I decided to carefully remove the Fermzilla from its stand this morning and give the contents a good slosh around, because I wasn’t happy with the way that my hops have been sitting around in the collection jar since they were added.
Thinking about the design of the FV, the jar is a great place for any trub or finished yeast to go because anything in there offers a small surface area up to the liquid above, but that’s bound to work the other way too, when you actually want the contents to be exposed, as with hop pellets. Mine appear to have been stationary in that jar since I threw them in and I was concerned that I’m not going to get the kind of utilisation I’m after.
My suspicions weren’t helped by the fact that about half of those hops refused to budge from the jar while I had the Fermzilla horizontal, lapping the waterline back and forth. There were even some small pockets of gas in the hop-trub which remained there when the FV was righted again, demonstrating just how densely packed that substance was.
Going forward I’m going to see if I can come up with an alternative method to dry hopping. The Hot French Randall approach warrants experimentation, as does addition of flavouring hops in stages – and not letting them settle in an inaccessible crevice.
Final observation: adding hops has restarted some slight fermentation. I closed the spunding valve fully yesterday so that I don’t lose any of the hop-laden CO2 I’m going to produce, and in 12 hours it’s crept up from 7 PSI to 8 PSI.