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Cask ale in a corny?

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Huntsekker

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Hi everyone

Was hoping you might be able to help me?
I want to replicate a traditional British cask ale on my next brew day, but I don't want to use a cask or plastic barrel/keg (because I am worried about leaks etc.)

I have a corny and wondered if it was OK to suggest using that in place of the cask? No gas on it, just as a vessel? Then lay it out on a slight tilt, maybe invert gas and beer tube, use gravity to serve from it?

My only worry is how long the beer will last with no CO2 on it? I can't see it going inside about 2 weeks, so need it to last really? Is it sacrilegious to suggest putting low CO2 on it once it is ready to drink? Just to keep it good for longer?

Does anyone here do anything similar already?

Thanks!
 

peebee

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… Does anyone here do anything similar already?
Oh aye! But forget all that "no gas" clap-trap. That myth held me back from brewing "Real Ale" styles for eons.

… For a well thought out (well I think so!:rolleyes:) way of getting homebrewed "Real Ale" I wrote this up: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwzEv5tRM-5EQUhZbDNPdmV1bWc (Oh Gawd, not that again!). It's on my Google drive 'cos it is too big to post on this site. Not for the CO2 squeamish.
 

St00

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Does anyone here do anything similar already?
I'm about to as my Pint365 arrived today. I intend to ferment a bitter to a couple of points off of FG, transfer to a corny keg, with a floating diptube and let it finish up somewhere warm to naturally carbonate. I'll likely use a heatbelt I would think. Then use the beer engine to serve from a fridge.

It's all new though I don't know whether breweries add anything to assist with carbonation (sugar or such) and or how much head space you need to leave.
 

peebee

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It's all new though I don't know whether breweries add anything to assist with carbonation (sugar or such) and or how much head space you need to leave.
You imagine it and you'll probably find a brewery doing it! Some do the "two points off FG", some prime, some … do something else.

I can't recommend the "two point" method because you need a very good idea of what your yeast will do and how the mash was controlled. We're home-brewers, we change methods (and yeasts) perhaps as frequently as every brew. I ferment out and prime with sugar (12-15g in a 20L corny keg). But the beer may have been left with some top pressure when purging the keg of air and will be top-pressured with 1-2psi for dispense, so I never rely on priming to be "just right". Corny kegs must have an airspace that at least leaves the "gas-in" dip-tube clear of the surface. Breweries might fill casks to the very brim to be sure of no air.
 

St00

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You imagine it and you'll probably find a brewery doing it! Some do the "two points off FG", some prime, some … do something else.

I can't recommend the "two point" method because you need a very good idea of what your yeast will do and how the mash was controlled. We're home-brewers, we change methods (and yeasts) perhaps as frequently as every brew. I ferment out and prime with sugar (12-15g in a 20L corny keg). But the beer may have been left with some top pressure when purging the keg of air and will be top-pressured with 1-2psi for dispense, so I never rely on priming to be "just right". Corny kegs must have an airspace that at least leaves the "gas-in" dip-tube clear of the surface. Breweries might fill casks to the very brim to be sure of no air.
Thank you I may pressure transfer a point off FG into a keg with some sugar in it using a spunding valve. That should leave it oxygen free. Then leave if for as long as I'd leave bottles.

The Pint365 has a valve in it that prevents oxygen getting back in the keg, so hopefully the pressure from carbing up should be enough to serve.

It's all good, because if it doesn't work I'll pop it in the kegerator 👍
 

AnimatedGIF

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Nothing wrong with using low CO2 pressure to help you, considering you have the gear to do so. The only reason not to is if you have a friend who is a CAMRA member and would lecture you on how "it's technically not real ale because... blah blah blah". Enjoy drinking it - that's all that should concern you, CO2 or not.
Full disclosure - I am a CAMRA member who enjoys cask ales. I also like other beers, many of which are carbonated.
 

Honk

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Just posting here so as to be kept informed of any updates. I've regularly used low pressure co2 to serve 'real ale" style kegged beers from a cornie and don't have a problem with that but I also like the idea of reducing my reliance on co2 and serving from a polypin, vinotainer or similar.
 

MickDundee

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I watch this thread with interest.

I’m about to move over to Cornies and I plan to do a bitter at some point in my next 5 brews. I was going to carbonate to about 1-1.5 volumes.

Is it worth getting an Intertap stout spout to mimick a beer engine sparkler and knock some of the excess CO2 out? Would that work or just give me a pint of foam?
 

obscure

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I use a corny with a flow control tap, which largely works. That said It is quite hard to get just the right level of CO2 to avoid a pint of foam when dispensing at 10 degrees. I tend to prime with sugar then when dispensing keep the pressure below 5 PSI. It’s not perfect but effectively I’m using the corney as a stainless,steel pressure barrel.
 
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peebee

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… Is it worth getting an Intertap stout spout to mimick a beer engine sparkler and knock some of the excess CO2 out? Would that work or just give me a pint of foam?
Having been on a few threads that discussed these "stout taps" I don't think you'll get a glass of foam. But I don't think you'll get a glass of beer either! I understand they need a fair bit of pressure to force the beer through the restrictor plate. Hence they get used on high pressure mixed gas setups.

But a "permanent" dispense setup with inbuilt "sparkler" might not be a good idea anyway. I've made some beer that had the guts stripped out of it with a sparkler. Changes to "watery". I think it has to be something you can remove if it doesn't work.

Just posting here so as to be kept informed of any updates. I've regularly used low pressure co2 to serve 'real ale" style kegged beers from a cornie and don't have a problem with that but I also like the idea of reducing my reliance on co2 and serving from a polypin, vinotainer or similar.
I know what you mean. I started to panic when gas was getting low a few weeks ago, which is daft being reliant on 6kilo CO2 cylinders to get "cask style" beer out of a Corny. Unfounded in my case as I had no problem getting gas. But I did ensure my "emergency" Sodastream setup was available and functioning (one of those little cylinders will get you through a year's worth of kegs).

BTW. Came across these versions of my recommended LPG regulators. They get used in chicken and game bird breeding setups.
Regulator Game 5 & 8
Not necessary, the 50-150mbar jobs cover "cask" styles most adequately, but the little extra (20-300mbar, that's pushing past 4psi) would come in handy at times. Getting the adapters off the BSP threads is tough (strong thread lock used), and I guess you could destroy the regulator attempting it? But I've done two without tragedy. (7mm Allen key needed to get the "POL" adapter off).
 

Leard

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According to CAMRA, bottle conditioned beer can be classed as real ale.
 

peebee

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peebee

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Careful of the CAMRA definitions of "Real Ale". That is for commercial brewers supplying Pubs and so forth. It is not for home-brewers! Trying to follow CAMRA ideals and keep your home-brew safe is a trip down the white rabbit hole. Held me back for decades!

Emulate "Real Ale" (which may even include using extraneous CO2 and "kegs"), don't try to copy it exactly. Or you will end up drinking soured, un-conditioned, home-brew for years while you sort out the issues.
 

AnimatedGIF

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Careful of the CAMRA definitions of "Real Ale". That is for commercial brewers supplying Pubs and so forth. It is not for home-brewers! Trying to follow CAMRA ideals and keep your home-brew safe is a trip down the white rabbit hole. Held me back for decades!

Emulate "Real Ale" (which may even include using extraneous CO2 and "kegs"), don't try to copy it exactly. Or you will end up drinking soured, un-conditioned, home-brew for years while you sort out the issues.
That is spot on. Whilst I find it reassuirng in a pub to see all the CAMRA LocAle and Cask Marque (I appreciate that's not a CAMRA thing) signs etc, all I care about is "do I like what I am drinking?", especially with the homebrew. Who even cares if a couple of molecules of CO2 have been forced within 1.5m of the beer? Does it taste good? If so, that's all that matters to me, and as I have said above, I am a CAMRA member.
 
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