Correct Cask Ale service process



I have a query (or two) regarding the How to look after Cask Ales guide.

The guide instructs that a cask should be spited within eight hours after delivery and that the cask should be broached with a tap at the same time whilst also directing a further period of forty-eight hours be elapsed before the ale is to be served.

If the ale is best consumed within three days of broaching does that leave only twenty-four hours for the optimum experience to be garnered by the drinker?

I hope that I haven’t misunderstood the guide.

This site has been invaluable to me and my micro-pub.

Thank you,



  1. Sorry this post seems to have been missed. I believe our guide is the traditional way of looking after cask ales these days the micro brewers are making up their own rules or breaking them. But I think a cask should always if possible be vented if possible in 6 to 8 hrs. Checking if it clears down usually takes 12 to 48 hrs. Then a hard peg should to seal the container until it is ready to use, and then 3 to 5 days depending on alcohol percentage till it goes off . If you are using a cask widge or upright stillage a hard peg isn’t needed. Is that what you meant?

  2. I believe it is help prevent the build up of hydrogen sulphide (bad egg smell) during the second fermentation, by venting off it off it prevents off tastes and taints. Though most people I know would rather leave it until they are ready to use it. By venting off they think the beer will go off quicker. But in reality once the ale has cleared down by sealing the barrel or the shut off valve you can leave it up to a week before using it. It also tastes better because it matures in that time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here