It’s summertime and there’s nothing better to cool down with than with a cold pint of beer. Here in Colorado, there are over 400 breweries and according to colorado.com, “Colorado has the fourth most breweries per capita in the U.S.”
Ever wonder what makes a beer so refreshing? Well, it comes down to bubbles! We humans tend to like fizzy or carbonated drinks. According to a 2016 study from the Monell Chemical Sciences Center, it turns out that cold and carbonated drinks quenches your thirst more than still water or flat drinks. When we drink beer, the bubbles turn into carbonic acid which is what essentially provides us with that refreshing feel.
So what creates these amazing bubbles that we love? The simple answer is: Carbon Dioxide. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the gas blends that go into draft beer and how to pour the perfect pint.
What is Beer Gas?
When draft beer is dispensed from a keg, it requires the use of beer gas to push the beer out of the keg, through the beer lines and to the tap where your beer is poured. Typically, there are different types of beer gas blends, but most domestic beers are dispensed with carbon dioxide. When it comes to different types of beers like stouts and nitro beers, you’ll need to use a blend of Nitrogen and CO2. Nitrogen and CO2 can be blended at different ratios to accomodate to the type of beer you plan on dispensing.
There are many benefits that come with using the right beer gas blend. Depending on the type of beer you’re pouring from the draft, making sure you have the right blend is important in order to get the right consistency and ensure the flavors are coming through. Having the right blend can provide your perfect pint with a creamier consistency, smoother dispensing, preserve the original beer flavor and can help reduce beer fobbing and pour costs.
Setting Up Your Keg For Success
Dispensing draft beer is a critical component of pouring the perfect pint. One of the first things to look at is temperature and pressure. Depending on how your kegs are set up, you’ll want to place them in an area where the temperature is consistent. If the keg lowers in temperature too much, it can potentially freeze the beer and if it gets too warm, it will cause excessive foaming and a flat beer.
Depending on your set up and where you have your kegs in relation to the bar area, you’ll have to make sure the temperature of the keg and the hose are consistent. For example, having extremely long hose lines from the keg to the faucet can warm up the beer in the hose and cause bacteria to form as well as foaming. A little bit of head is nice, but no one likes a pour with the head filling half of the glass.
Beer Gas Pressure
Pressure is what keeps your beer carbonated and keeps each pour tasting fresh. When looking at keg pressure, a keg that is newly tapped will have more pressure inside. So the safest way to set the right pressure is to start slowly and then work your way up as needed. A quick tip is to try to get the beer to pour the way you want it to before adding more pressure with gas. It ultimately comes down to the style of beer you’re pouring. For example, domestic ales and lagers should typically be dispensed at around 10-12 PSI while stouts and nitro beers should be dispensed at a higher PSI around 25-30. If you want to be extra cautious, check with your keg distributor for specifics.
Adding too much or not enough pressure can cause your pour to be less than ideal. Too much pressure will give you a super foamy beer which you’ll be able to tell by looking at the bubbles. They will typically be larger, tight bubbles, but all you have to do is adjust the regulator to a lower pressure and this should fix your pour. Not enough pressure will give you a flat beer and no one likes a flat beer.
How To Pour The Perfect Pint
Brewing beer is a science and a process, but did you know that there is a technique for pouring beer as well? A common mistake when pouring beer is pouring it with the glass upright. This method will result in a lot of foam in your glass; maybe even more foam than beer. To pour the perfect pint, follow these steps from kegworks.com:
Step 1: Grab a clean glass and hold it at a 45-degree angle. Try to keep the glass a bit below the faucet and make sure the glass doesn’t touch the faucet either to avoid any sort of contamination.
Step 2: Open the faucet quickly and start pouring the beer down the side of the glass up until about the halfway mark.
Step 3: Gradually start bringing the glass to an upright position and aim the faucet to the middle of the glass to start creating the head. You’ll want to start slowing the pour as you get closer to the top. Your goal is to have a head about an inch wide.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Now that you know what goes into pouring the perfect pint, we’re excited to provide you with the beer gas blends you need and even a kegerator kit for all of you homebrewers.
We supply beer gas to local restaurants, breweries and other establishments so they could provide their customers with a delicious tasting beer. We offer high quality beer mixes and are able to provide reliable delivery services in the greater Longmont and Denver areas. If you’re a homebrewer, we also have kegerator conversion kits for your beer concoctions at home. Contact us today to ask about our beer gas and kegerator services at 303-776-1491 or drop us a note for a free quote. Cheers!