I have just over 25 litres of Vienna Lager in the Fermzilla, and because I don’t want to try bottling carbonated beer later on I’m moving 5 litres into my SS Brewtech Mini Bucket before increasing fermentation pressure in the Fermzilla to 20 PSI.
The idea is simple; gradually reduce pressure over a couple of hours right down to nothing, connect the beer out post to the bucket’s spigot, close the spunding valve and let fermentation push the brew out. I’m hoping that there’s enough yeast in suspension to keep the fermentation going without anything else needed, but if it looks like it’s stalled then I can always move some Krausen across later on as well, or just pitch more yeast. Gravity presently at 1.023 so we’re about 75% complete.
One thing was slightly weird; the hose connecting both vessels seemed to be pulling quite a lot of gas, even though both ends were fully submerged in the brew. I can only guess that this is CO2 being produced by the wort as its inside the tube, otherwise I’ve got a leak and a problem when it comes to kegging from the Fermzilla later on.
15 minutes later: the bucket’s airlock’s bubbling away happily, looks like my little Opshaug friend doesn’t mind his new environment. Pressure going up again gradually in the Fermzilla too – I didn’t want to add CO2 from the tank so as to increase pressure gradually because I’m concerned about the effects of all these changes on the Tilt.
I decided that this cider needed some hops before bottling, because I was impressed by the Mangrove Jack’s Dry Hopped Cider and wanted to see if I could do it too.
Before adding the 50g bag of Citra pellets I’d sourced via Amazon I racked to a new FV because there was a very slight layer of something on top, and because I’d noticed a tiny amount of airlock activity since I measured gravity yesterday. I got to just below 20 litres and was impressed how clear the cider was, and how little sediment was visible on the bottom. To be fair we did rack the vessels we transferred from Port Erin back in November, but still. Very nice. Ambient temperature in the brewery was 19.9 ℃ and I didn’t bother measuring SG again since it won’t have changed much from yesterday.
Almost as an afterthought I filled two 500 ml flip-top bottles before the hops were dumped so that we’d have a comparison, adding 10 ml of Erythritol and three carbonation drops (target = 750 ml) per bottle. I know, over-carbing again, but I really think that two drops isn’t enough for half a litre when it comes to cider, and hope that three drops won’t put us into gusher territory just yet.
Measured gravity at 1.009 and decanted into a fresh demijohn, leaving behind about a quarter pint of mostly sludge. Tasted a bit rough and seeing as there’s clearly a bit of yeast left we added 250g of white sugar dissolved in warm water, replacing the liquid that was lost along with the sludge and hopefully giving the remaining yeast another chance to produce more alcohol. If not then at least it’ll be sweeter, though we can’t bottle it until specific gravity reaches 1.006 and it was 3 points over before we added the sugar. Will leave it a couple of days to see what happens.