Can You Make a Nitro Tap From a Regular Tap?

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fifis101

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I was looking up on how a nitro/stout tap works and (there may be more to it than this but) it seems that you're just pushing the beer through an orifice plate at high pressure to get the creamy affect. My first thought was can you include an orifice plate into a regular tap? I know you can get screw on tap tips that include a orifice plate but I was wondering if anyone has done it to a tap that doesn't have this option? Is it possible to make you own orifice plate and install it at one end of the tap shank?

I know the reasoning for using actual nitrogen and higher pressures but I'm just curious whether something as simple as I've suggested is possible by including an orifice plate at the shank and temporarily cranking the pressure up.
 

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duncbrewer

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If you did achieve it you would get the same effect as if you put a nitro tap on and served the beer. That is if the beer is carbonated to say 2.5 vols you will just pour foam and foam and foam.
The little holes nucleate the bubbles to make the foam. Not a problem if you are running a beer gas ( a mix of CO2 and Nitrogen ) as the CO2 carbonation is at a much lower level say 1.2 vols.
If you want to approximate it without a tap look up Guinness surgers and then home made alternatives ( from jewellery cleaners).
The nitrogen in beer gas adds nothing to the beer it just gets it there and presents the product differently.

A nitro coffee is served with 100% nitrogen and if you've had one isn't fizzy and that's because the nitrogen doesn't dissolve well in liquid.
 

fifis101

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Yep I understand the nitrogen/beer mix pressures and vols etc and why it's used. My thoughts were to carb the stout at a lower co2 vol (if it's even possible). To get 1.2vols like you've suggested, you'd need to set the regulator at 1psi with a temp of 10degC or 2.3psi for 12degC. Then turn up the regulator just to serve. Seeing as it's leading in to Winter and it gets pretty cold here in Tassie, I could just leave my keg outside for these temperatures.
 

kadmium

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Yep I understand the nitrogen/beer mix pressures and vols etc and why it's used. My thoughts were to carb the stout at a lower co2 vol (if it's even possible). To get 1.2vols like you've suggested, you'd need to set the regulator at 1psi with a temp of 10degC or 2.3psi for 12degC. Then turn up the regulator just to serve. Seeing as it's leading in to Winter and it gets pretty cold here in Tassie, I could just leave my keg outside for these temperatures.
My understanding is that the restrictor plate knocks the co2 out of solution, and the Nitro is just to push it out of the keg. I can't see a reason you couldn't serve the beer couldn't be pushed out with high pressure while serving. I would carb it around 5psi at 4c in my opinion, getting around 1.7vols but that's just my opinion.
 

duncbrewer

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One slight issue is getting the regulator to work at that low a pressure. If you have an inline regulator with the 0-20 psi scale you will be able to dial it in a bit better. Getting low pressure from the regulators we use as standard is difficult. Lots of problems if you want to only run a couple of psi into a keg and then use a beer engine for examples. They use a low pressure regulator if they are cheating.

But low psi and dispense thru stout tap it will be a much better approximation. But I still think that the making of your own restrictor plate is a challenge to far retrofitted to that perlick looking tap.

I suppose you could just get a beer engine and dispense stout as a real ale like they used to before nitro stout was invented.

It's something I'm considering for a small batch experiment.
 

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