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Old 01-31-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
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Default How to Destroy an Auto Siphon and Get a Black Eye

Been contemplating sharing this story or not. Suppose it's better to share than to wait for somebody else to post about it happening to them.

When kegging, I use an auto-siphon, attached to a 10' length of 1/4" vinyl hose, with a ball lock liquid-side quick disconnect at the other end. This allows me to siphon straight into the bottom of an oxygen-free serving keg. Once they blow, I scrub them with OxiClean and hot water, pump 5 gallons of StarSan through, and seal them empty at 10 psi. Voila, they're ready for the next batch.

I went to keg a Honey Porter. Pulled the split ring on the pressure relief valve, didn't hear any whoosh of gas, and assumed I'd just not gotten a good leak at only 10 psi. I guessed that the CO2 had just slowly leaked out. Shrug. I attached the liquid disconnect just as the proverbial light bulb lit above my head as I made a realization.

That realization was that I hadn't felt the little "tug" of the relief valve opening. It had been stuck with something sticky, and the keg was still pressurized. But it was already too late.

BOOOOOM! For the first few instants, I was stunned. The auto siphon had blown apart. The second law of thermodynamics kicked my ass - the entire 5 gallon volume of CO2 at 10 PSI rushed out of the auto siphon in under a second. The racking cane portion flew up and smashed me in the eye, almost breaking my glasses. The other half flew straight down and cracked itself on the tile floor. I was left holding just vinyl hose.

Lesson learned: when siphoning into a keg, don't trust that the relief valve actually opened. Crack the lid itself open slightly to be sure.



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Old 01-31-2013, 06:30 PM   #2
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wow, good thing you had glasses on



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Old 01-31-2013, 06:31 PM   #3
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Ouch. Glad you're ok. Sorry about the beer.

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Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by pabloj13 View Post
Ouch. Glad you're ok. Sorry about the beer.
To be clear, I was holding the auto-siphon in mid air and hadn't uncapped the fermenter yet. The beer's fine. Had a glass last night, and really enjoying the porter.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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First thing I thought of is you suggested the Misses try something different for a night.

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Old 01-31-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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Glad you're alright...thx for sharing..

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Old 01-31-2013, 06:35 PM   #7
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OK you know someone is going to say it and it appears it will be me

Photo of the black eye or it did not happen

Sorry about the auto siphon though

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Old 01-31-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
First thing I thought of is you suggested the Misses try something different for a night.
This came to mind when you mentioned that.

Quote:
Veronica Vaughn: So it's um, the last day of third grade, and you have the teacher alone in your tent, what do you want to do?

Billy Madison: Well I can think of three things I'd like to do. One would involve some ice cubes and a nine iron. Two would include a buffalo...

Veronica Vaughn: Really?

Billy Madison: ...Live or stuffed, preferably stuffed for safety sake, and three, we bring back some of those ice cubes and switch it over to a pitching wedge.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmintman View Post
OK you know someone is going to say it and it appears it will be me

Photo of the black eye or it did not happen

Sorry about the auto siphon though
Guess it didn't happen then.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thadius856 View Post
To be clear, I was holding the auto-siphon in mid air and hadn't uncapped the fermenter yet. The beer's fine. Had a glass last night, and really enjoying the porter.
Ahh, I misread where you said the entire 5 gallons ran out (5 gallons of CO2, duh). Thank god.


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Bottled Robust porter, Founder's Breakfast Stout, Ommegawd Hellepin, Ed Wort's Apfelwein
RIP Snake Dog IPA, Biermuncher's OktoberFAST, Falconer's Flight IPA, Two-Hearted clone (Culturing Bell's Yeast), Noberon wheat, Skeeter Pee using dry yeast, Smooth Oatmeal Stout


Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard
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