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Old 03-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #1
milwaukee
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Default Problem with Auto Siphon/Dry Hopping Strategy

I dry hopped in a carboy. And I planned to siphon out with a small muslin cloth (essentially a hop bag) over the end of my auto siphon into my bottling bucket.

I ran into a major problem--which was that the resistance from the muslin bag overcame the seal inside the cylinder of the auto siphon.

What happened then was that the pull of the siphon started pulling air into the beer that was entering the siphon.

It took me long enough to figure out what was happening that in the meantime, the beer got pretty significantly aerated. Bummer.

I'm still going to condition it, see how it tastes.

And next time just prime a standard siphon--which would prevent the problem.

Just thought I'd share the mishap.

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Old 03-16-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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I had the same problem. It worked fine until the hops hit the siphon tip and then it just stopped immediately. Lost a gallon of beer.

My solution is to tie a nylon hop bag around the hose end in the bottling bucket to catch any loose hop particles that come through. I also only use pellets, no problems since.

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Old 03-16-2010, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. That sounds like it'll work better than what I was thinking.

It's also good to know I'm not alone! Thanks again.

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Old 03-16-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be so sure that the beer got aerated. If I'm understanding what you're describing, I don't think you were pulling air past the seal.

IMO, it's more likely that the muslin bag was causing CO2 to come out of solution as the beer past through the bag material and that was the gas you were seeing in the line.

I've seen this with a hop bag over a standard racking cane and enough gas entered the cane (from the submerged end) that it kept stopping the siphon. Pain in the ass.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:15 PM   #5
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I hope you're right.

I was actually worried about what you're describing... so I cut the muslin really pretty small. It was just large enough to cover the end of the cane with about 2 - 3 inches of slack. Then I rubberbanded it, and pulled it taught.

It was also pretty far submerged.

Given both of those things--I fear the only source of this amount of gas (which was really quite a bit) seemed like it had to be the gas above the seal in the siphon.

Anyhow. Again. I hope you're right. And I appreciate the post.

I was pretty psyched about the beer. It's an Imperial all-Centennial IPA. I got my fingers crossed that it doesn't taste like cardboard.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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I think it was brew your own suggested using a new copper scratch pad as a filter at the end of the autosiphon. I done it once and did not have a problem.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:20 PM   #7
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i dont see how an autosiphon can draw in air if the intake is below the surface of the liquid. its not magic. sounds like its not the bag but pilot error.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:44 PM   #8
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Maybe I'll try the copper scratch pad. Thanks for the suggestion.

There's a big hollow cylinder of air that runs down the autosiphon all the way to the bottom--even when submerged. It's separated from the beer entering the racking cane inside by a circular seal. So no magic required.

It was pilot error--but it was as I described.

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Old 03-17-2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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milwaukee...if you want to test whether what you fear is even possible (i.e. air getting past the seal), here's an easy test. Put the siphon in a bucket of water, get a siphon going and then obstruct the intake with a plastic baggie or something.

If air gets sucked in past the seal, then you "might" have something to worry about. On the other hand, if your siphon just stops, as I suspect it will, it was CO2 outgassing that was getting into your siphon line, as described in the above post.

Let us know how it goes, I'm curious.

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Old 03-18-2010, 01:47 PM   #10
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I think it was someone on here that suggested it, but I bought some nylon panty-hose, cut the foot off, sterilized it, rubber-banded it on the siphon and used that to filter out the hops. It made a wonderfully large bag to catch the ridiculous quantity of hops I used in my Pliny the Elder clone, and I was thoroughly surprised at how well it strained the beer.

Cheap, readily/widely available, worked very well. You just need to give the hops a place to fall away from the end of the tube.

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dry hopping, oxidization, siphon

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