Brew 5 Dry Hopping

With trub collection finished, I'm now ready to try dry hopping via the collection bottle.

Brew 5 Dry Hopping

Brew 5 is made from Morgan's Royal Oak Amber Ale with their Caramalt liquid malt extract. It's been in the Fermentasaurus for about two weeks so far.

A few days ago I released the butterfly valve to start collecting the trub. The collection bottle is as full as I think it's going to get, and I'm keen to get the finishing hops in, so it's time to empty the collection bottle.

As you can see from above, this is a pretty straightforward process of shutting the valve and unscrewing the bottle. I was expecting a bit of a dribble, so I put a plate underneath. Nothing is under any pressure this time, though, so I wasn't expecting too much mess.

Notice also that not all off the trub is removed. There is still a small amount just about the valve connector, but I'm not worried about that, and I'm hoping at least some of that will drop when I add the hops.

If I wanted to, I could cap the bottle and put the yeast away in the fridge to use as a starter for next time. But I'm not going to do that this time. Instead, I just empty the bottle, rinse, and sanitise ready for my hops.

For the final week in the Fermentasaurus, I'm adding 50g of Mosaic hop pellets.

Mosaic hop pellets

These are pretty high in AA (12.5%) and I was advised to add 40g. But I like a nice hoppy beer, and I think Amber Ale style is strong enough to cope with a bit extra, so I'm adding the full 50g bag.

I'm going to pour the hops into the collection bottle, attach it to the Fermentasaurus, then open the butterfly valve. But I don't want to send a bubble of air up through the beer when I open the valve, so I'm going to flush the bottle with CO2 before attaching.

With the bottle attached, I'm ready to open the butterfly valve.

Initially, the hops looked like they were stuck, but I could see that they were moving, and some were making their way to the surface of the beer.

Dry hop pellets on the surface of the beer

And that was it - dry hopping without opening the fermenter!

Two days later

After two days, most of the hops had settled back in the collection bottle.

There's more trub in the fermenter now than before, but I realised the collection bottle is literally full of hops, so there's nowhere for it to go (should have stuck to 40g, maybe?).

Also, with the pressure lid in place, I'll be kegging this beer from the top, under pressure, so I should be able to avoid picking up any of that trub. If it gets any worse, I'll empty the collection bottle and refill before kegging.

Altogether, I'm very happy with this brew and process. With the addition of the pressure kit and CO2, I really feel like I can be a lot more controlled, and I'm less likely to have the spigot catastrophes of brew 4. I'd love to give it a taste, but I'm trying to be patient until I can properly flush and sanitise my beer lines (which now have disconnects or picnic taps on each end).