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Old 03-05-2009, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default Cask Conditioning Homebrew

How does one go about it? The wiki doesn't say, and a quick search didn't turn up any threads.

I have a bitter (this one) that is tasting very yummy at 4 days in the primary (gravity is currently 1.016). I'd like to serve it direct from a cask - but what do I need? A cask (where can I get a 5 gal cask?). A cellar at 55F (or a fridge I guess)? At what point do I put it in the cask, and how long does it stay there for before it is ready to drink?

Anyone done this?

Cheers!



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Old 03-05-2009, 01:45 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, cask beer must be consumed quickly after it is tapped. It is either served directly from the cask, or by beer engine. Both techniques draw in air to replace the volume. Air and beer dont really get along too well.

Compare it to your college days and keg parties. Those party taps pump in air to push the beer out. Ever taste beer out of a keg that didn't get floated the night before? Nasty! A good cask conditioned ale could last a bit longer than BMC keg beer, but not much.

I dont keg so take this with a grain of salt. In theory, you could prime it like you would a normal beer, then transfer to a corny keg. Give it a few weeks to condition. Then hook it up to C02 to serve. If you serve it using low pressure, and keep it off of the C02 when not being served, it should keep a low amount of carbonation.



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Old 03-05-2009, 01:49 AM   #3
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you couldn't pump Co2 into it, instead of just letting air flow in?

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Old 03-05-2009, 02:01 AM   #4
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Don't have CO2 or cornies yet. I'm thinking pure gravity though: just open the tap on the cask and put you glass under.

But I see what you mean about it going stale. Hadn't thought that bit through. I guess if I were to have a party... but than I wouldn't have any beer left

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Old 03-05-2009, 02:49 AM   #5
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Since you do not have cornies, I am not sure what you are thinking of using. But if you did have cornies, you would want to prime the beer and carbonate in the keg. To serve, you can take your cornie and lay it down horizontal with the gas in connection at the bottom. Take a gas out connector and attach a valve or cobra tap to it and use gravity to dispense. You will need to attach something to the beer out connection to allow air to vent in.

As mentioned, since you are letting air vent in, you will want to consume the keg quickly. If you had CO2, you could also purge you keg at the end of the day to extend the life of the keg a few more days.

Another option is to use a polypin to carb in and dispense from. I have attached a picture showing these options. Note that in the picture, only the keg on the right is set up correctly, gas in connector on the bottom. The polypin is the plastic jug on top of the kegs.

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Old 03-05-2009, 05:19 AM   #6
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You'd need a corny keg and CO2 tank.

Prime as you would for bottles and transfer. Purge the keg and charge to 10psi to set the seals. Wait for carbonation. Dispense until the beer won't flow, then hit it with a few pounds of CO2, just enough to make the beer flow. That's it.

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Old 03-05-2009, 05:34 AM   #7
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I naturally carb in a keg then hook it up to my DIY beer engine:

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Old 03-05-2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfries View Post
Since you do not have cornies, I am not sure what you are thinking of using.

...

Another option is to use a polypin to carb in and dispense from. I have attached a picture showing these options. Note that in the picture, only the keg on the right is set up correctly, gas in connector on the bottom. The polypin is the plastic jug on top of the kegs.
The polypin! I guess that is what I am looking for. Do you just rack to that from primary, add sugar, leave it a few days(?) to carb up, vent, then drink?
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild View Post
I naturally carb in a keg then hook it up to my DIY beer engine:
Looks good. Is it like an English hand-pull? What sort of keg do you use, and how does one carb it?

Thanks for the ideas everyone
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #10
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What I am going to do is use an aspirator valve between my tank and keg and use a beer engine to serve the beer. The aspirator lets a small dose of CO2 into the keg to blanket the beer but not enough to force carb. It is the method that many use when they can't finish a keg in a day or so.



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