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What gas to use? And what pressure?

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  • What gas to use? And what pressure?

    I'm setting up my kegerator for wine on tap. I have read mixed things about what gas to use - some resources say beer gas, while others say nitrogen or argon. Specifically: says beer gas says beer gas for reds, and also (but less importantly) for whites says beer gas for reds, pure CO2 for bubbly, and does not mention whites says beer gas or argon + CO2 says any inert gas (so that means CO2, N2, or Ar)

    I swear I've seen some others that suggest just using N2 or Ar (and not beer gas) - but I can't find them now.

    Seems like beer gas is the most common suggestion though. Thoughts?

  • #2
    The most common gases I see used in bars and restaurants are Nitrogen and Argon, but more and more I've been seeing beer gas listed as the preferred push gas for wine. Argon is completely inert but relatively expensive, Nitrogen can get dissolved in the wine, but not at normal serving pressures. The idea behind using beer gas (25/75 CO2/N2) is that there is trace carbon dioxide in wine after fermentation and using beer gas at low pressures (~5psi for chilled wines, ~10psi for cellar temp) maintains that trace amount. Wines served with N2 or Ar can be perceived as being dull compared to wines served with beer gas. The only risk with beer gas is accidental carbonation, but if you know what you're doing it shouldn't be a problem. I've never personally seen a CO2/Argon blend used outside of welding, but I guess it would combine the trace CO2 with the inertness of Argon. I think it would be hard to find a beverage grade fill. If it was my kegerator, I would use beer gas. Make sure you're using stainless components, and ideally barrier tubing to prevent O2 absorption. Hope that helps! Cheers!


    • #3
      CO2 gas must be used for sparkling wines to preserve the fizz in the kegs. Any other gases must not be used. Any inert gas can be used to dispense our still wines. As the gas is not in contact with the wine it is just used as a propellant.

      The gas pressure applied to the sparkling wine will vary depending on ambient temperature where the wine kegs are stored. Higher temperatures mean a higher gas pressure needs to be applied. In a 13 degree cellar, we would recommend 29psi. However, at 23 degrees this will increase to 45psi. Still wines require much lower pressures as the gas is only used to propel the wine.



      • #4
        First, CO2 is not inert. It is very easy to force CO2 into cold liquid such as beer, wine, water, etc...
        Use "beer gas", 25% CO2/75% Nitrogen.


        • #5
          The bulk of the investment in a draft wine system will be the gas tank and regulator. The most important factor to consider when choosing a gas is deciding whether or not you want your wine sparkling. For still wines, argon or nitrogen are better choices, as they are much less soluble into the wine than CO2. Unfortunately, CO2 will always carbonate the wine at least a little, even at room temperature. For sparkling wines, CO2 is the right approach.

          Also, there are cool wine dispensers available - follow this link, which could be used in the whole wine making process!


          • #6
            Looking for advice - I just got a keg of prosecco (Zardetto) and am pushing it with CO2 (they recommend 30psi) and I'm using a Perlick SS faucet with flow control. I have the flow control set to pour slowly and it pours with a really big head that dissipates in a matter of seconds, after which the glass of prosecco is completely flat. It feels like the CO2 has come out of suspension. Is this possible?

            For what it's worth, I'm using 7ft of tubing, about 37 degrees, and now up to 35psi.

            Any suggestions? I saw some posts about using really long draft lines, but I don't know if that would help.