Hops were added two days ago, time to get this cleared up and put away. I filled Bag-Thing with CO2 from the currently fermenting cider in around 15 minutes (it’s going like the clappers) and swapped it for the brew bucket’s airlock before drawing a gravity sample via the sampling spigot. The bag will stay connected throughout cold-crashing so that I don’t end up sucking in oxygen as the beer cools and shrinks.
There was quite a lot of hop sediment in the trial jar which leads me to suspect that my dip tube is set too low and I’ll definitely adjust that before bottling. The gravity comes in at a smidgeon below 1.017 but I’m recording it as such because the amount of green stuff in the trial jar must surely have some impact on the reading. On the other hand, there was some slight activity in the airlock when I added the hops two days ago, which makes me think that something in the Citra has restarted fermentation.
Taste was pretty good; nowhere near as bitter as the first blonde (I’m hoping that’s the Citra in place of Cascade) and some very slight carbonation, although there was no foam at all, unlike the last sample just before dry-hopping.
The mini bucket is now inside the fridge, temperature dialled to halfway between ‘mid’ and ‘max’. I transferred what’s left of the Bure Gold to my 5 litre keg (plus half a plastic bottle) and that’s also in there. I’m hoping that the plastic bottle will serve as an early indicator of things getting too cold so that I don’t have a repeat of the day that Bure Gold started to freeze in the FV.
The only question now is when to end cold-crashing and package? With no thermometer installed in the mini keg I’ll just have to rely on best guess and maybe a sample via the rotated dip tube. Let’s look at that in a week or so, with a couple of daily check-ins to make sure that Bag-Thing still contains some CO2 to cover thermal suck-in.