Long before I was a craft beer enthusiast there were really only two beers that I drank at all. The first was a regional favorite that has an intensely rapid following in certain regions of America. That is our local behemoth of Yuengling lager. Despite the protests of those not in Yuengling’s normal distribution network I always considered this offering to be a respectable beer for a reasonable price. It certainly is not the pinnacle of brewing. The other beer I frequently drank was Guinness. This was the beer that I drank for flavor. I had a pint (or two or three) for the experience of drinking beer. Not as something to hastily gulp while busy with a drinking game but to savor and enjoy at length.
One of the things I enjoyed most about Guinness was nitro pour. The beer felt silky smooth on the tongue, had that thick, long-lasting almost chocolate head on the beer and looked just amazing while being poured. Guinness despite being a monstrous player on the global beer market certainly has mastered the formula of creating an beer experience that excites many of the sense.
At the time I felt that Guinness was unique having no knowledge that other beers can have that similar feel being on nitro. Guinness is amazing with their bottle/cans that allow you to experience the stout faucet outside the bar. But what does this mean for the homebrewer who is making their own stout and wants that same nitro pour without having access to a whole nitrogen system? One would imagine it means you need to learn to cope with disappointment. But one would be wrong!
The amazing home brewing community at reddit posted an link to a youtube video showing a simple trick to simulate a stout pour at home without the need for expensive equipment. In fact the only thing you need is a syringe from any local pharmacy.
As Tom explains in the video all you need to do is pour a fairly headless glass of beer (preferably a stout) with about two or so inches of “head room” left at the top of the glass. Then fill the syringe with beer from the glass. Once filled forcibly fire the syringe’s contents back into the beer. The more forcefully the syringe is fired into the beer in the glass the better the effect. The incoming beer will disturb the beer in the glass and set off the bubbling reaction that creates a thick, hardy head on a beer.
The video is grainy and difficult to see but the effect looks almost exactly like a half poured Guinness. It is an effective trick to creating the bar poured stout at home. So the next time you’ve brewed a stout and want to simulate that authentic stout pour just pull out a syringe and this little trick and impress your friend.