FuzzyBrew and friends gathered in my kitchen last week to bottle two of the three batches we brewed a couple weeks ago. Jeff bottled his oatmeal stout last weekend, so we had left to bottle the brown ale and the Magic Hat #9 clone. Early in the day Mike bought another bottling bucket — this was necessary so each brew would have ample time to settle after being racked from the carboy.
This was especially important for the #9 clone — three pounds of apricot puree went into the beer for secondary fermentation and we wanted as little of it as possible ending up in the bottles. Excess apricot can go bad and continue to change the flavor of the beer over time.
We rack our beers from carboys with an autosiphon, an inexpensive little gadget that makes life so much easier. It takes one pump to get started and then will transfer the beer sans-hands. We use a sold-separately clip to hold the siphon in the mouth of the carboy.
We decided to rack the #9 twice — once to another carboy and then again to the bottling bucket. For the first racking, I started the siphon about halfway down the carboy, and as the level of the beer approached the end of the siphon, I would lower it an inch or two.
Essentially, I did this to better control at what level the siphon was pulling beer from. The carboy had a few inches of apricot on the bottom, and I wanted to make damn sure I transferred as little as possible to the second carboy. This worked better than expected. I saw no sediment transfer through the siphon — it’s the most-clear and light beer we’ve brewed yet. After close to three hours we transferred the beer from that carboy to the bottling bucket. We used a hop bag to filter any remaining apricot, but it was completely unnecessary. It tastes like it’s going to be pretty good.
While the #9 sat, we bottled Mike’s brown ale. It’s going to be fantastic. Can’t wait.
We also sampled the first bottle of Jeff’s Sublimely Self-Righteous ale clone, which we bottled a day shy of three weeks ago. Man o man, it’s going to be tasty. It hasn’t really carbonated much yet, but the malt and hops already present are magical.