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Old 02-24-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default How long can you serve cask ale for?

I'm considering getting a firkin to make some cask ale.

However, I can't see myself going through a whole cask of beer very quickly, so it'll sit around for weeks at the very least.

I'd imagine there will be a 'blanket' of CO2 over the beer throughout the ales lifespan, so the beer won't get oxidized sitting around for all that time. But I could be wrong, what say you?


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Old 02-25-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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Depends on a lot of factors, including temperature, how much is consumed per sitting etc, but if you are venting ambient air (aka no breather) then you can plan on a week or less. Do a search for cask breather or DIY breather using a propane regulator, and you will see a few ways that you can extend that timeline to be more along normal keg beer lifespan. This option does violate CAMRA regs though, and technically would no longer be cask beer, but that is a debate for another time...


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Old 02-25-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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I use the co2 breather on my pin cask and it lasts as long as it takes for me to drink it. I love cask and usually drink inside of two weeks though.

Without a breather I wouldn't go pay 3 or 4 days.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:15 AM   #4
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Why not keg it up after it has conditioned long enough and keep the pressure low. Store at whatever temp you want and it will last a good while.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoohio View Post
I use the co2 breather on my pin cask and it lasts as long as it takes for me to drink it. I love cask and usually drink inside of two weeks though.

Without a breather I wouldn't go pay 3 or 4 days.


Where did you obtain your casks and breathers? Thanks.


Did you get them from here? Or is there a better source?

http://www.ukbrewing.com/casks.cfm
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:58 AM   #6
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until my arm gets tired...
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:55 AM   #7
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A breather sounds like the ticket... like this?:

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...tml#tabcontent
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBL_Brewer View Post
Why not keg it up after it has conditioned long enough and keep the pressure low. Store at whatever temp you want and it will last a good while.
You know, this actually makes the most sense if I'm going to get into the whole breather thing - which really mimics what is happening in a keg.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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the co2 will slowly diffuse off, so the blanket isn't good for long term. the beer will slowly oxidize through the time and change flavor. a couple days oxidation is sometimes considered beneficial...but the flavor will continue to degrade the longer it's exposed to air.

you could vent it while serving, then purge the air out too, that will help it last longer.

I use a propane regulator to get the 1/2psi co2 to help my cask beers last longer than a week.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Agreed, again, I think if you are truly in to cask style beers, but trying to produce/consume them on a smaller scale, then I think a breather, or DIY propane a considering the cost, is the way to go. You still get the cask draw, look and taste, (albeit w/o the o2 pickup, which for some is the whole experience) for a much lower cost. You have to keep in mind that cask beer is traditionally meant for pubs where the whole volume of the beer will be consumed within a night or two, so to mimick that experience on a homebrew scale without blowing the wallet or liver necessitates some compromise.

Another alternative I have considered is using polypins (again, google search) with an rv hand pump. The principle here is that instead of oxygen or co2 intake, the pump vacuum and collapsible nature of the container are all that is needed to get a cask style beer from the serving container to the glass.

Check this for more info:
http://jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/viewt...hp?f=6&t=11340


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