Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

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dean_wales
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Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by dean_wales » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:12 pm

Hi guys,

I have a regular stainless cask that I would like to use with a beer engine and CO2. I onbviously don't want to force carbonate the beer but I would like to use CO2 to keep it from spoiling and also serve from the cask upright in a keezer alongside my kegs.

I have the cask, hand pull and check valve as well as beer and gas lines. What bit of kit do I need to hook up the cask to the gas and beerlines?

Any tips from or links to those who have done anything similar very welcome!

Cheers,
Dean.
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thepatchworkdoll
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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by thepatchworkdoll » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:46 am

You'll also need a Cask Aspirator. If you google it you will see what I mean
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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by PeeBee » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:05 pm

"Cask Widge" designed a floating extractor for upright casks.https://www.caskwidge.com/. I use them in all my Corny kegs too (in place of the dip tubes).

Don't care much for "breathers" and "cask aspirators" for home-brew for this and that reason; I use variable LPG regulators (0.75-2PSI) for controlling the gas (see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view if you haven't already).

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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by dean_wales » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:23 pm

Thanks both. I should have said that it is a bare cask and I have not used one before, so I am starting from the very basics and also trying to rig it up as cheaply as possible as I normally keg beer but want one 'real' ale on this summer!

I think I need to:
- Get a solid plastic shive to plug the side (from where? I only need one!).
- Get a few soft keystones (from where? I want to test with water so need a few).
- Get a cask widge or flexible ale extractor. The ale extractor looks considerably cheaper do they do the same thing?
http://www.caskwidge.com/shop/index.php ... 2Aixcet3p3
https://www.harrymasons.com/product/one ... rkin-size/
- Hook up a CO2 line at minimal pressure, like 2psi.
- Connect beer line from the cask gadget to the check valve and then on to the beer engine.
- Turn on the gas and then pull through a few pints of spluttering foam before the fun starts.

Or am I missing something here?

Cheers,
Dean.
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dean_wales
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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by dean_wales » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:28 pm

Or would I be better of treating the cask as normal but inserting one of these?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Spile-Olympu ... Sw5VFWN6~5

Thanks,
Dean.
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Jim
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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by Jim » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:24 pm

You'll need keystones (for the tap hole) and shives (for the bung hole on top). To get gas into a cask you also need a cask breather adapter. [EDIT: that spile peg you linked to is a version of cask breather adapter].

You'll need a cask tap and suitable fittings to connect said tap to a beer line.

Keystones and shives are one-use only, so you'll need a supply.
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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by swiggingpig » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:42 pm

This is the way I have mine set up
Image

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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by PeeBee » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:13 pm

dean_wales wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:23 pm
...
- Turn on the gas and then pull through a few pints of spluttering foam before the fun starts.
...
There is no need for "spluttering foam". You just see it happen in Pubs when they haven't had the time to "vent" the cask properly. There is a section on venting homebrew in my article - or you can bog yourself down with "soft spiles", "hard spiles" and other Pub gubbins (just remember you are a home brewer, not a Pub selling a cask in a few hours).

"Spluttering foam", i.e. an example of trying to serve over-conditioned beer, is a good example of why I don't recommend "aspirators" or "breathers". At zero PSI the beer will hold on to CO2 condition for a few days (yeap, even "Real-Ale" contains an appreciable amount of CO2) ... but home-brew? It's going to be pretty flat by the time the week is out despite the "aspirator". Hence 1-2PSI of top-pressure to keep the condition (no more than 2PSI, and probably keeping the cask with frigid kegs isn't best - about 14C for cask is alright).

"Swiggingpig's" diagram is pretty good but you wont need the Flojet pump unless you have the cask yards away. Flojet pumps are because you can't hire buxom bar wenches with well developed arms anymore. Your attachments will be different because you have a cask not a keg.

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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by PeeBee » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:06 am

Should have mentioned:

If you are using the cask upright the "shive" on the side becomes redundant and only essentially needs fitting once. Everything happens through the keystone, tap end, much like a keg. Hence the complete "Cask Widge" system, or similar systems, are a tad pricy because they must have adapters to replace the tapping bit with something that allows the beer out and gas (or air if you are a "Real-Ale" Pub not a home-brewer) in.

The "shive" isn't that redundant - it still offers the best access for cleaning and filling the cask.

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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by Kyle_T » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:51 pm

I probably have all the pieces you need to run a cask at home, I can look if you are interested?
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dean_wales
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Re: Using a cask as a keg (sorry!)

Post by dean_wales » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:10 pm

That would be absolutely fantastic! Take a look and let me know? Cheers, Dean.

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