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Old 01-12-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
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Default Siphoning - How low do you go?

Dear Helpful Homebrew People,

Regarding siphoning...what's your philosophy when racking to secondary and racking to a bottling bucket (I assume they're different). At what point do you stop siphoning? When the slightest bit of solids are there, all the way down to the trub/yeast cake, somewhere in between?

I tend to mostly take pretty clear fluid when racking to a secondary and try to get almost no cloudiness when racking to a bottling bucket, but I'm wondering if I'm leaving behind too much, especially when racking to secondary. Thanks in advance for the thoughts.

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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Too much is your preference.

I still end up getting a little bit of cloudiness when racked to the secondary. Doesn't really hurt anything and will settle back down to the bottom after a couple of days.

Worst case scenario will be that your bottles might have some sediment at the bottom. Learn how to pour right, and non of it will get into the glass.

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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I use a brite tank (keg) so I tend to go for every drop of liquid or until the beer runs out of the gas post.

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #4
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I always try to siphon yeast into both my secondary and bottling bucket.

Mid way through the transfer, I'll plunge the racking cane into the yeast cake for a quick shot of settled yeast. I bottle condition, and want to make sure I get a little dusting of yeast. Maybe it doesn't mater, but I had one batch that did not carbonate very well, so now I always make sure to get a little yeast in suspension.

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex View Post
I always try to siphon yeast into both my secondary and bottling bucket.

Mid way through the transfer, I'll plunge the racking cane into the yeast cake for a quick shot of settled yeast. I bottle condition, and want to make sure I get a little dusting of yeast. Maybe it doesn't mater, but I had one batch that did not carbonate very well, so now I always make sure to get a little yeast in suspension.
That's exactly opposite of what I do! I try to stop the siphon as soon as the beer isn't perfectly clear coming up through the racking cane. There are plenty of yeast in suspension so I don't feel that I need the flocculated stuff. I want clear, sediment free, beer aside from the light dusting of yeast on the bottom after bottle carbonation.

Just goes to show you that there are many ways to get the job done!
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I try to stop the siphon as soon as the beer isn't perfectly clear coming up through the racking cane.
That's generally what I've done too, Yooper. So in your mind, you're aiming for maximum clarity and are willing for that to cost a bottle or three worth of final volume, is that right?

Also, do you tilt your bucket or carboy as you get near the bottom to get a little closer to the trub or do you just leave it sitting flat when siphoning.

Thanks again to everyone for the replies.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
That's generally what I've done too, Yooper. So in your mind, you're aiming for maximum clarity and are willing for that to cost a bottle or three worth of final volume, is that right?

Also, do you tilt your bucket or carboy as you get near the bottom to get a little closer to the trub or do you just leave it sitting flat when siphoning.

Thanks again to everyone for the replies.
I place a little piece of wood under the carboy to make the tilting a little bit easier (Less hands).
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:26 PM   #8
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I slowly lower the autosiphon tip until it just touches the bottom. It leaves about a half gallon in the carboy, but I get really clean transfers with very little yeast.

Unless your hand slips and it plows through the yeast cake, like the lager I brewed last...

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Old 01-12-2011, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
That's generally what I've done too, Yooper. So in your mind, you're aiming for maximum clarity and are willing for that to cost a bottle or three worth of final volume, is that right?

Also, do you tilt your bucket or carboy as you get near the bottom to get a little closer to the trub or do you just leave it sitting flat when siphoning.

Thanks again to everyone for the replies.
I would say that a bottle is not even close- perhaps 5-6 ounces at the most!

I was a winemaker first, so I'm pretty proficient at racking clear beer without getting hops debris or sediment. I do tilt the carboy for most of my beers, but stay above the sediment.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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Unless I'm doing a wheat beer that I want to be cloudy I lower the auto siphon until I start to see sediment then clip it to the side of the bucket at that level. I'm not super anal about not sucking up sediment, but I try and keep it as clean as possible without jumping through hoops.

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