Ask Mr. Wizard
Cask Ale Beer In A Bag
Justin Herrmann — Homer, Alaska asks,
Here in Alaska, before the pandemic, two breweries served real ale from a beer engine. Now it’s just one, and it’s a few hundred miles away, so I’m attempting it myself, conditioning in a bag (bag-in-a-box style). So far, I’m not achieving what I hoped. I’m priming with wort, and put some in bottles, some in bags. The beer from the bottles is fine, but the hand-pumped beer from the bags lacks proper carbonation. The bags expand quite a bit, so maybe the additional headspace is the problem? Some have suggested I should vent the bags, but I worry the venting will also keep the beer from reaching optimal carbonation; we don’t vent bottle-conditioned beer, right? Please help.
The bag-in-box method has never really been common among homebrewers, but is a technique used by many pubs around the world. The reason your beer is not carbonating is that a rigid