Cask Being Served

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The defining element of cask beer is that it is served without any added gas or carbonation. This differs from draught beer, where carbon dioxide and nitrogen are added for carbonation and to push the beer out from the keg, through the tap and into your glass.

As cask beer is naturally carbonated and conditioned within the keg, a different method of dispensing the beer must be employed. This can either be done through a beer engine or by gravity.

BEER ENGINE is one method for dispensing cask beer. The beer engine is an airtight piston chamber used for pumping beer from a cask to the glass. AC Beverage has tested, distributes and installs a large selection of Beer Engines and associated parts. While the traditional method for dispensing cask beer is through a beer engine (hand pump), it can also be dispensed using a cask tap. This is literally a faucet that is hammered into the cask through the keystone (hence the term tapping a keg). Once tapped, the beer is dispensed by gravity. As the beer flows, air is allowed to enter through the spile (a small wooden peg used to control the flow of air into, and carbon dioxide out of a cask).
Cask Sizes
•Firkin | 10.8 gallons (by far the most popular size)
•Pin | 5.4 gallons
•Kilderkin | 21.6 gallons

The net result is a beer that has a much gentler level of carbonation, a rounder mouthfeel, and since it is unfiltered, usually shows a slightly more complex flavor and aromatic profile. It is often slightly cloudy, and is best served at around 55°F. It’s considered “live” beer since it is unfiltered and has live yeast in the cask which is how the final fermentation and carbonation are achieved.

Call AC Beverage for help designing, installing or servicing a Cask System.

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