Cask Ale Head Retention

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I am having a few issues with my Cask ale having little to no head & leaving no lacing on the glass. I am assuming this is a temperature issue as the ale is slightly too cold but am unsure?? My cellar is the correct temperature but my cask ale lines run through the same python as my keg beer, could this be causing the issue?? (the cask lines do by-pass the cooler). I also use a cask breather/aspirator system, could this add to the issue?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Cheers.

4 COMMENTS

  1. 463 wrote: I am having a few issues with my Cask ale having little to no head & leaving no lacing on the glass. I am assuming this is a temperature issue as the ale is slightly too cold but am unsure?? My cellar is the correct temperature but my cask ale lines run through the same python as my keg beer, could this be causing the issue?? (the cask lines do by-pass the cooler). I also use a cask breather/aspirator system, could this add to the issue?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Cheers.

    What temp is your ale dispensing at is it a light ale or a heavy one? By changing the diffuser type nozzle to one with smaller holes might just rectify it if the beer is too cold or if you have one of the old type sparklers so you can thrash the beer around a bit as it comes out (like the keg bitters).

    You might find the black nozzle has bigger holes than say a red nozzle or green nozzle, it really all depends which brewer you are with. Something you could try just to prove a point, try the smoothflow nozzle off one of the keg bitters, if the thread is the same, the holes will be too small but it give you an idea where to start looking.

  2. Are your other beers showing signs of poor head retention? If so check your glasses and glass washer.Too much detergent will kill your beers stone dead. As Hoppy said if your cask is too cold can cause issues such as you describe. Lacing on the glass will only happen if there is a decent head to begin with. The aspirators you are using should not affect head retention.

  3. Thanks for the help, I currently don’t use sparklers as most of the breweries I use reccomend not to. I have double checked the glass ware & washer which seem to be ok. The ale is definately too cold which I believe is the cause of the problem but I am unsure of how to rectify this?? The proble seems to get worse during busy periods when I am selling a lot of Keg beer!! is it possible the Keg lines are cooling the Ale lines inside the python?? What is the correct temperature for the remote cooler in the Cellar??

  4. Sounds like your problem is what you suspect, the ale is too cold. It should be about 13 degrees Centigrade, 54 – 56 Fahrenheit which should be your cellar temp that why cask ale is called warm beer. Depending how far your beer engine is away from the drop into the cellar you could by-pass your cooling system altogether, years ago cask ale was always dispensed this way (and still is ) without cooling taking it directly from the cellar.

    There is such a thing as a cask ale python cooling system, which can either be a stand alone cooler which is a small remote type cooler, there is also a regulated unit that branches off the main cooling system that is warmer than the main system.

    Or it may be possible, but it depends on your system, you would also have to talk to your local tech services and get them to do it; is to shorten the line length that you have already have in the python, perhaps joining the python just as it leaves the cellar.

    There are a few things you can do, but without seeing your system it is difficult to recommend which is your best option. 😮

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