Nitro Pour Trick

I really love a good stout, particularly when it’s poured with a stout faucet and nitrogen to produce that delicious creamy head. I’ve avoided brewing stout in the past for lack of the stout tap and kegging system required for a nitro pour. But recently, while looking around /r/homebrewing I discovered this link embedded in a comment. Not only is it possible to reproduce the same creamy head without a kegging system and a stout faucet, it’s actually very easy. Just go to the local pharmacy and pick up a small plastic syringe.

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Fill the syringe with a few mL of air and a few mL of beer, then quickly inject the mix back into your glass, with the tip of the syringe just under the surface of the beer. You’ll see the characteristic nitrogen bubble waterfall, which doesn’t last as long as a true nitro pour, but it generates the same thick creamy head.

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The head should be creamy and persistent, just like it ought to (click the photo below and you can see how dense it is). A word of caution: start with a very small amount of air/beer mix. It only takes a little, and using this trick on anything with a higher level of carbonation is known to produce explosive results. The typical 1.5 to 2.0 volumes used for english ales seems to work well.

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Note that this will remove a significant amount of carbonation, which changes the flavour of the beer. A beer with less carbonation will taste sweeter and more full bodied, which is exactly the desired effect for a dry stout, but would be unwanted in many other styles.

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