Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cask Vs Keg. Summary of findings.

OK?
In other news, I've invented "Kask", or possibly "Ceg". It involves a keg, a handpump and an optional cask breather / aspirator.

6 comments:

Barm said...

I have been saying for some time that most outlets would benefit from serving their keg beer a degree or two warmer and their cask beer a degree or two colder. I have also noticed some brewers kegging beer with a lower level of fizz, which seems to work well.

StringersBeer said...

Yes, there's scope for quite a range over these parameters. My diagram wasn't entirely a joke. When people actually get down to the specifics of why they do or don't like cask/keg it does seem to boil down to "too fizzy/flat, cold/warm".

Hardknott Dave calls cask "obsolete technology". And it certainly is quite old-fashioned. For that matter, "Keg" technology is showing its age. Handling thousands of little pressure vessels isn't the kind of solution you'd come up with if you were starting from scratch. I suspect that we'll see genuinely new approaches coming through (like this maybe?) Perhaps enabling carbonation and temperature to be "dialed in" on a per tap / product basis.

Barm said...

Well, old-fashioned doesn't mean obsolete. I said much the same thing on Dave's blog. The safety razor and the bicycle had pretty much achieved perfect designs by the 1940s. You can construct 'modern' alternatives which might provide slightly better performance, but these come at the cost of being significantly more complicated and using more resources.

StringersBeer said...

Sure, something still in use isn't, by definition, obsolete. But even quite mature technology can be supplanted. I can't remember the last time I had to run to the telegraph office with an urgent message.

Barm said...

Of course technology can be supplanted by something that offers advantages massive enough to be no competition, think of steam trains versus electric trains or litho offset printing versus hot metal. Is the advantage of keg beer significant enough to be irresistible? Not from a drinker’s perspective, I submit.

StringersBeer said...

As a drinker, I like (some) cask beer, in large part, because of the relatively low carbonation - at sensible temperatures this still makes for a pleasantly petillant pint that's easy to drink. But of course, much cask beer isn't cask-conditioned per se, so the nature of the container is largely an irrelevance, being accidental rather than essential. Except that, as a low pressure container, handling is simplified. The extra costs of the traditional keg system means it offers little or no advantage for lightly carbonated beers, served relatively warm, in a high throughput outlet. Where those conditions don't apply, traditional cask may well be a decidedly inferior solution.

A novel approach might even give significant advantages over the entire range of temperature/carbonation, in which case, assuming deployment costs aren't prohibitive, we might see it start to displace keg and cask.

And then CAMRA could welcome in the diehard keg crowd.