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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Cask Ale Questions - Serving Temp and Small Batches
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
blackcows
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Default Cask Ale Questions - Serving Temp and Small Batches

I am thinking of trying my hand at real ale and have a few questions. I have been reading here and other places on the net and learing a lot. It seems as though one of the biggest issues people face is that it is usually not possible to drink 5 gallons over the course of a few days if it's just a few people drinking. I have plenty of 5 gallon kegs, would there be anything wrong with splitting a batch of beer, 2 gallons to serve as a cask ale and 3 gallons to put on gas and serve as normal, or 1 gallon and 4 gallons? Also how are you achieving a 50 degree serving temp? I don't really have an extra fridge to dedicate to this and I would think a jockey box would make the beer to cool.

One other thought if you serve this all in the matter of one evening did you really accomplish the goal of serving a cask ale or must you drink it over several days to get the full effect?

Mike

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Old 11-05-2009, 11:08 PM   #2
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Cask ale kegs are completely different than a corny keg. You'll want to find an older keg that has the bung in the side and a spigot. They make them in 5 gallon sizes, but they're very hard to find and expensive. I've been looking for one for years.

Anyhow... when I attended the Great Taste of the Midwest this year, they had a tent completely devoted to real ales. It's where I spent most of my time and....WOW!

They basically just threw a 7lb. bag of ice on their keg while it was sitting on a rack. This kept it right around 55 degrees.

Real ale doesn't really need to be drank over a few days to get the feel of it...it's just fun to see how the yeast works its magic over a few days.

Look into building a beer engine if you're concidered cask ale. I've seen plans somewhere online.

I'm not sure if you've really thought about this, but bottled homebrew is exactly the same thing as cask ale. Serve it at 55 and you've got yourself a cask without the cask.

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Old 11-06-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
Cask ale kegs are completely different than a corny keg. You'll want to find an older keg that has the bung in the side and a spigot. They make them in 5 gallon sizes, but they're very hard to find and expensive. I've been looking for one for years.
Actually there are several people serving real ale or cask ale out of a corny keg.

Mike
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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I second the cask in a bottle comment.

It seems pretty cool to have an actual cask and serve from there and all, but a homebrew bottle basically does the same thing, and is a lot easier to manage.

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Old 11-06-2009, 01:32 PM   #5
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Actually there are several people serving real ale or cask ale out of a corny keg.

Mike
I'd like to know how they set it up. Real ale isn't supposed to be artificially carbonated and it's also supposed to be gravity fed or pump drawn from the keg. Unless you modified a corny, it probably wouldn't work correctly.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:36 PM   #6
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Here are a few links:

http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo...ewcaskale.html

http://biohazard.veriqikdsl.com/page15.html

Mike

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Old 11-06-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
I'd like to know how they set it up. Real ale isn't supposed to be artificially carbonated and it's also supposed to be gravity fed or pump drawn from the keg. Unless you modified a corny, it probably wouldn't work correctly.
Really easy. Rack to a keg, prime and use a shot of C02 to seat the lid. It will carbonate like any bottle conditioned beer. I know some people have successfully gravity fed out of a corny. There are even a few members who built beer engines for a corny.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:40 PM   #8
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This thread is a goldmine; there's some Google Sketchup plans in the late pages that press the Fass-Frisch 5L kegs into service for real ale.
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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For gravity pour cask-
Buy either the 5 or 2.5 gallon Winpak

Drill a hole in the cap for liquid to pass through, remove the plastic nut from the spigot and screw into the cap. (The cap is threaded to accept the spigot.)

Here are the item links.
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/pro...uct%5Fid=11950
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewin...ng-spigot.html

When you use this configuration, flip the container so that the top is the side and the spigot is towards the bottom. The reason to use this particular container is because it has a vent hole that can/should be opened when dispensing.

If you need a smaller container, buy a 1-gallon cubitainer and add this spigot/cap.

Item links-
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/var...ant%5Fid=75077
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/var...ant%5Fid=73063

If you want to set up a hand pump, buy a Valterra pump. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BGM2XG

Connect the pump to the cubitainer with a plastic hose.


You can always buy a real beer engine…. but they’re not cheap.

IMO, gravity pouring from the 2.5 gallon winpak is the best.

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Old 11-09-2009, 03:36 PM   #10
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Thanks Chucke, looks like an excellent method. Can you tell me more about how you go about making and serving? Obviously the first step is brewing the beer and starting fermentation and from what I have read you should rack to the serving vessel when the beer is about 2 points from finishing....I am not that good. That's like telling me to stop two feet before getting in an accident, I don't always know exactly where the end point will be. I have always kegged and always carbonated with the set it and foget it method so I have never bottle conditioned a beer. So I guess my questions would be:


1. When do you rack to the plastic?

2. How do you carbonate?

3. How long after moving to the serving vessel do you serve?

4. How long does you real ale last using this serving method?

5. I would either need to store at 40 degrees (kegerator) or about 72 degrees (room temp). Which would be better and how would I get to a serving temp from there? My thought was to just throw some ice on the plastic when I was ready to serve.

Thanks for the help.

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