Sunday, 9 August 2009


I was just idly wondering about carbonation in cask beer. It's down to the person looking after the beer to ensure that enough CO2 is preserved in the beer to give it sufficient sparkle, and it doesn't always go right.

Sometimes beer is served much too flat. I don't mean not-through-a-sparkler flat, I mean absolutely flat. This happens more often when beer is served by gravity, but occasionally you get it on a beer engine too. You rarely get it too lively. Maybe this is because drinkers may complain if the beer is flat, but bar staff will definitely complain if it's too foamy?


  1. Fobbing is the term. If a beer fobs too much it's a real pain. The solution is to remove the sparkler, but then you fail to get a tight head. A loose head that collapses very quickly is normally the result of unsparkled beer.

    Getting beer to have just enough carbonation so that it's not flat but not so much that fobbing is a problem is a toughy. It's also not so much the bar staff that are the problem, but the big angry publican behind them telling them not to waste so much in the drip trays.

  2. Does the beer need to be livelier if it's not going to be served through a sparkler, then?