Author Topic: Adding Ingredients to Keg/Cask  (Read 775 times)

Offline sbuller38

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Beer ... it's been my life's savior
    • View Profile
Adding Ingredients to Keg/Cask
« on: December 30, 2013, 05:32:22 PM »
A few weeks ago, I had an ESB with Cranberries tapped via a cask engine and my main question is what type of setup do you use when adding ingredients into the keg? We found that the first few draws were very cranberry forward and settled out after a few pours. Mind you, we only let the keg sit for about a week... since we were casking it. I would hypothesize that with more time in the cask the cranberry flavor would spread more, but it was rushed for an event to raise money for needy families. People loved the beer and the 5 gallons was basically gone that night. I just want the added flavor to stay consistent because when I had two of the last six goblets the next day after the event the my girlfriend/assistant brewer and friend told me it wasn't as cranberry flavored as the night before. I still enjoyed it though... just want that flavor popping from beginning til end.

We were curious if anyone had a better result by floating the ingredients with a contraption, or some sort of setup, that allowed the ingredients to spread their flavor throughout the whole cask of beer. We were thinking of adding a capped and empty water bottle and using it as a bobber.

Any thoughts? The next cask will be a Belgian (red) pale ale with pears and cinnamon.



Offline mugwort

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
  • Baby T Aleworks
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Ingredients to Keg/Cask
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 12:16:55 AM »
I am surprised the cranberry flavor wasn't more dispersed.  What kind of cranberry addition was made and was it removed prior to tapping?

I'm a fan of keg additions using a nylon/cotton bag with as many marbles as necessary to keep the ingredients immersed.  Most additions tend to float, so bobbers are not needed for all but the most dense of ingredients.

With semi-non-fermentable ingredients like cracked coffee beans or toasted coconut flakes, I'll usually leave in the keg until blown.  They can come out if the flavors begin to grow out of proportion to the beer.

With fermentable additions like actual cranberries and pears it gets more interesting because you can have in-keg refermentation which will cloud your beer as well as change in flavor and sweetness over the contact time.  That may be a non-issue at fridge temps but it's something to keep in mind.

Your next brew sounds quite tasty.  Are you using Ceylon cinnamon?
Baby T Aleworks | 100% Organic Abode-Crafted Ales | San Gabriel, CA | On tap...