dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:37 pm

I was curious if anyone had tried to use nitrogen to dispense their beer out of a Tap-A-Draft? I was going to carbonate using a regular CO2 cartridge, but use a nitrogen cartridge to dispense. Will this work if I have the newer Tap-A-Draft valve that only has the one cartridge holster instead of the old one that has two (so you used to be able to do one nitro, one CO2).
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Re: dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:19 pm

If things fit, you would be able to use an N2 cartridge to push it, but without doing anything else it's just gonna push, you won't get the creaminess if it's carbed first with CO2.
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Re: dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:02 pm

Thanks Spider, but can you explain why I won't get the creaminess if I first carb with CO2? I know that Guinness is served with a combination of CO2 and N2 (25%/75%), so with a T-A-D it wouldn't be the same ratio, but wouldn't there be some of both to make a similar result?

Also, if I can't get the sought after mouthfeel by just pushing N2, do I have to carb and push with N2? Is the N2 that I bought from morebeer
http://morebeer.com/view_product/18310//Nitrogen_Cartridge_18g even going to dissolve in solution?

Thanks for your help.
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Re: dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:55 pm

I guess it would depend on how long you had the N2 hooked up, but if you carbed with CO2, and immediately push, it's only going to dispense beer containing CO2. If you let it sit, it would take up N2, but the ratio would possibly change throughout (CO2>N2 early, CO2<N2 later). That isn't even to deal with the issues of pressure/etc that might be necessary to get the pour you want. Hopefully someone with more knowledge on this type of topic will chime in.
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Re: dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:42 am

You should still get the creaminess. The commerical beers are only dispensed using Nitro they are not carbonated using Nitro (carbed with CO2) (at least I think most are). You will not get as much of the creaminess as you would with a traditional stout facet being pushed by Nitro, as the tap is an important part of creating the creaminess you assoicate with Nitro despensed stouts. Which you would not have using a tap-o-draft. By the way you can do it. I used to have a tap-o-draft and have done that. I had an older one with the double cartridge and did it with one of those systems.
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Re: dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:35 am

Spider - I talked to the guys at more beer and they brought up the pressure issue. They said that you need some type of regulator to increase the pressure normally when using nitrogen. Unfortunately, with a TAD, I'm SOL in that department.

CB - It seems pretty easy to do a combination of N2/CO2 in the old TAD set-up, but how would you approach it with the new one cartridge set-up? Just curious if your method would differ from the one I'm proposing below:

When I get the chance, I'll use CO2 to initially carbonate and then I'll pull that cartridge out and replace it with N2. By tracking when I put the cartridge in and how long it's been from that date each time I pull a pint, maybe I'll be able to figure out the best scenario of days to wait after adding nitro for TAD users.
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Re: dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:30 am

CRBrewHound wrote:You should still get the creaminess. The commerical beers are only dispensed using Nitro they are not carbonated using Nitro (carbed with CO2) (at least I think most are)..


The creaminess comes from the nitrogen being dissolved in the beer. If you carbonate, then hook up nitrogen and pour immediately, that nitrogen will not have had time to enter the beer, and it will basically be a regular pour. If you let it sit, some of the CO2 will move into the nitrogen rich headspace, and some of the nitrogen will move into the beer. In my understanding, it will take time/agitation to get the nitrogen blended in. Beer gas containing nitro is in a ~70/30 blend, and I think this will be a changing target to hit by carbing then pouring with nitro only.
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Re: dispensing Tap-A-Draft with Nitrogen cartridge

Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:29 pm

berkeleybrewer wrote:CB - It seems pretty easy to do a combination of N2/CO2 in the old TAD set-up, but how would you approach it with the new one cartridge set-up? Just curious if your method would differ from the one I'm proposing below:


I don't think it will be the same, I always carbed my beers using the TAD carbonation caps sold by Williams Brewing supply (stouts to a low carb level). However, after looking, I don't think anyone sells the carbonator cap anymore for the tap-a-draft system. The carbonator cap, allowed you to carbonate right in the bottle, it had a release valve built into the cap, that would allow off gasing above I think it was 25psi. I then changed to the dispensor head and primed with the nitro and let sit in the fridge.
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