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"Cask" ale by served w/ beer gas & stout fauce

 
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8419
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: "Cask" ale by served w/ beer gas & stout fauce Reply with quote


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I'm planning on puting a couple of stout faucets on my tower and push with 75/25 (Nitrogen/C02) blend to serve english bitters of various styles as well as a cream ale. Most of the I figure I'll have some form of ESB and Boddington's clone on these two taps.

The beer will only have the residual carbonation in it from fermentation, but pushing it through the restrictor plate in the stout faucet will hopefully knock out most of the remaning C02 and give the beer a nice creamy (guiness style) head and next to no carbonic bite.

At least that's the intent. You need a stout faucet & new regulator + tank.

Anyone ever try to 'mimmick' cask ale like this? (I know CAMRA wouldn't approve but whatever...) Wink

Note that this is very similar to what I can do today when I pour myself one of my ESB's served regularly with C02 and then I use a syringe (without a needle) to suck some up and squirt it back into the glass hard while keeping it under. It results in a nearly flat beer with creamy small bubble head.

Kal

P.S. Some will say "just use a Perlick creamer faucet". Not the same if you ask me. You still end up carb'ing and pushing the beer with 100% C02 and then the creamer function is only used in the last litle bit of the pour. So you end up with normally cabonated beer with a somewhat creamy head. Not what I want. I want the beer near flat when the style calls for it.

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steveandchris



Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Corfe Castle, Dorset, England


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Cask ale served by a faucet Reply with quote

Hi Kal,

I have this set up in the UK and it works fine, I believe I can produce a better conditioned real English ale than I can get from my local pub. I have your Electric Brewery unit with 30 USG Blickmanns, hop-rocket and chiller etc.

I usually stop the primary fermentation at about 1010 to 1012, depending on the %ABV required, to leave the real ale to produce its owns CO naturally in the secondary fermentation cask. I cask condition the beer using either a stainless steel firkin (9UKG) or 2 pins (4.5UKG). These are filled to the brim and sealed. I then leave the beer to cask condition at approx 10 to 12 degrees C (cellar temperature) for at least three weeks. This is important as the flavour change in the beer after three weeks is really amazing, the hops mellow and the beer becomes really smooth as the flavour develops. I then transfer the beer from the secondary fermentation cask into two Cornelius kegs, just using a clear beer tube filling the keg from the bottom. This way the beer is bright with no settled yeast being transferred. I then pressurize the Cornelius kegs to 12 psi, with CO2. This seems to be a good minimum pressure to ensure the beer flows well through the faucet but does add any gas into the beer.

The result is a really nice English style real ale, with a good head but no excessive gas in the beer other than that made naturally. With the beer in an inert low pressure CO2 environment it will remain in excellent condition whilst being consumed. One other important issue to note is that the CO2 or CO2/Ni gas must be food grade and come from a reputable food/drinks gas supplier.

Steve.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8419
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the hints/feedback!

You mentioned that you pressurize the Cornelius kegs to 12 psi with CO2. How do you serve? Also with C02? At what pressure? I'd be concerned that over time the beer will pick up extra carbonation, especially at 12 PSI (standard serving pressure for 'regular' beers, not low carbonation 'cask' like beers).

Or do you turn down the C02 pressure significantly? (Maybe to 2-3 PSI)? You'd need pretty short lines to do that.

What sort of faucet do you use?

Kal

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steveandchris



Joined: 17 Feb 2011
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Location: Corfe Castle, Dorset, England


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kal,

I tend to leave the CO2 pressurized at 12 psi for serving as well. I have tried dropping this to 5 - 6 psi and it still works okay, although I have not noticed any difference in the amount of gas in the beer. The beer lines are short and I just use CO2 to serve the beer. A friend of mine uses a CO2/Ni mix and has longer lines going through a chiller, but for my taste the beer is served a little too cold and in my view there is no discernable difference between the beer head and lace left on the side of the glass as it goes down.

I have another option for you, which is CAMRA approved, that you may wish to consider. I have yet to try this but have bought the parts required and haven't got round to implementing it as the above solution works fine. It is a method of applying the CO2 head to the beer at atmospheric pressure which is the ultminate goal. All the gas in the beer is then due to the brewers skill and not simply pumped in.

The set up uses a CO2 supply connected to an Aspirator, this devise allows CO2 to be supplied to the cask using an internal membrane to balance the CO2 supply to air pressure. As a demand is made on the beer in the cask the membrane is distorted due to unequal pressure and CO2 flows into the cask until the cask is equal to atmospheric pressure again; the membrane moves back into position cutting off the CO2 supply. The result is that the cask only contains CO2 but at atmospheric pressure. This solution is detailed in a CAMRA publication titled Cellarmanship by Patrick O'Neill.

Using the aspirator you can then use a traditional hand pump or just a tap. To produce a good head in pubs they often fit a sparkler to the hand pump although there are many arguments for and against this in CAMRA. This method of dispense excludes needing the Cornelius keg as the beer is pumped directly from the cask. If you use this method though you need to ensure the wheat malt content is (up to) approximately 10% in the malt bill to create a good natural head.

A useful web page for pictures and prices is A1barstuff (Cask Dispense section) for the items mentioned above.

Steve.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8419
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve! I think for now I'll stick with my stout faucets and beer gas 75/25 (Nitrogen/C02) blend but may look into something different down the road...

http://www.a1barstuff.co.uk definitely has some interesting stuff!

Kal

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Master



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 90
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Drinking: Eclipse Hefewizen, Fat Dog Porter, Blueberry Cider

Working on: Bohemian Pilsner, Spiced Apple Cider


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the subject of actual cask ale came up while discussing what to brew next. Then of course the flavor of cask vs imitation cask was brought up. quite possibly the most intense beer argument/discussion I've had in the cockpit of a plane (we were flying for 7 hours with not a whole lot to do other than watch the Autopilot)
Apparently my copilot, who is English, is a big CAMRA/Real Ale fan, and looked at me like I was a heretic for even looking at ways to make a cask ale without a cask.

Has anyone done actual cask ale recently?
I've got my usual couple hundred dollars of post deployment "mad money" and the fact that Davey is usually a level headed chap on all things beer, (we discuss beer all the time at work) but was so insistent that I should try making a real cask ale, has me thinking of dropping a couple hundred on a Pin Cask, Gravity tap, etc. for making and properly serving cask ale.

Of course, my inner experimenter wants to make a 10g batch, put half in a cask, and keg the other half, and then see what the actual differences are.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8419
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master wrote:
Apparently my copilot, who is English, is a big CAMRA/Real Ale fan, and looked at me like I was a heretic for even looking at ways to make a cask ale without a cask.

I would say I agree with him! Wink The definition from Wikipedia:

"Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure."

So you really do need a cask to be able to call beer cask ale. A cask breaths and imparts part of what makes cask, cask ale.

Now that said, I know some people say they get close using a stainless or similar vessel if they put in a breather or something like that to allow air to get in and so forth, mimicking a cask. I haven't tried it myself.

Let us know how the experiment goes!

Kal

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Master



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Drinking: Eclipse Hefewizen, Fat Dog Porter, Blueberry Cider

Working on: Bohemian Pilsner, Spiced Apple Cider


PostLink    Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've ordered my usual end of deployment beer splurge.. Last time it was a 14 gallon Conical fermenter,. This time it's stuff to do cask ale.

Best prices I've found on the main things needed for cask ale:
$140 for a new 5.4 gallon pin keg
$30 for a Stillage (stand). For $30.. I'll skip making one.
$40 Gravity Tap
UKBrewing.com

KegWorks has the following:
Bungs
Shives
Spiles

UK Brewing has better prices than KegWorks for the accessories needed, but they have a 25 piece min order for shives/spiles/keystones. Considering most are 75c to $2 each, that adds up.

I'll probably brew my experiment early/mid January. I've got some time to research what I want to do. I'm thinking a Bitter or another classic British style.
Brew a 11-12 gallon batch, ferment it all together except 5 gallons will be primed, fined and casked, and 5 will be kegged and put on gas to normal carb levels. Any extra will be bottled.

Then have a party, serve the same beer three ways and see what people think.
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Master



Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 90
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Drinking: Eclipse Hefewizen, Fat Dog Porter, Blueberry Cider

Working on: Bohemian Pilsner, Spiced Apple Cider


PostLink    Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ESB was brewed and served from both.

For whatever reason, it had very little condition upon spiling, but it tasted great.

I made a cask breather out of a propane regulator and a welding regulator, just so it would keep a tad longer.

The party was pretty split.. About 1/2 loved the aroma and flavor of the Cask ale, but were a tad meh about the flatness.

The other half preferred the carbonation and colder temp of the keged version.
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