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Old 09-08-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
JJ74
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Default Cask conditioning

Here is my dilema.

I have an English Bitter that I'm just about ready to put in my "cask" (using corny keg).

I made 5 gallons. I want to try to serve authentically.

I have my Keezer set to 50 degrees.

I have looked at set-up of using hand pump to avoid having to use CO2.

However, 5 gallons probably last me 3-4 months.

If I keep my keg sealed, a vacuum will develop and hand pump will not work.

If I open occassionally is oxidation still going to be an issue? any suggestions?

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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I am wanting to try this, but since you really want yo kill the thing in a sitting, I was thinking small batch. I bought some 5L mini kegs, they have spouts built in and bung holes up top. Think at just over a gallon they are perfect.

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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Could just open the relief valve when you want to pull a pint?

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Old 09-09-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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Opening the relief valve would allow O2 in, which I am trying to avoid. I read suggestions about using an aspirator or breather or a low-pressure LPG regulator on CO2 cartridge to allow just enough CO2 in to blanket beer. Cannot find details on any of theses ideas though.

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Old 09-10-2012, 11:47 PM   #5
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If you're serving out of a corny I'd just manually purge the oxygen from the keg after a night of serving.

I think you might be able to just turn down a regulator as low as it will go and just use that to slowly replace CO2 as you pump out your beer too. Not sure how that would work with a cartridge, but I think it would be pretty doable with a normal tank.

Really cask ales are only supposed to be on tap for a couple days without a CO2 breather and a couple weeks with one, so shooting for 3-4 months is probably pushing it.

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Old 09-11-2012, 04:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhall4 View Post
[...]I think you might be able to just turn down a regulator as low as it will go and just use that to slowly replace CO2 as you pump out your beer too. Not sure how that would work with a cartridge, but I think it would be pretty doable with a normal tank.[...]
I was thinking the same thing. Setting a regulator for 1 psi would provide around 1.1 volumes of CO2 at the classic cask ale serving temperature range (mid fifties F) which just happens to also be the classic carbonation level.

I could understand, however, if the OP wants to keep things primitive. He just has to keep in mind that casks were likely emptied in fairly short order - I doubt even medievals appreciated oxidized beer any more than we do

Cheers!
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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I was thinking of trying a portable C02 keg charger (with the 16 gram cartridges) with a low pressure propane regulator. I'll probably pick it up within a week or two as I'll have a Mild ready at that point. I know others on the board have had success with the low pressure LPG regulators so as long as the Portable Charger setup works with it ok I think it's the cheapest and easiest way to go.

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Old 09-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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One of the things about a real or cask ale is the fact that it will change over the life of the keg. Depending on taste it may be better after two or three days..
Most smaller pubs don't kick a keg of the same brew each day so the beer will be breathing over a period of time.

bosco

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Old 09-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #9
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I have been to Brew pubs that specialied in Cask Ales and they have a CO2 line going to each cask.

We must assume that it is Low pressure and designed just to take up the "headspace".

I usually pour out a few and then when it get going "slow" give it a shot of CO2. Since it is really not increasing the Pressure long enough for absobtion I don't wrry about it...

You could use the Portable CO2 Cartridges but in my experiance they leak and are not good for an extended period time.

SO, push gas when it get slow and if you think you put to much in VENT or DRINK until the pressure reduces

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Old 09-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPBISME View Post
I have been to Brew pubs that specialied in Cask Ales and they have a CO2 line going to each cask.

We must assume that it is Low pressure and designed just to take up the "headspace".

I usually pour out a few and then when it get going "slow" give it a shot of CO2. Since it is really not increasing the Pressure long enough for absobtion I don't wrry about it...

You could use the Portable CO2 Cartridges but in my experiance they leak and are not good for an extended period time.

SO, push gas when it get slow and if you think you put to much in VENT or DRINK until the pressure reduces
Introducing just enough CO2 to take up the "headspace" will give you a beer that does not benefit (according to some tastes) by breathing. It will eventually be just a flat stable beer who's flavor changed only through the slow loss of carbonation.

Real ale? It would be good enough for me, but I am in no way a purist..LOL

bosco
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