It’s my 30th birthday party on Saturday and I decided to lubricate the proceedings with a cask of quality ale!
My girlfriend works in a bar where they sometimes serve cask ale and so I thought we knew what we were doing – unfortunately after quite a bit of reading and research I’ve realised there is a huge difference between the smaller casks they serve from and the 9-gallon Firkin currently sat in my kitchen… So I’m in urgent need of advice to avoid spoiling this sizeable quantity of tasty beer.
The casks my girlfriend deals with can apparently be stillaged, tapped and spiled the day before serving, so apparently they are pre-filtered or some kind of FastCask type product. I’ve been reading a number of sources including this website and I’m finding some of the information is contradictory and leaves me with more questions than answers!
We bought the cask direct from a brewery and transported it home yesterday. On one website I’ve read that “casks must be vented within 8 hours of delivery”. Is this true and why would this be so – I would have thought that this would ruin the ale since it will only last 3 days once the cask is broached?
Currently my plan is as follows:
– Today I will stillage the cask in our kitchen where the temperature is around 10-11 degrees C which I realise is just under optimal but it’s the nearest I could find in the house
– Tomorrow I spile with a soft peg and begin the venting process
– On Friday I will tap the cask
– On Saturday we’ll enjoy fresh beer (under gravity dispense) – am I right in removing the peg completely at this time?
Are there any problems with how I’m doing this and does anyone have any other recommendations? Obviously I’ve rushed into this a little blind and foolishly but hopefully it’ll all be worth it in the end! Advice would be urgently appreciated…