No, cask ale and real ale are not the same thing. Cask ale is an unfiltered, unpasteurized beer that is typically served at cellar temperature (around 50-55 degrees F) from a cask without added nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure.
It is also known as “Real Ale” or “Cask Conditioned Ale”. Cask ale can be either naturally conditioned, using a secondary fermentation process in the cask, or force-carbonated.
Real ale, on the other hand, is a name for any beer that is not produced using modern industrial methods of production like centrifugation and filtration and is only served from a cask. This means that real ale is a stricter category that encompasses a variety of products, including cask ale.
Therefore, one can say that cask ale is a type of real ale.
What is considered to be a real ale?
Real ale is a type of beer that has been brewed using traditional ingredients and processes. It is typically unfiltered and fermented naturally, allowing the full character of the malt and hops to be showcased.
This type of beer is usually served at cellar temperature and allowed to condition, or ‘mature’, in the cask from which it is served. This can take as little as three weeks, or as long as months, depending on the style of beer.
Real ale differs from other beers due to the natural carbonation that is created by the fermentation process and its ‘snap’, or bite, on the palate that is attributed to the natural malt sugars. This type of ale is defined by the traditional ingredients and beer-making processes used in its production, rather than its strength or ABV, so can range vastly in its ABV, colour and flavour depending on the recipe and method used.
Real ale is one of the most popular beer types in the UK and has been produced for centuries. It is known for its quality and traditional character, making it hugely popular with craft beer fans around the world.
What beers are real ale?
Real ale is a type of beer that has been naturally conditioned through the process of secondary fermentation in either the cask or the bottle. This secondary fermentation is not induced by adding ingredients, but is a natural process driven by the yeast present in the beer.
Ales are the main type of beer associated with the concept of real ale, although other styles such as lagers, stouts, and porters can also be classified as real ales. Examples of popular real ales include Samuel Smith’s IPA, Fuller’s London Pride, and BrewDog’s Punk IPA.
These beers are often served with a chunky head of foam, which is an indication of having been properly conditioned in cask or bottle. They are usually brewed using traditional brewing methods, and use hops and barley malt as the main ingredients, along with water and yeast.
Unlike some other types of beer, real ales are not force carbonated, which gives them a unique flavor and mouthfeel.
What’s the difference between cask and keg ale?
The main difference between cask and keg ale is the manner in which it is served. Cask ale is served from a wooden barrel or cask and is still conditioned in the barrel. This means the beer is naturally conditioned and carbonated.
It is traditionally served by gravity or hand-pump dispensers and is served at the “cellar temperature” of 10-12°C. On the other hand, Keg ale is served from a pressurized keg at a higher temperature of around 16-18°C and is carbon dioxide injected.
Due to the high pressure, Keg ale typically has a very foamy head and a bubbly texture. In terms of taste, cask ale is much smoother and typically has a subtler, more delicate flavour. Keg ale on the other hand tends to have a bolder, more hop forward flavour due to the higher pressure and higher serving temperature.
Is Guinness a cask ale?
No, Guinness is not a cask ale. Cask ales, also known as real ales, are brewed using traditional methods and are served at cellar temperature from a cask or container. Guinness, on the other hand, is brewed using a more modern method of pressurized gas and served at a much lower temperature from a keg or container.
Cask ales also tend to have a more natural flavour, whereas Guinness is brewed with roasted and unmalted barley and hops for a rich and distinct flavour profile. Both cask ales and Guinness are notoriously popular among ale drinkers worldwide.
Why is it called real ale?
Real ale is a type of beer which is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and generally stored and served in a cask or barrel. It is naturally carbonated and is not fundamentally different from traditional beer.
It is instead a way of producing and serving beer which promotes greater quality, flavor, and a more complex drinking experience.
The name “real ale” is believed to have originated in 1975 in the British organization Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). CAMRA actively promotes traditional, casks-conditioned ales over mass produced products from companies like Carling, and the term was initially created to catch the attention of drinkers seeking a more tasty pint.
Real ale is also sometimes referred to as “cask-conditioned ale”. This is because it is fermented, conditioned, and stored in the same cask at the brewery, with no extra carbonation provided. This gives real ales a unique flavor profile, distinct from other beer forms, and it is this that makes it a distinct and more flavorful type of beer.
Real ale also relies on “conditioning” – a process of maturing in the cask which provides a depth of flavour you don’t get in other beers. The resulting beers are generally smoother, fuller, and easier to drink.
This could be why these ales are so popular amongst real beer fans.
In short, “real ale” is a term which emphasizes the traditional processes and natural ingredients used to brew, condition, store, and serve the beer in cask form. This includes the true cask-conditioning process and the unique flavor profile it results in.
By doing so, it distinguishes real ale from other commercial beers and promotes a more tasteful and fuller-bodied drinking experience.
Do cask ales need gas?
No, cask ales do not require gas for their production. Cask ales — also known as real ale, or cask-conditioned beer — are unfiltered, unpasteurized beers that are stored and served in a cask. Casks are typically made of metal and are used to store, condition and serve the beer.
Unlike other beers, cask ale is served without any extra gas.
Cask ales are naturally carbonated using a process called “secondary fermentation”. During the fermentation process, yeast consumes sugars in the wort (the liquid extracted from the mashing process before it has been boiled).
The byproduct of this process is carbon dioxide, which gets trapped in the cask, resulting in natural carbonation. This carbonation is what gives cask ales their unique flavour and makes them so smooth and refreshing.
Cask ales should not be confused with kegged beers, which do require the addition of compressed gas in order to be served. Cask ales are considered to be a much more traditional and subtle beer, and require specialised equipment and techniques in order to serve correctly.
What is a keg beer?
Keg beer is a type of beer that is stored, transported and served from a sealed stainless steel container called a keg. Keg beer is typically carbonated and pressurized and served using keg taps and couplers.
The kegs themselves are usually made of stainless steel, although some wooden or plastic kegs are available. Keg beer is typically sold in 15.5 gallon, 1/6 barrel, or 1/4 barrel sizes. The keg itself is pressured with CO2 or nitrogen which forces the beer out when the keg tap is opened.
Keg beer has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with craft brewers and craft beer bars. Keg beer has many advantages over traditional beer cans and bottles. It has a longer shelf life and can be stored in a cooler for several months.
It is also easier to pour and doesn’t have the tedium of dealing with bottle and can openers. Keg beer also does not lose carbonation as quickly as beer in bottles and cans. Additionally, keg beer can be served in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be customized with several different types of taps.
Is craft beer keg or cask?
Craft beer can come in both a keg and a cask. Kegs are containers that have been pressure-sealed to store and dispense beer. Kegs are generally easier to transport and are used to store and dispense craft beer on draft in pubs, bars, and restaurants.
Casks, however, are sealed containers that are traditionally made out of oak, steel, or aluminum and filled with craft beer. Cask beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, meaning that it is naturally carbonated and requires careful handling.
Generally, cask beer is served in pubs where the beer is often pumped directly from the cask to a serving vessel. Cask beer is typically served at temperatures between 10-15°C (50-60°F), and the flavor profile is often sweeter and softer than draft beer.
When was the term real ale first used?
The term ‘real ale’ was first used in the 1970s during a campaign by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), which was founded in 1971 in the United Kingdom. CAMRA wanted to protect traditional brewing methods, particularly quality cask-conditioned beers which had been under threat from the increasing popularity of keg beers, particularly those which were pasteurized, artificially carbonated and dispensed through pressurised taps.
The term ‘real ale’ has since been both legally defined and widely accepted as describing those beers which are formulated and brewed using traditional methods and natural ingredients, and served ‘live’, unfiltered and unpasteurized in the cask.
Should real ale have a head?
Yes, real ale should have a head. A beer head is the creamy froth that appears when you pour a beer, and it’s an important part of the overall flavor and texture of the beer. Real ale is beer that has been brewed using traditional methods, and this requires the use of natural ingredients such as yeast and hops.
The presence of the head is a sign that these ingredients are performing their job correctly and the beer is in good condition. A good head will range from one to two inches in thickness and should be a creamy white color.
The presence of bubbles from the carbonation adds to the mouthfeel and aroma of the beer, and the density of the head will protect the alcoholic and aromatic flavors of the beer. In short, a good head is an important part of real ale and should not be overlooked.
Why is real ale flat?
Real ale, also known as cask ale, is a type of ale that is brewed with natural ingredients and served without the use of additional carbon dioxide or nitrogen. Because of this, real ale tends to be served flat and at colder temperatures.
Flavour-wise, real ales tend to be full-bodied and robust, with a smooth taste that amplifies the natural flavours of the malt and hop ingredients. This can be attributed to the lack of carbonation, as the additional gas would alter the flavour and make it less distinguishable.
Another reason why real ales are served flat is because of the fact that, since there is no additional gas, the ale does not have a head, nor does it produce any foam when poured. This can be beneficial for drinkers as it reduces the amount of foam produced, meaning a more enjoyable drinking experience.
Real ale is also different from other types of ales in that it undergoes a process of ‘conditioning’, which refers to the fact that it is bottled, sealed, and then allowed to naturally carbonate. This conditioning process allows the ale to mature and develop its flavours, creating a product that is typically more flavourful than other ales.
This also means that, due to the lack of additional carbon dioxide, real ales tend to be flatter compared to other types of ales.
How many pints are in a cask of real ale?
A cask of real ale typically contains approximately 72 pints of beer. This can vary slightly depending on the size of the cask used and how much beer is now being made. Casks come in different sizes and the most common sizes for real ale are Pin, Firkin and Kilderkin.
A Pin is a quarter of a barrel and holds between 9 and 11 gallons, which equates to between 72 and 88 pints of beer. A Firkin is half a barrel, containing 18 to 22 gallons, which is equivalent to around 144 to 176 pints.
Finally, a Kilderkin is one third of a barrel and holds around 14 to 16 gallons, which works out at between 108 and 128 pints of beer.
How big is a cask of beer?
The size of a cask of beer can vary greatly depending on the type of beer and where it is being purchased. A typical cask of beer is equivalent to between 10.8 to 11 imperial gallons, which equates to between 88 and 99 pints of beer.
A firkin, which is a traditional British cask size, is equal to a quarter of a barrel and is equal to 10.8 imperial gallons or 88 pints. However, some suppliers measure their casks by litres, with a register cask being defined as 36 imperial gallons, which is equivalent to 288 pints.
Microbreweries usually do not use firkin sizes and instead use casks between 36 and 72 litres in size. When purchasing a cask of beer it is essential to check the size of the cask and make sure it meets your requirements.
What is a small barrel called?
A small barrel is commonly referred to as a cask or a keg. Generally, a cask is a wooden barrel that can hold up to 10 gallons of liquid, while a keg is a metal drum that can normally hold up to 15.5 gallons.
Casks and kegs can be used for many different things, such as storing and aging wine or beer, pickling food, and even as decorative pieces. They typically come in many different sizes, ranging from as small as a few liters to as large as a few hundred liters.
Be sure to pay attention to the size you are buying as some items may not fit inside the cask or keg.