Anxious about transferring into pressure barrel

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DonBon

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Hey folks,

Many thanks to everyone for help and support so far - I really have no way of actually knowing, but it certainly seems like everything is going well so far!

I'm at the point where I would like to transfer my fermented beer into a pressure barrel, but I'm not entirely clear on what I should be seeing or looking for before I do so. There are a few key concerns I have that I'd love some advice on:
  • The gravity has not fully stabilised - I took a reading of 1.010 on Saturday and 1.008 today. My understanding is that I need to wait another 48 hours and recheck gravity, waiting until it gives a constant reading.
  • However, I added my hops on Saturday due to a complete lack of self-control and an overabundance of impulsivity. As this is an IPA, I believe I should be dry-hopping and really shouldn't have the hops in the bucket any more than two or three days before moving it into the keg. If that's the case, I don't want to leave it too long before siphoning.
  • The layer of chewy goodness on the top of the beer has turned a slightly concerning shade of desaturated grey-green. If I was looking at food in the fridge, I might say it was mould. However, having added the hops a couple of days ago I wonder whether it's broken up and caused the effect. Photo included for details.
  • How much effort does it take to ensure there's nothing coming through the siphon other than tasty beer? Presumably there will be some amount of yeast and such that makes it through, but should I be worried about avoiding all visible chunky bits?

IMG_0024.jpg

Mmmmmm, chewy bits....

Thanks again for help and advice - here's hoping we get a good first brew!
 
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DonBon

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I should add: on taking the sample for today's gravity reading, I haven't noticed any odd flavours. If the stuff on top of the beer is mould or an infection, it doesn't seem to have impacted the taste of the beer.
 

jschein

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Its hops on the top. Most will settle out after a few days, unless you cold crash. You can rack below the hops if you get impatient. Also, dry hopping for a week or more is not unheard of.
How long has it been fermenting? And how many times have you opened the lid?
 
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DonBon

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Its hops on the top. Most will settle out after a few days, unless you cold crash. You can rack below the hops if you get impatient. Also, dry hopping for a week or more is not unheard of.
How long has it been fermenting? And how many times have you opened the lid?
Ok, perfect. Thanks for the advice. It's been fermenting eight days (Sunday 19th - present), with hops added Saturday 25th. Lid has been opened four times, I think. Maybe five. Took two samples for gravity reads, opened up to add hops, opened to take the photo. Probably one extra at some point.

Questions: what's a cold crash and what does racking below the hops mean?
 

jschein

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Cold crash is when you bring the beer temperature down to around freezing before moving to a bottling bucket or keg. This will drop a lot of hop and break material to the bottom of the fermenter.
Racking below the hops that are on top of the beer So you don’t get hops In your bottling bucket or keg. There should be mostly clear beer at the top of the fermenter when you transfer
 
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