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If you are a long-time player of Stardew Valley, you’ll know that the more you play, and the more time you Invest into your farm, the more complex things get. Managing your abundance of crop plantations, your hordes of livestock, and your various other projects like fishing, cooking, and collecting can be quite a task.
One that can often lead to you breaking out spreadsheets and graphs if you take things as seriously as I do. Well, I touch on this because, in the late game, artisan goods become one of your primary sources of income. If you play anything like me, it’s one product, in particular, Ancient Fruit Wine. However, to make this, you need access to Casks.
Casks are a form of machine or Artisan Equipment within Stardew Valley used to store and mature items, allowing them to grow in quality and therefore value. While players can make Cheese and Wine throughout the game, casks enable the player to refine the process and squeeze every last drop of profit out of each raw material.
However, you may be wondering what Casks are, where you get them, and how they work. Plus, you may be wondering how to use them most effectively. We want to help and make sure you are using your Cellar effectively. So without further ado, here is our Stardew Valley Cask Guide.
What are Casks in Stardew Valley?
Casks in Stardew Valley are machines/ Artisan Equipment that the player acquires upon fully upgrading their farmhouse. These are not unlike Preserve Jars, both in application and appearance, but their function differs completely.
These barrels store various items that can be improved through aging. Items like Cheese, Wine, and Pale Ale, to name a few. These barrels can only be placed in the Cellar of your home, and when the player places an item in the barrel, the aging process begins.
The item will then improve in quality at various intervals depending on the item in question. For example, if one places a bottle of Wine in the Cask, this will take two full seasons to improve to Iridium quality wine. However, if the player wants to cash out early, they can use a pickaxe on each Cask, removing the item when needed.
A star will be shown on each barrel to indicate how far along in the aging process each item is. The player begins with a select number of Casks upon purchasing the home upgrade but can craft more if they so choose.
How Do You Get Casks in Stardew Valley?
As we mentioned above, to get access to Casks, you need to have a Cellar in your home, and to have a Cellar in your home, you will need to have purchased all three house upgrades; these are as follows:
- Upgrade One: Kitchen (10,000G + 450 Wood)
- Upgrade Two: Nursery (50,000G + 150 Hardwood)
- Upgrade Three: Cellar (100,000G)
As you can see above, the player will need to invest 160,000G into this project. They will also have to provide a decent amount of resources. Wood is very easy to come by, but if you are struggling to accumulate Hardwood, we suggest upgrading your ax and gaining access to the Secret Wood. Here you can chop up to 12 pieces of Hardwood per day.
When you make that third and final purchase, you will immediately have access to a Cellar full of Casks. The player begins with a total of 33 Casks as standard, but they are also rewarded a Cask crafting recipe so that if they need more, they can make more.
A player needs to combine 1 Hardwood and 20 Wood to craft a Cask. This is a very reasonable recipe and one that shouldn’t be too hard to gather the materials for, even if you are creating the maximum number of Casks. Players can fit a maximum of 189 Casks in the Cellar, but there won’t be any room to maneuver, you have been warned.
What Items Can You Place In a Cask?
So now that you understand the mechanics of a Cask in Stardew Valley, we think that it’s about time that we broke down the various items that players can place in their Casks and mature. So here is a quick breakdown below:
- Original Value: 230G
- Fully Matured: 460G
We begin proceedings with Cheese. This artisan product can be created by taking Milk or Large Milk and placing it into a Cheese Press. Then when placed in a cask, you can double the value of this product. However, considering the time taken, this is a pretty measly return, so it’s not the best way to utilize your limited Casks.
- Original Value: 400G
- Fully Matured: 800G
While normal Cheese doesn’t offer huge profits when you look at the time taken to produce and mature, Goats Cheese is a more viable option.
You can take a 400G block of Goat’s Cheese and double your profits to 800G, which is a respectable intake. We admit, the products that follow this one are better money makers, but as Goats Cheese is so readily available if you have a Goat on the farm, this can be good in a pinch.
- Original Value: Fruit value x3
- Fully Matured: Fruit Value x3, x2
Without a doubt, Wine is the best product to use your Casks to mature. To make Wine, all you have to do is make a keg which requires you to use a crafting recipe and combine 30 Wood, a Copper Bar, an Iron Bar, and one Oak Resin.
Then you select a fruit to make into a Wine. When the Wine is ready, this can be sold for 3x the standard price of the fruit alone. However, if you mature this to Iridium quality, you can double this value leading to some serious cheddar. This is the longest maturing process, but it is well worth the wait; patience is a virtue.
- Original Value: 300G
- Fully Matured: 600G
Next up, we have Pale Ale. This is a product that is also made in a Keg. The player must use Hops to make this alcoholic beverage, and then once fully matured; this can be sold for 600G. Again, rather underwhelming for the time invested but an option nonetheless.
- Original Value: 200G
- Fully Matured: 400G
Easily the worst item to mature in a Cask is Beer. I don’t know about you, but if someone hands me a beer that’s been maturing for hundreds of years, I’d happily decline that offer.
That shows in this game as you can only gain 200G by maturing this from standard to Iridium quality. So we wouldn’t recommend using Casks for this purpose. This item is created by placing Wheat into a Keg.
- Original Value: 200G
- Fully Matured: 400G
Remember what I said about Beer? Well, it’s the same feedback when it comes to maturing Mead. This offers a measly profit margin and just isn’t worth your time when you could be out there making some high-grossing wine. This item is made by placing Honey in a Keg.
Why Should I Use Casks?
We could try and be crafty here and suggest that Casks are multi-faceted items that allow players to complete quests and progress through the game, but let’s be honest, they exist for one thing and one thing only, profit. Players will want access to Casks as they are the dream ticket as far as making money is concerned.
With the use of casks, players can effectively double the value of Wine which is already made from expensive raw materials like Ancient Fruit, Sweet Gem Berries, and Starfruit, to name a few, which makes these barrels incredibly useful and something you will want to really lean into as the game progresses.
However, there is one other reason why the player needs access to Casks. You see, if the player completes the Community Center route and puts Joja Mart out of business, you gain access to a new bundle called ‘the missing bundle.
This will ask the player to acquire a number of luxury items, like Caviar and Prismatic Shards, to name a few. One of the items required is also a silver quality (or higher) bottle of wine, which the player can only create if they have a Cellar. So even from a professional standpoint, it makes sense to have Casks in your home.
What are the Best Items To Mature?
As we mentioned, there is only one choice when it comes to making money, and that is Wine. However, there is quite a lot of fruit in this game, and some are more profitable than others. Which begs the question, which items are best to place in a Cask? Well, let’s run through the best Wine on offer, shall we? Check it out:
Ancient Fruit Wine
- Fully Matured Value: 4620G
Ancient Fruit Wine is a wonderful option if you want to make heaps of cash. If the player has the Artisan Profession, they will be able to get a whopping 4620G for just one bottle of this stuff.
We admit building your Ancient Fruit plantation is a slow process as the seeds are hard to come by, and gathering seeds via a Seed Maker is essential. However, don’t let this deter you, as the profits will be even sweeter when your field overflows with juicy blue fruit.
- Fully Matured Value: 6300G
So you may be wondering, why isn’t this the best crop to turn into Wine. Well, the simple answer is that Ancient Fruit is a recurring crop, so one seed lasts forever. Whereas with Starfruit, every 12 days, you’ll have to replant these.
However, this doesnt mean it’s a bad option, on the contrary, as Ancient Fruit is a hard crop to accumulate, making Starfruit a great fill-in during the mid-game.
- Fully Matured Value: 1008G
This may not seem like a particularly good option when compared to the above options, but let me assure you, this is an excellent option in the early game. In the period where you perhaps have access to a Greenhouse but not the Bus to the Calico Desert, Strawberries can be a super asset.
These are recurring crops, so when you plant one seed from there on out, it’s pure profit. Plus, they do fetch over 1000G per bottle when fully matured, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of fruit in this game. So this can be a great option for sure.
- Fully Matured Value: 2100G
Next up, we have another common crop that can be a fantastic moneymaker should you choose to turn them into fine Wine. Melon is a summer crop that will allow you to produce iridium wine that is worth over 2000G a pop.
This is a crop that allows for early game wine production that doesn’t rely on a greenhouse, but equally, it isn’t a recurring crop, so you will need to produce or buy seeds with each batch grown. Overall, not the best option, but certainly a good one.
- Fully Matured Value: 2520G
Then lastly, we have a fruit that players won’t have access to until they rock up on the sandy shores of Ginger Island. Here you will be able to either find these seeds in the Volcano Dungeon or purchase them for Magma Caps from the Island Trader.
Then all you have to do is grow these and stick them in a keg, next a cask, and when fully mature, this spiky fruit wine will reward you with over 2,500G a pop. Again, not the best, but certainly not the worst and a great one to grow out on Ginger Island.
What is the Best Cask Placement Strategy?
Then before we sign off, we need to inform you of the best way to layout your casks in the Cellar to maximize profits. The way we see it, there are two ways that players can go about this. Check it out below:
If you want to go for max profit, you can have 189 Casks actively maturing Wine in the Cellar. However, you will have to set this up in a specific way. You will have to have some chests handy and will need to have all your Wine ready to place in Casks. You will need to begin at the far wall of the Cellar and begin placing and filling them from the south wall to the north wall.
Gradually work your way across the room and use the chests to restock your player inventory with Casks. Eventually, you will find the whole room filled with Casks, and you should place the last one near the stairs, allowing you to exit, only to return when ready to cash in.
Profit & Convenience
Then alternatively, you can place 126 Casks in the Cellar and still leave enough space for a clear path where the player can interact with every CaskCask. The formation shows an outer layer of Casks that covers the perimeter of the room, then two 15×2 blocks of Casks in the middle of the room.
Question: What are Preserve Jars For?
Answer: We mentioned Preserve Jars above, and we didn’t explain what these are for, so what better time than now? Preserve Jars are barrels where players can take Crops, either fruit or Veg, and then after some time processing, these crops will be turned into either pickled vegetables or some Jam.
To craft these, you will need to get yourself to level four in your farming proficiency, and you’ll need to combine fifty wood, forty stone, and eight coal to craft this item.
Question: What are the Other Benefits of Upgrading Your Home
Answer: Aside from the Cellar, which is well worth the 100,000G investment might I add, you also get some other great additions to your home along the way. The first upgrade offers players a kitchen that allows you to make recipes that replenish your energy and health, not to mention the buffs that they can offer.
Then you have the second upgrade, which includes a nursery and allows players to start a family. As you might have seen in my recent Stardew Valley Children Guide, this isn’t the deepest mechanic within the game, but it is needed for an achievement, so again, worth doing.
Then, in addition to all of that, you get a done more space for storage and decorating. So overall, plenty of reasons to upgrade your house outside of just the Cellar.
Question: Can You Place Casks Outside?
Answer: No, you can only place these items within the Cellar. However, if you want to up your Wine production, you can place Kegs just about anywhere, including spaces off the farm, provided they aren’t placed on paths that NPCs walk. So you can make lots of Wine very fast; it will just take you a while to mature it to max quality.
Cask, and You will Receive!
As you can see from the info above, Casks in Stardew Valley are vital if you want to make oodles of cash in the late game. While these may seem like a luxury, they eventually become the lifeblood of your farm, and all will offer you the quickest path to the true luxury items, like that 10,000,000G Gold Clock that you’ve been eyeing.
We hope that this guide serves you well and helps you achieve profits beyond your wildest dreams. As always, thank you for reading SdewHQ.