Auto Siphon just won't work when I need it

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Edan Z, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Has anyone had an auto siphon that just won't work at the most critical moment?

    I bought this thing from my and online HBS it's plastic and looks just like any standard auto siphon. It seems to only work before sanitizing. I test it with Star San and everything seems fine. Once it sits in sanitizer for a while, and I'm ready to rack to a bottling bucket, the piece of crap just wont suck beer into the larger tube enough to get the siphon going. Nothing I do gets it going. It's as though the rubber gasket becomes too slick with Star San to do diddly squat.

    As such, it's useless, because I can't use it without sanitizing.

    Is this common? I'm afraid to waste more money on a new one and have it to the same thing.
     
  2. sn00ky

    sn00ky Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada
    Try putting a finger over the discharge end when you pull up on the siphon, creating vacuum, then push it down full stroke such that the volume displaces lower than the volume of the suction side

    Few rapid pumps could work too, but I found doing that stirs up too much
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    About 4 short strokes should be plenty to start it. If you're trying to fill the tube with one long stroke, it'll be hard to do. I just insert about half way down into the carboy or bucket, jiggle the siphon tube up and down a few times to start, then lower the end down closer to the bottom. I use a spring clip to hold the whole thing an inch or two off the bottom to keep the beer clear. When it gets closer to emptying, I'll lower as low as possible and tip the bucket or carboy.
     
  4. sn00ky

    sn00ky Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada
    Agreed to the half way up to start idea, that works and keeps your hands from touching your sanitized tubing end. it works for me, but I am weird enough to not only wash my hands, but spray sanitizer on it too when I touch the tubing like that lol!
     
  5. Nola_Brew

    Nola_Brew Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    246
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Looziana
    Save yourself the headache and get one of these. Makes life much easier.
    https://www.morebeer.com/products/s...-65-gallon-carboy-smooth-necks.html?site_id=9
     
    jmcnamara likes this.
  6. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    I'll agree with that. Even easier if you hook a co2 tank to the end of it :)
     
    Nola_Brew likes this.
  7. Nola_Brew

    Nola_Brew Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    246
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Looziana
    Yeah- that's my plan when I get a keg set up.
    I got so frustrated with the auto siphons I broke it in half when I was finished with the batch. Ordered the sterile siphon and never looked back.
     
  8. sn00ky

    sn00ky Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada
    So many ways...could also leave your sanitizer fluid in the siphon line, keep end plugged with finger, and then just put it in carboy. Once it gets lower it will start since the line is full of fluid rather than air. Of course, pour into a separate container until sanitizer is out...
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    I’ve been using one for many years and a couple of things to help you out, theirs a valve at the bottom that can get stuck or turned over, it’s a pain to put it back in if this happens also the rubber seal can harden, to fix it set it in some warm water to soften then pull some star sans through it and for best results always have your carboy completely above whatever you drain too, it will stop when the liquids are level to each other
     
  10. Edan Z

    Edan Z Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I need to change my fermentation buckets to PET carboys in the near future. When I do, I'll definitely go this route.

    The fermentation buckets retain a lot of funk from previous batches. Are PET carboys any better in that regard?
     
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    You don't to worry too much about left-over aroma like hops, etc. You do have to worry about any sort of infection or sour bug. That will pretty much spell the end of the bucket. If it's kept free of scratches, a bucket will last through a lot of brews. I use PBW to soak buckets and then sanitize before use and they've been quite good for me. I think PET carboys will have the same susceptibility. And if anything, may be harder to clean because you can't stick you hand in there.
    If you really want to guarantee against problems, go glass. Or spend the bucks for a stainless fermenter.
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,442
    Likes Received:
    9,512
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    I've been fermenting in the same bucket for over a year I'm clocking up 15 or so brews at the moment in it. I second JA s advice. give it a soak with a good cleaner straight after beer is racked out let that soak 24 give it a good rinse Finnish with boiling water to make sure and then phosphoric acid and you'll be apples me thinks. Plus no Auto sypon needed just a regular cheap as chips tap or faucet as youse like to call em. If the tap gets ugly toss it and for $1.50 you've got a new one.

    Now Edan Z if I were going to change my fermentation vessel I'd go stainless and I'd use a corny keg with a shortened dip tube suffer the 1.5 LT losses but pressure transfer with co2 to serving keg. I think this is the way to go ;). But I'm happy with me bucket for now.
     
  13. kingzcq

    kingzcq New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    1
    They are right,you should hook a co2 tank to the end of it--you can try:cool:
     

Share This Page

arrow_white