Reliable way to siphon?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jmcnamara, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a plastic autosiphon and it's gotten really fussy lately. Seems I have to restart it 3 or 4 times and watch it like a hawk. not to mention there's a steady stream of bubbles in the tube.
    haven't noticed any oxidation, but it's still a royal pain

    ive been looking at using a 2 hole carboy cap with a hepa filter or whatever in one hole, and the racking cane in the other. you blow in the filter, it creates pressure in the carboy, and the liquid goes out. seems easy peasy. but, that wouldn't work with my 2 buckets.

    Now, one of those buckets is getting a little old, and i've got 4 carboys anyway, so maybe it's just not a big deal to toss the other bucket too and use carboys exclusively.

    i'd like to do this on the cheaper end, and i can't / don't want to get a pump at this point

    what does everyone else do?
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I use an auto siphon. I don't have a bubble problem. You have to have an air leak somewhere. On brew day, I use a customer racking cane in my boil bucket. I fill up a tube of water and pinch both ends and attach it to the cane to start a siphon. You could try that.
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    they wear out over time, I replace mine every few years. also if you ever use it on carbonated beer it freaks constantly, Ive had to just keep pumping right near the end so many times
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    just for safety I started placing my receiving keg completely under the carboy, it seams to have fewer issues
     
  5. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    You're not holding your mouth right.

    No seriously, have you tried submerging the tip of the a.s. to where you want it in the beer, then slowly drawing up to fill the tube, then starting the siphon with a single forceful down stroke.

    OMG - how much masterbatory inference is there in that sentence??
     
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  6. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Haha, I'm well aware of that method:(

    It's just that after maybe 30 seconds to a minute, it starting to sputter out. I try to tighten the clamp on the tubing side, squeeze the tubing, but it inevitably conks out.

    I did read about the method jeffpn does, but I think I'd need to see a video to fully get it. Plus idk if I trust myself to do that with only 2 hands

    I've heard of different ways to skin a cat, but what is this? Choking the chicken?
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I mostly got tired of lifting a 6 1/2 gallon carboy up onto a counter to siphon so I set up a pressure-transfer...Carboy cap with a racking cane running through the center nib and a tube running from my CO2 tank stuck onto the other nib. Works like a charm! ;)
    Very easy to keep the siphon exactly where you want it and it's a little faster, but you have to watch the pressure as it gets less liquid and more headspace. Either clamp the cap or keep a hand on it and keep the pressure low to begin with. It's possible to purge the tubing with CO2 as you purge the keg by keeping the end of the siphon tube up out of the liquid and pumping CO2 through the headspace of the carboy and into the keg. Beer never comes in contact with any oxygen during the whole process.
    It will blow up through your keg when you hit bottom. It's only CO2, but it can make a mess. Ask me how I know. :rolleyes:
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Stick a racking cane of any kind in the vessel you want to transfer from. Fill a tube (that can fit on the cane) with water. Pinch both ends of the tube, and fit the tube to the cane. Let the siphon start into a waste bucket until you get clear wort coming out. Then pinch the tube and put it into your carboy. Only 2 hands required. I do it every batch.
     
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  9. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    That..is a pretty clear description. Thanks

    Just so I'm clear, you mean the entire racking cane siphon dealy, or just the interior skinny plastic piece?

    Either way, that's definitely on the cheap
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Grab one of your old canes that isn't part of the auto siphon. Stick it in the wort. Then fill up the tube with water and attach it.
     
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  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    The only reason I mention another racking cane is because I'm trying to eliminate wherever your air is leaking in.
     
  12. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    That's a good point. I had popped off the little doohickey floating stop thing on my main one when cleaning and couldn't get it back in. The one I'm using now is from a second hand kit I had bought mainly for the bucket and glass carboy. So the rubber gasket probably isn't the best. Mine did seem to work better
    I'll fiddle with its but this sounds like a winner
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    it will not work without that piece in place and yes its a pain to get back in but it can be done :cool:, another thing you can do is fill your mouth with star-sans, spit it out then suck on a hose and siphon like the old days, racking canes and auto siphons were not around when I started brewing
     
  14. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Make sure air isn't coming in at the point the hose hooks up to the cane. Also look closely at the cane itself for small cracks. the rubber on the end of the tube shouldn't affect the siphon once its started. Make sure the one way valve on bottom of the big tube is free to move. Then have a home brew and check it againo_O.
     
  15. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    Somehow I feel like we are comparing apples and snowblowers here. It seems like some folks are talking auto siphon which is a multi-piece tool that relies on gaskets to be airtight versus others talking a racking cane which is a single piece - a narrow tube - and which has no capacity to leak air unless its broken. A racking cane matched with one of those orange carboy topper thingies will most likely fix your issue, as would a racking cane alone started as jeffpn outlines above. An auto siphon that leaks air won't.
     
  16. Nola_Brew

    Nola_Brew Active Member

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    I just switched to the siphon with the orange cap and heap filter. Used it one time and it was awesome. I hated using the auto-siphon. As mentioned before, I had to always restart mine and it was a PITA.
    So far I am completely satisfied with the new siphon and I recommend it.
     
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  17. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Son I've used the rubber cap and hepa filter combo. First time it worked great

    Last night it was going super slow. Tried hooking my cheapo aeration pump but that was ridiculously slow too

    Somewhere along the way, I got the crazy idea to hook up some co2. I was a little hesitant at first, but it turned out awesome. Super easy and I didn't have to fiddle with it every 2 seconds.

    Looks like I'll be fermenting in carboys mostly from now on
     
  18. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    I just open the tap ..... Gravity never fails !
     
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  19. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I thought with you guys being upside down all the time, you wouldn't even need a tap ;)
     
  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yea gravity is upside down here you have to watch out you don't just float away:D. That's why we need to drink lots of beer to keep us grounded lol:p.

    Get your self a tap as long as the trub line is below the tap level she'll be peaches.
     
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