]
I think you’re confusing a couple of things…

Nitrogen is used for serving. Normally you’d carbonate with CO2 then serve with nitrogen. Some people do prefer to ‘naturally’ carbonate in the keg with sugar, or I suppose it could be done with DME, then serve with gas.

Perhaps that’s what you’re thinking, that carbonating with DME would create a more creamy head? I don’t have the experience to confirm or deny that.

You’d use a carb calculator to calculate the amount of DME needed to reach your preferred vol level of carbonation. http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

Carbing with DME is just like any other sugar, except more expensive than sugar. I tried it once and saw no difference in carbonation.

[quote=“BrooklynRob”]Hello-

I’m making a 5 gal Dry Stout with CO2 forced carbonation. Unfortunately I don’t yet have a nitro tank and would like to know if anyone has experience with priming their keg with DME in place of nitro in order to create that great creamy head?

Cheers to All
Rob[/quote

Using DME will not give you a creamy head. That’s an old, disproven myth. In addition, since the fermentability of DME varies, you never know exactly what carb level you’re getting. Keep in mind that the reason for using nitro is so that you can serve at a higher pressure since nitro doesn’t go into solution as readily as CO2. By serving at a higher pressure, you get the big foam and smooth mouthfeel becasue you’re essentially knocking carbonation out of the beer. If you really want to mimic a nitro pour, you can do what Guinness did before they started using nitro. They included a syringe with each 6 pack. You’d suck some beer up into the syringe and shoot it back into your glass. Doing that decarbed the beer and gave you the creamy mouthfeel and big foam.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“BrooklynRob”]Hello-

I’m making a 5 gal Dry Stout with CO2 forced carbonation. Unfortunately I don’t yet have a nitro tank and would like to know if anyone has experience with priming their keg with DME in place of nitro in order to create that great creamy head?

Cheers to All
Rob[/quote

Using DME will not give you a creamy head. That’s an old, disproven myth. In addition, since the fermentability of DME varies, you never know exactly what carb level you’re getting. Keep in mind that the reason for using nitro is so that you can serve at a higher pressure since nitro doesn’t go into solution as readily as CO2. By serving at a higher pressure, you get the big foam and smooth mouthfeel becasue you’re essentially knocking carbonation out of the beer. If you really want to mimic a nitro pour, you can do what Guinness did before they started using nitro. They included a syringe with each 6 pack. You’d suck some beer up into the syringe and shoot it back into your glass. Doing that decarbed the beer and gave you the creamy mouthfeel and big foam.[/quote][/quote]

You’ve mentioned that before. I keep meaning to try it and forget. I’m gonna try it with a porter tonight!

Since all the forementioned has been said, simply calculate your dme or corn sugar to 1.5-1.8 vol and when you’re ready and have the beer gas tank (75/25 or 60/40) you can push it through.

For what its worth. I just bottled a porter with DME and it pours with a nice foamy head, not saying corn sugar wouldn’t do the same. Next batch I will use corn sugar and see. Don’t know anything about carbonating in the keg but it sounds like an interesting idea.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“BrooklynRob”]Hello-

I’m making a 5 gal Dry Stout with CO2 forced carbonation. Unfortunately I don’t yet have a nitro tank and would like to know if anyone has experience with priming their keg with DME in place of nitro in order to create that great creamy head?

Cheers to All
Rob[/quote

Using DME will not give you a creamy head. That’s an old, disproven myth. In addition, since the fermentability of DME varies, you never know exactly what carb level you’re getting. Keep in mind that the reason for using nitro is so that you can serve at a higher pressure since nitro doesn’t go into solution as readily as CO2. By serving at a higher pressure, you get the big foam and smooth mouthfeel becasue you’re essentially knocking carbonation out of the beer. If you really want to mimic a nitro pour, you can do what Guinness did before they started using nitro. They included a syringe with each 6 pack. You’d suck some beer up into the syringe and shoot it back into your glass. Doing that decarbed the beer and gave you the creamy mouthfeel and big foam.[/quote][/quote]
Tried this with my porter tonight. Very interesting. Wish I had only drawn half a pint. :shock:

Definitely put a huge creamy head on the beer. Not sure I noticed any difference in the mouthfell.

I like using pint sterling glasses for my porters and stouts and not just for the extra couple ounces of beer per pull. The dimple causes turbulence as you fill that sort of mimics this same effect.

This. Syringe = creamy head like Guinness.

[quote=“BrooklynRob”]Hello-

I’m making a 5 gal Dry Stout with CO2 forced carbonation. Unfortunately I don’t yet have a nitro tank and would like to know if anyone has experience with priming their keg with DME in place of nitro in order to create that great creamy head?

Cheers to All
Rob[/quote]
I think you are on to something though that I would like to try. The beer I bottle carbonate seems to have a thicker and longer lasting head than my keg carbonated so maybe sugar or DME carbonate in keg and then pressurize to serve may add a little to the head retention. Wonder if anyone on this forum has experience doing it that way. Using a syringe to drink beer sounds like to much trouble.

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience.

@Danny, thanks for the link to the calculator, it’s going to be very helpful.

@Denny, thanks for the suggestion to use a syringe. I’m going to run with your option as it sounds like the easiest for this novice.

I’ll shout back at the end of January to provide status on this batch.

5 lbs - Pale Malt (3.0 SRM)
2 lbs - Barley Flaked (2.5)
1 lbs - Black Barley (500 SRM)
2.75 oz - Goldings East Kent (Boil 60 min)
0.25 tsp - Irish Moss (Boil 10 min)
1 pkg - irish Ale (Wyeast 1084)

Thanks again to All.

Cheers
-Rob

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