Ask Mr. Wizard

The Subtleties of Beer Gas


Bobby Smallman — San Francisco, California asks,

I read the article on serving stouts with beer gas on your website (, and I’m hoping you have some insight into a situation I’m having. I recently added a beer gas line and a stout faucet to my home kegerator. I got a Keg of Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout from a local store. The beer comes out very, very foamy during pouring, but the head disappears completely after a minute or two and then the beer is flat. In the aforementioned article, it describes a period of time for conditioning a keg on beer gas. I guess my primary question is: Is this step typical for a commercial keg or is that step normally only homebrew? Do all commercial kegs for nitro stouts need to be conditioned over a week like this? Any insights you have would be helpful and appreciated.

Years ago I was talking to a crusty dude named Larry who worked for a local beer distributor about the dirty draft beer tricks that can be played by competing distributors. Larry
Response by Ashton Lewis.