Anyway, I was flipping through my favorite home brew rag down here in the NC and came across some reading on cask ales. They sound freaking awesome, anybody on here brewing these up? If so whats the skinney? Thanks, any info would be great!
Now I want to try this, but when would you bottle?Yes, a bottled conditioned ale, carbonated without additional sugar is pretty darn close, and definitely in the spirit of cask ales. But it's like the Guinness conundrum--while bottle and tap are both good, it's just different out of the tap. Better? That's an argument I don't ever want to instigate, so just different
Less refined sugar though, Demurara or Turbando are the way to go, I use it in about 5-10% in my english style bitters.The funny thing about many English beers is that they include (at least according to the books) white sugar in many of them. It's kinda counter intuitive to an AG brewer, but it seems like the sugar actually adds some of the resinous, vinous flavors that many British beers have. If ya want any recipes, let me know.
Any hand pump can be used or you could build a rack to feed via gravity. You don't want it to be cold, the yeast should still be active and it's best kept cellared (around 55-60). Using CO2 to purge the oxygen also kind of defeats the purpose.I wonder if someone could design and build some kind of bladder system to use with CO2 powered kegs, that way you can use your existing system but no added CO2 added to your keg... well maybe just enough to purge the oxygen.
I am sure it is possible, my water tank in my house is set up on the same principle, the difference being the bladder is prefilled and the water pump pumps water into the tank causing the bladder to compress. Turn on the tap and the bladder pushes the water.
I was thinking about this, and it seems doable.What about bottling the ale at just the right gravity? That should be pretty close.
It would be in small quantities so no need to to pump. Basically, if you knew when to "cask" it, just bottle instead without adding any priming sugar.
Next time you brew, try bottling a few in PET bottles around the same time you would rack to a secondary, you'll know if it is carbonating by the hardness of the bottle.
You can top up your carboy with some C02 to compensate for the headspace.
This is just a guess, and I personally would store them where a few bombs wouldn't be an issue.
I was thinking that too.After doing some thinking and reading, it finally occurred to me that my memory of cask conditioned ale--the first time I had it--is probably the most relevant point here. When I first had a cask conditioned ale, the first thought that shot into my head was, "Hey, this tastes like homebrew!!" That's because it isn't excessively filtered, excessively carbonated, stored at cellar temps, and is usually a tad hazy.
So I think what I'm trying to say, is if you aren't a British beer snob, don't worry about it. You are probably making brews that have more in common with cask ales than most micros in the US. And if you are a British beer snob (*raises hand*) then there is still quite a long road ahead of us
Are you referring to the article Owen Ogletree wrote in Southern Brew News? Yeah, good article. If you are interested in cask beers, you should try to make it to the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting in January...great event, really hard to get tickets for. It used to be all homebrew but the DOR would not let that slide.Anyway, I was flipping through my favorite home brew rag down here in the NC and came across some reading on cask ales. They sound freaking awesome, anybody on here brewing these up? If so whats the skinney? Thanks, any info would be great!
The oxidation is a good thing in cask ale. Not a bad thing.An interesting discussion here...
AFAIK, there is another dose of sugar/dme/wort added to the cask at the time of filling. The beer itself is taken from the fermenter prior to dropping the yeast so that there is still yeast in suspension to feed on the sugar.
The keg is sealed so that when fermentation restarts the CO2 remains in the beer for carbonation. There is not much carbonation, at least not as much as in commercially carbonated beer, and the carbonation is finer.
We're already doing this with our bottle conditioned beers. Essentially what you are pouring IS the bottle equivalent of cask ales.
One of the disadvantages that we have as homebrewers in creating this particular style is that unless we are having a party or something we won't get through the cask fast enough before the O2 has some effect on the beer. In a pub, the cask is emptied (hopefully) fast enough that the effects of oxidation are minimal.
If you want a reasonable facsimile of cask ale at home without the damaging effects of O2 just set your keg dispense system to a much lower psi when carbonating. I find when I do "set and forget" at 10 psi at 32ºF I reach proper volume within a week but after about three days it is very much like cask ale. Try it... YMMV.
I've thought about the creamer faucet thing but I didn't think it would be the same. Glad to see I was right.What mullenite said
the downside of course is the four day shelf life of a cask, but i agree it would be gone in a day at a club meeting. For me, what I want is to recreate the fine carboonation. Right mow I run ales through a stout creamer tap which gets it most of the way there. Bit always room for improvement.
Shelf life is going to depend on oxygen ingress. For most people the oxidation stops being pleasant after 4-5 days and tastes downright bad after a week.Well, FWIW, while I worked at a craft brewery that did casks, we did add a dose of priming to the cask. And why does it only have a four day shelf life, as you say?
Maybe call your local craft brewer and see how they do it. They may have a different method but they may be able to help you out with it as well.
...checking the status of my Amazon account.... Yup, all parts ordered with Next Day delivery. Gentlemen, I'm building my own beer engineThis thread shows handmade beer engines. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/fellow-homebrewers-meet-my-new-beer-engine-10529/
The keg usually empties so quick that I never bothered with a breather.
you will love it. nothing better than drawing a pint of home made cask ale. Someday I'd love to upgrade from the rocket pump to a real beer engine, but it gets the job done. My cask ales tend to go so much faster than beers on a regular tap... I had to start brewing 10 gal batches....checking the status of my Amazon account.... Yup, all parts ordered with Next Day delivery. Gentlemen, I'm building my own beer engine