Maybe a way to cask a beer..

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mj1angier

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Ok, my wife is on my butt about making cask beer. She fell in love with it on out trip to Scotland/ England. I have look at all the different ways of doing it, but most come down to "Drink it before it oxidizes". She hits it hard but still...

So, my thought is a a way to do a collapsible bladder ( think wine in a box)- Fill with beer that had about .03-.04 to FG and put on a spundding value. Let it finish off, get all those "cask" flavors, put on a pick-neck tap and chill. As you pour off, bag collapses and no O2 enters. Might have to make a "box" that keep port higher so trub drops to back side.

Thoughts???

Thanks,
Mickey
 

Cool_Hand_Luke

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Sounds like a cool project! There are some who have been successful with Corny kegs and a low pressure CO2 blanket. Some just get an extra CO2 tube and replace the liquid dip tube and then lay the keg on its side at a slight angle.

There are also some who have made their own beer engines. Here is one link:
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=20154.0

If you go for laying the keg on its side you may want to get a thicker keg lid o-ring so you get a positive seal with low pressure.

Hope it turns out!
 

EnglishAndy

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Ok, my wife is on my butt about making cask beer. She fell in love with it on out trip to Scotland/ England. I have look at all the different ways of doing it, but most come down to "Drink it before it oxidizes". She hits it hard but still...

So, my thought is a a way to do a collapsible bladder ( think wine in a box)- Fill with beer that had about .03-.04 to FG and put on a spundding value. Let it finish off, get all those "cask" flavors, put on a pick-neck tap and chill. As you pour off, bag collapses and no O2 enters. Might have to make a "box" that keep port higher so trub drops to back side.

Thoughts???
It sounds like you're on your way to reinventing the "KeyKeg". It's a dispensing method for real ale that's even been approved by our self-appointed beer police (CAMRA) since artificially produced CO2 does not come into contact with the beer.

You mentioned "chill". Here that means between 10 and 12 degrees C. No lower; that's for fizzy lager.

If you tap a cask directly then you will get flat beer. That's how it's served at beer festivals, which is fine by me but I'm guessing that your wife had it served in a pub from a hand-pump. To get that presentation, with its soft mouth-feel and the creamy head you will need to replicate how a beer engine pulls beer from a cask along with the all-important 'sparkler' tap to get the creamy head.

It's going to be really interesting to hear how you get on. I wish the tasks that my wife sets for me were like this one.
 
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mj1angier

mj1angier

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It sounds like you're on your way to reinventing the "KeyKeg". It's a dispensing method for real ale that's even been approved by our self-appointed beer police (CAMRA) since artificially produced CO2 does not come into contact with the beer.

You mentioned "chill". Here that means between 10 and 12 degrees C. No lower; that's for fizzy lager.

If you tap a cask directly then you will get flat beer. That's how it's served at beer festivals, which is fine by me but I'm guessing that your wife had it served in a pub from a hand-pump. To get that presentation, with its soft mouth-feel and the creamy head you will need to replicate how a beer engine pulls beer from a cask along with the all-important 'sparkler' tap to get the creamy head.

It's going to be really interesting to hear how you get on. I wish the tasks that my wife sets for me were like this one.
Andy, thanks for your input. I hope to get a small dorm size fridge and set it to about 53 deg f and put the tap in the door or just set so she can just open door to get to tap. As far as the sparkler part, she wants it the other way- low to no bubbles. As it is, she takes straw and beats the crap out of her beer to get the CO2 out of it. It's funny if post a photo on Facebook about a brewery and there is a straw in one of the beers, everyone knows the wife is with me, lol. Here is when we first hit Scotland:
straw.jpg
 

Northern_Brewer

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It sounds like you're on your way to reinventing the "KeyKeg". It's a dispensing method for real ale that's even been approved by our self-appointed beer police (CAMRA) since artificially produced CO2 does not come into contact with the beer.
Not even keykeg - you can get beer in bag-in-box. It's not ideal, but 20l bag-in-box is the standard format for "flat/real" cider in the UK wholesale trade (see them at any beer festival) and small breweries that can't afford kegging equipment use them as the "party" size for retail customers, it's convenient as it doesn't need any further equipment.

I don't know what it's like Stateside, but you would be able to get them as flatpacks ready to go from a commercial brewing supplies place - but possible in greater number than you wanted, might be worth chatting up any cideries in your neck of the woods to see if they can let you have just a few.

As you indicate, they're a bit of a nightmare to bag-condition in as any slight movement of the bag disturbs the yeast - you might want a really hard-floccing yeast like WLP002 or WLP030, and there's a bit of an art to juggling it so that the yeast stays away from the tap. Maybe glue the floor of the bag to the floor of the box, might protect a bit against slight ripples of the bag kicking up yeast?

The alternative, which is what breweries here generally do, is to rack off the yeast and then bag it brite, in which case the life expectancy is about a week rather than 2-3 weeks. But that's good enough for the typical one-off party use.

Also this week CAMRA finally dropped their opposition to cask breathers, which is great news for the quality of cask beer in Britain. Actively promoting oxidation of beer just seemed daft even by CAMRA standards.

One final thing - a sparkler is not compulsory. As long as it's not too busy, a good pub (ie not one serving Abbot :) ) will have no problem taking the sparkler off to pour your pint. They will think you're daft but will make allowances for ignorant foreigners and southerners. Sparklers come in different sizes and there's quite an art in using different sizes for different beers, or even the same beer at different stages of condition.
 
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