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Old 11-07-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default Small Scale Ractking Techniques

Hello All,

I have several small scale "experimental" batches of hard cider and honey wine all of which are about a gallon. I wanted to know if anyone had a racking technique that didn't involve pulling out the full auto syphon to transfer the liquids.

While the auto syphon works well with the transfer, it just doesn't feel worth it to pull it out and clean it afterwards for just a small 1 gallon batch transfer. As well as honey wine likes to make it a little more difficult to clean. I have seen a few interesting techniques online but wanted to know if anyone else had simple and easy to clean methods.

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toboredtosleep

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Old 11-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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I either use my mini auto-siphon (sized for one gallon jugs), or just a piece of tubing. I siphoned for many years without an autosiphon, so I'm very proficient at racking anyway. It's not really any more work to sanitize an autosiphon than sanitizing just the tubing anyway, though.

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Old 11-07-2012, 01:40 PM   #3
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Yeah, the sanitation portion I don't really care about, its quick and I have to sanitize the fermenter anyways. The clean up after wards is just kind of a pain.

When you use the tubing do you just suck on the end of the tub until flow starts or are you more civilized and prefer a turkey baster? I never realized that they made "mini auto-syphons".

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Old 11-07-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toboredtosleep View Post
Yeah, the sanitation portion I don't really care about, its quick and I have to sanitize the fermenter anyways. The clean up after wards is just kind of a pain.

When you use the tubing do you just suck on the end of the tub until flow starts or are you more civilized and prefer a turkey baster? I never realized that they made "mini auto-syphons".
Neither- I fill the tubing with water, put my finger over the end, and start the siphon that way. It takes some practice, but it's quick and easy. I didn't even buy an autosiphon until a few years ago, when my old racking cane broke when I sat on it. (Don't ask. )
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Water in the tube I take it you just let it flow into the fermenter as well ?

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Old 11-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Mini Autosiphon ftw,



That's what they're made for.

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Old 11-12-2012, 01:06 PM   #7
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I tried the "tube only" technique Yooper, works well to rack and bottle my gallon of honey wine. To bottle it I added my bottling cane to the end of the hose so I coukd stop flow to change bottles but preserve the vacuum.

Thanks for the idea, works just as good as my autosiphon and less of a pain to clean and disassemble.

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:01 PM   #8
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If I don't want to use an autosiphon I use tubing with a "T" and a clamp on the third end to prime manually then close off. For breaking down a larger batch to 1gal jugs, I've been very happy with the bottling wand on the end as suggested above. Everyone ends up with a modified method that works best for them.

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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I did see that method and wanted to try it, unfortunately my mead bottling time frame demanded that I do it before I could get a chance to run to the store for the extra stuff I'd need. I had the tubing and bottling cane laying around.

I might implement that method for the small batches. Don't have to worry about loosing the vacuum because of stupid mistakes and having to restart it.

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Old 11-16-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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I used the water method for three years for almost all of my beers until I finally broke down and bought an auto-siphon. It takes about as long to sanitize the auto-siphon as it does to sanitize and fill the tubing with water so I didn't see a huge time saving with the auto-siphon but one big problem with the water technique is that you're introducing non-sterile water (unless I guess you can fill the tubing with distilled or boiled-then-cooled water) into your beer and basically un-sanitizing your bottling equipment. Usually didn't have any problems with it resulting in infected bottles but if you are washing yeast and using several generations your risk increases of the infection showing up in subsequent batches. I had a couple strains I was washing and reusing result in a few infected beers and I suspect the water in the tubing was the culprit because I haven't had any similar problems since switching over to an auto-siphon. I still use the water method on my sour beers because the risk of infection is virtually zero even where the cake is reused for subsequent sours.

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