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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Merits of "cask" ales?
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:03 AM   #1
Octavius
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Default Merits of "cask" ales?

This month's BYO magazine has a big article on "Homebrewing cask ales - serve homebrew as real ale"

Can someone explain to me the advantage of this.

Why can't you just force carbonate as usual in a regular corny but with a lot less CO2 and then serve it by gravity with a minimum additional CO2, as needed.
CO2 is CO2, whether it comes from your CO2 cylinder or from a secondary fermentation.

"Cask" dispensing also has major disadvantages:
1. $200 just for the special keg, sorry, cask.
2. Need to wait 3 weeks before secondary fermentation is complete.
3. Need to drink your 5 gal in 2 days, at most.
4. Seems a PITA to get right. Do you want to waste 5 gal of good beer trying to get the procedure correct?

Not trying to be a jerk, surely there must be something to it I don't get.
Cheers!

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:37 AM   #2
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Typically significantly lower carbonation,pushed through a special faucet to give it head, knocking even more carbonation, while letting the cask breath in ambient air to give it a one off flavor due to natural yeast flying around.

I don't get it either, but that's what I've heard.

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply phoenix,
but we can do all of that with our regular corny's and CO2 cylinders, can't we?

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Old 06-12-2012, 12:59 AM   #4
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Hi

In some cases they brew it in casks that have stayed continously in production for over 150 years. The accumulated biosphere in the cask is part of what gives the beer it's unique flavor. .... and yes the result is *very* good.

Bob

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Old 06-12-2012, 01:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octavius
Thanks for the reply phoenix,
but we can do all of that with our regular corny's and CO2 cylinders, can't we?
No, while you supply co2 you are in a closed pressure situation. While the cask ale is being distributed it is pulling in outside atmosphere.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:30 AM   #6
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Bob,
That's where I've gone wrong!!
After every brew I clean with PBW and sanitize with Star San. Drat!
Seriously, I didn't know that. I also read somewhere of a pub in England that has been serving soup (or was it a stew) from the same cast iron cauldron for centuries without cleaning.
Phoenix,
Well, what I meant was that you could open up the keg anytime you feel like it, let in some mouldy air, close it up and apply a bit more CO2.
Cheers!

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Old 06-12-2012, 01:57 AM   #7
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Just curious about cask ales. Want to see where this goes.

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Old 06-12-2012, 02:13 AM   #8
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I am not a chemist, or even an account
Accomplished home fewer, but I did spend a nice chunk of time in Wales......

Real ale tastes soooo delish!

Smooth, slightly warmer, fantastic.
Perhaps it is an acquire taste but I just love it.
Before investing big into equipment, perhaps see if any place near you has it available. Search, I recall a site that mapped out all the bars that served it...

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Old 06-12-2012, 11:18 AM   #9
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H-Balm,
Yes, but I'm thinking that you can achieve the same without going the "cask" route:
1. Lower your carbonation
2. Serve at higher temp - (50 - 55F)
3. Use a British recipe - ie lower alcohol and with some cane sugar in the mix
4. Use gravity to create a bit of a head
5. Possibly invest in an attachment on the outfeed to strip out more CO2 and also provide aeration.

Next time I'm at Home Depot, I'll check out the plumbing dept for an aerator attachment - isn't most water aerated here in the US to save water?

Cheers!

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Old 06-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octavius View Post
H-Balm,
Yes, but I'm thinking that you can achieve the same without going the "cask" route:
1. Lower your carbonation
2. Serve at higher temp - (50 - 55F)
3. Use a British recipe - ie lower alcohol and with some cane sugar in the mix
4. Use gravity to create a bit of a head
5. Possibly invest in an attachment on the outfeed to strip out more CO2 and also provide aeration.

Next time I'm at Home Depot, I'll check out the plumbing dept for an aerator attachment - isn't most water aerated here in the US to save water?

Cheers!
would like to see how you can get #5 to work,that would be cool to pull an ale with those type results
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