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Thread: Cask ale keeping advice

  1. #1
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    Default Cask ale keeping advice

    I'm just going into the pub trade and would appreciate some advice on a couple of things:
    1. What is the best way to keep casks cool that are NOT kept in a beer cellar? (i.e. a normal temperature room)
    2. What's the best type of stillage to use?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

    James

  2. #2
    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
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    Hi Rev. Welcome to the site. I don't know whether you've come across, or been recommended, the CAMRA published Cellarmanship* by Patrick O' Neill, but for a newbie in the pub game it's almost indispensable.There are separate chapters on stillage and cask cooling. With the latter the three main choices are cask probes, water cooled contact saddles, or localised air coolers. Saddles are currently perceived as the method of choice.

    *Currently £6.74 on Amazon.

    Finally, I'd just like to wish you all the best with your venture.
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

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    That's really helpful, thanks.

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    Real Ale Drinker Brewguru's Avatar
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    Saddles connected to a remote chiller unit is the system used at many CAMRA festivals. The chiller unit creates an ice bank and circulates cold water through the cooling saddles which sit underneath an insulated jacket, keeping the beer at around 12 degrees centigrade.
    With stillages you really get what you pay for. Cheapest is a set of 3 wooden triangular chocks per cask and when the beer runs low needs tilting manually to get the last gallon or so out. All these need to set up is a strong flat surface. Most expensive is a bespoke cask cradle with a hydraulic spring mechanism which automatically tilts the cask as it empties. These cradles can come with an easy to assemble stillage frame which will take anything from 2 to 12 casks. Cheap sprung stillages tend to "spring" up all of a sudden too rapidly and can rip up the sediment in a barrel.

    Best advice is to have only as much beer on gravity as can be sold within 3-4 days per cask. Too many pubs go for too many on gravity dispense and serve warm, flat insipid ale. Getting it right from the start should pay dividends.

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    This Space For Hire Wittenden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewguru View Post

    Too many pubs go for too many
    cask ales of any form that they can't sell in time!
    "At that moment I would have given a kingdom, not for champagne or hock and soda, or hot coffee but for a glass of beer" Marquess Curzon of Kedlestone, Viceroy of India.

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