Average shelf life of a cask ale


cask1I am looking to produce a cask ale, I want to make sure I am correct in what I think the beer will be.

I have a recipe that I will follow, what I would like to make sure is the final product is an ale that has ‘dropped bright’ What I will be doing is putting the yeast into the fermenter and leaving it until it reaches it required ABV. Then I am looking to cask that ale direct from the fermenter and add my finings and leave them to drag the yeast down and clear the beer, am I correct in thinking this is an ale that has dropped bright? If so does anyone know what the average life of this beer would be unopened if it were stored at the correct temperature which I am thinking is around 13 degrees C. Also what the average life is once this is opened again if done correctly and stored properly?

Also I was looking into putting the ale into bag in a box containers, I would follow the same system as before but use the ale from the casks which has dropped bright and fill the bags direct from there my understanding is this is re racked beer and because of that has a much shorter life like 2-3 days is this correct?

Any help would be very much appreciated

Thank you


  1. Hi Patrick

    Not sure if you are on the right forum this isn’t a micro brewing forum. I have never brewed beer in my life except a little episode several years ago home brewing. All I can tell you is the way we do it at our end and what we get told as we go around.

    Obviously each brew is different but generally, an ale has a shelf life of about a month after getting racked. Once it has been tapped and vented (2nd fermentation), it is ok, as long as the cask has been sealed with a hard peg, for about a week.

    Once you start to draw it off you have about 3 days before it turns to vinegar, if it is filtered into “bag in a box” you have a lot longer but you have to start using straight away or the bag explodes. This is 3.8% abv brew a higher strength may give you a day or two longer. I’m sure micro brewers can add to this as they are changing the rules as they go along, but does give you an idea of what you are looking for?

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