Spiling (Pegging, Venting) Real Ales

shive

    • Cellar temperature is vitally important. If too warm (in excess of 60 deg F) a vigorous fermentation can be anticipated. Whilst if too cold (below 52 deg F) little fermentation will occur.
    • Casks have to be spiled ( a small wooden Tapered peg )to enable control of the gas pressure in the cask. The sealing plug in the spilehole of the shive must be punched in and replaced with the required spile or peg. This should take place within 8 hours after delivery.
    • If the beer is fermenting and producing C02 gas, venting is necessary to prevent excess condition developing which otherwise would cause dispense and safety problems. If the beer is dead or quiet because no fermentation is taking place, it does not require venting, but needs the spile hole to be resealed, so that some C02 gas condition can be allowed to develop in the beer. Only by daily checking of the beer and adjusting the spiles according to the condition will the Licensee be able to bring this type of beer into the ideal state for dispensing to his customers.

pegs

  • Spiles (or pegs) are normally supplied by the brewery or depot delivering the cask conditioned beers and are available on request from draymen. The types vary according to the area and the supply position, but they are all made from wood and should be kept clean and dry, preferably in a plastic bag. Dampness will usually cause them to go mouldy in cellar conditions, and this can be harmful to the beer when inserted into a cask.
  • ALWAYS destroy used pegs immediately after use, to prevent the risk of re-use and infection.
  • There are two basic spiling systems in use which are broadly described on the next page, but for detailed advice on the system used in any particular area, the brewery representative should be consulted.
  • “Hard” pegs are used for sealing the cask, when venting is not required, and it is required to “hold in” the gas condition developed. If a cask is to be left for more than a day hard pegged, checks should be made daily that pressure is not built up in excess of what is required.

  2 comments for “Spiling (Pegging, Venting) Real Ales

  1. ellie
    26th May 2010 at 11:08 pm

    i would like to know how long i can keep a open real ales cask and also a lager,guiness and bitter beer.

    thanks very much for help

  2. barack O barmy
    27th May 2010 at 1:14 pm

    A rule of thumb, after removing the hard peg and beginning to sell the ale, for session cask ale (3.8%alc) would be about three days and about (5.0% alc) would be a bit longer. That would be the maximum it is always better to sell cask ale quickly and also some brews last longer than others. A Cask breather will give you longer.

    I would try to sell keg ales within a week, quite simply they don’t taste as nice after that. Once you start to introduce bottle gas into the keg that starts to absorb into the liquid. Co2 isn’t as pure out of the bottle as it is in the brewing process.

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