Losing siphon / leaving too much in fermenter?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Max Daddy, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Max Daddy

    Max Daddy New Member

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    Hi, I'm relatively new to home brewing (just bottled my 5th batch). I see a lot of people have different opinions on whether to rack to a secondary or not. I've been doing that, just 'cause it's what I was told to do the first time and I've kept doing it. In any case, both in racking to secondary and to the bottling bucket, I think I'm leaving too much beer on the bottom of the fermenter. I hold the racking cane as low as I can without having it in the trub. But I always lose the siphon with about 2-3 inches of beer left above the trub. Any attempt to restart it just leads to stirring up the trub. Because I lose this much with each racking, I only got 38 beers from this last 5 gallon batch :-(

    Any thoughts or suggestions on what I'm doing wrong? How many bottles should I be able to get from a 5 gallon batch?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    Less the yeast cake, I don't lose anything more than a few ml when siphoning.
    I don't rack into a secondary though...
    I leave (incl. dry hopping) everything in the primary for ~3 weeks, then I rack straight into the bottling bucket. Because the yeast is pretty much dormant by this point, I can siphon right down to the cake without pulling off any trub.
    Racking twice, 38 12oz beers isn't that bad. I get about 48-49 500ml bottles from a 25l. batch, depending on how careful I am when filling... :p
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    the auto siphon is raised up 1/2 inch from the end so look at the yeast cake level on the out side then lower it 1/2 inch, tape it if you have too
     
  4. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

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    You don't need to hold the auto-syphon just above the trub, tip your carboy and put it all the way to the bottom and let it be to do it's thing.

    http://youtu.be/abk6hNNGeAg
     
  5. Bassriverbrewer

    Bassriverbrewer New Member

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    i had the same problem when racking into the secondary and i was very nervous of oxidizing the brew. My solution was to buy a new 1/2" auto syphon and i made sure that i had the primary bucket was well above the secondary. I think the seal in the original syphon was not good, the 1/2" auto syphon provided and really good syphon action without stirring up the brew too much and raising the bucket just made sure that gravity was on my side. i now only leave a cupful in the bucket.
     
  6. Max Daddy

    Max Daddy New Member

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    Thanks for the helpful tips. I'll try these out on my next batch. After watching that YouTube video I think I'm definitely making things too difficult!
     
  7. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    First, leave your beer in the primary.
    A few minutes before racking to the bottling bucket, use a wedge or something to tilt the primary at a slight angle. Start your siphon higher up in your beer and then slowly drop the siphon down to the lowest piont of your fermentor and hold it there without moving until the beer has all transferred. A clamp can be an extra set of hands during this step.
    In your bottling bucket, on the inside of the spigot, attach a 90° threaded elbow and turn it so it points to the bottom of the bucket. This will allow you to maintain a siphon in your bottling setup until you get to less than 1/2 a beer left without tilting the bucket. The last 1/2 beer is for sampling! :mrgreen:
    I got 53 bottles from every batch when I used to bottle.
    If you have questions around this or anything else, feel free to contact me at the store during business hours.
    Good luck.
    Brian
     
  8. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    Hmmmm never considers this. Any chance you know off the top of your head the size of said elbow?
     
  9. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    3/4" pvc threaded elbow
    about $.80 at a big box store
     

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