With beer volumes down over the winter months and the fact you must sell your lower alcohol (3.8%) real ale within three days, two days is better, this can become a struggle with Pubs who are quiet during the week. If you haven’t got one, why not consider using a cask breather or aspirator as they are sometimes called.
If you haven’t heard of them, they have been out for many years and have been tried and tested by the brewers.
What do they do?…….. Answer, they keep your beer fresher for a bit longer (usually a day).
And how do they do that?……..Instead of stale cellar air entering your container as the ale is drawn out, carbon dioxide (Co2) via a spigot in the shive, is replacing the liquid. This also works with upright stillaging using a pipe attached to the vent valve on the body of an ale extractor.
How do you get one?…….Ask for one, most of the major Brewers supply them as part of their commitment to provide you with quality cask ale.
(revision : I have been told by one of the Pub Co’s that the 4 major brewers no longer supply such equipment and that only certain regional’s now supply)
However if you wish to remain in CAMRA’s good beer guide this avenue isn’t open to you.
Why ever not?………The argument is that carbon dioxide (fizzyness) is being added to the beer, which shouldn’t be a problem, if set right at a few pounds, normal blanket pressure (secondary fermentation occurs whilst in the cellar, this process makes its own carbon dioxide as it rises through the liquid, Co2 is heavier than air so it forms a blanket over the liquid and this helps to keep it fresh).
As any brewery technician will tell you the gas pressure has to be a lot higher to get absorbed into the beer and over longer period of time. I would like to bet that even a seasoned CAMRA drinker wouldn’t be able to tell the difference and anyway, would probably say it tastes fresher. They have been using one in my local for years and they don’t really need to, but they do, because of that very fact.
CAMRA’s answer would be to sell the beer quicker, but as we know in the real world things aren’t quite so simple.