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Old 07-12-2009, 12:26 AM   #1
stillwater
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Default cask ale set up

Would any of you who serve beer out of a soda keg with a hand pump and NO CO2 care to post pictures and descriptions of your set up, as well a satisfaction or disappointments with the results. Also recommended styles as well as styles that may not be appropriate. I've been bottling for several years now but would like to give cask conditioning a try, this group of experienced brewers seemed like a good place for advice.

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:36 AM   #2
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I wasn't aware that a cornelius-type keg could be used with a hand pump; but I have a 50L sanke-type keg that I'm letting cask condition right now. Once I tap it and try 'er out I'll post a response.

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Old 07-12-2009, 02:51 AM   #3
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I've seen a couple setups. All they did in each case, was put an OUT connector on the engine's suction. You let air in by pulling the relieve valve ring and rotating it 90 degrees so it stays open.

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Old 07-12-2009, 05:55 AM   #4
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That sounds simple enough, how does this sound; use standard disconnects on both ball locks and put the pump on the out (beer) valve and an inline hepa filter on the in (air) valve in order to keep the air entering the corny clean or would i need to install a one way valve on the air intake in order to keep the beer carbonated? I could finish five gallons in a week but a month sounds better, responsibilities being what they are.
thanks
pat

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Old 07-12-2009, 11:02 AM   #5
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In a month your beer would probably be oxidized and taste like crap. "real ale" is supposed to be served fresh and would be consumed rather quickly.

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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I spent a while messing about collecting co2 from fermentations in "expandable containers" and then connecting them to the beer, so serving sucked in co2 instead of air. Things like kids beach balls provide your saved co2 with no pressure, while large rubber balloons provide a tiny pressure. It worked fine, but looked pants. I ended up with what we call "polypins" as co2 collectors and that gave me 25 litre inflatable/deflatable containers, self contained in cardboard boxes. Those massive weather ballons always looked "usesable" during my mader moments, but I could never get hold of one.

Is there any reason why you could not connect a normal co2 tank via a demand valve like scuba divers use? Then you would get co2 supplied at minimal pressures as and when it is required? Just a thought.

Has anyone got actual pressure figures for casks in cellars in the average pub? What are they allowed to self pressurize up too when the hard spile is fitted between serving sessions and also when they arrive from the brewery and are settling out. During serving sessions, the soft spile is fitted and so the pressure is zero and the idea is that the air enters the cask slowly and the air sits on top of the blanket of heavier co2 that is on the beers surface.

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Old 07-12-2009, 01:00 PM   #7
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REAL ale is served open to the air and oxidizes in a week or less. Not a good idea for a homebrewer, except at a party. One alternative is to keg in the 5L mini-kegs. It would be very simple to make a breather valve/siphon that would accommodate an engine. Cask-conditioning

OP - your idea would work. One of the 'cheats' is to use a 0.25 psi blanket valve to keep CO2 on the the beer without boosting the carbonation over 1 volume. You could also jumper a second keg's OUT to the IN of the beer keg. Fill the second keg with CO2 by purging, then let air pressure force the CO2 into the beer keg. This will give you more time, but it's still a cheat. REAL ale is allowed to oxidize.

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Old 07-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #8
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I'd say the most effective way to serve real ale is using the ubiquitious 5L Fass-Frisch kegs.

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Old 07-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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I spent a while messing about collecting co2 from fermentations in "expandable containers" and then connecting them to the beer, so serving sucked in co2 instead of air. Things like kids beach balls provide your saved co2 with no pressure, while large rubber balloons provide a tiny pressure. It worked fine, but looked pants. I ended up with what we call "polypins" as co2 collectors and that gave me 25 litre inflatable/deflatable containers, self contained in cardboard boxes. Those massive weather ballons always looked "usesable" during my mader moments, but I could never get hold of one.

Is there any reason why you could not connect a normal co2 tank via a demand valve like scuba divers use? Then you would get co2 supplied at minimal pressures as and when it is required? Just a thought.

Has anyone got actual pressure figures for casks in cellars in the average pub? What are they allowed to self pressurize up too when the hard spile is fitted between serving sessions and also when they arrive from the brewery and are settling out. During serving sessions, the soft spile is fitted and so the pressure is zero and the idea is that the air enters the cask slowly and the air sits on top of the blanket of heavier co2 that is on the beers surface.

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Old 07-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #10
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This is probably the info you are looking for,

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/fell...-engine-10529/

Plenty of pics and discussion of various setups.

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