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Is CO2 the only type of gas you could use to carbonate the beer in your keg. (Okay know carbonate means to use CO2). Something like say Nitrogen or Helium or whatever. If so what would that taste like and or change the flavor of the beer.

  • Yeah. Probably is a duplicate. Distsee that question suggested when I wrote this one. – zatbusch Oct 9 '18 at 17:18
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Guinness is a popular example of a nitrogenated beer. Generally the nitrogen produces smaller bubbles and lends a creamier texture to the beer. Not sure on flavor.

  • So, could you say use Nitrogen on a stout / milk stout / porter? – zatbusch Oct 9 '18 at 16:02
  • It depends on preference really. I like Guinness on nitrogen. It might be my favorite beer. The CO2 version , however is not nearly as good IMHO. When it comes to milk stouts though I sometimes find that the sharper texture of the CO2 cuts the sweetness better. Nitrogen in these can leave me feeling as though I am drinking a milkshake. – Kingfisher Oct 9 '18 at 16:07
  • Lol. Milkshake true. – zatbusch Oct 9 '18 at 17:17
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According to the internet "Aqueous carbon dioxide, CO2 (aq), reacts with water forming carbonic acid, H2CO3 (aq). Carbonic acid may loose protons to form bicarbonate, HCO3- , and carbonate, CO32-. In this case the proton is liberated to the water, decreasing pH. The complex chemical equilibria are described using two acid equilibrium equations."

If you've ever drunk flat carbonated water, you should know the acidic flavour that carbonation imparts to water. I assume it has some impact on the flavour of beer, though presumably since beer already has noticeable flavour this difference is less pronounced.

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