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Old 11-22-2011, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default Accidentally Siphoning Yeast

Does anyone have any tips to avoid siphoning some of the dead yeast when racking to the secondary? Or any useful tips for filtering out some of the smaller things in suspension like fruit pulp?

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Old 11-22-2011, 04:49 AM   #2
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Read somewhere about using stainless steel or cheesecloth around bottom of racking cane to allow liquid only to come through.

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Old 11-22-2011, 04:55 AM   #3
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FWIW, the yeast is very much alive (assuming your gravity dropped). It will settle to the bottom of your secondary, so no need to worry about getting some in the siphon. You have TONS of yeast cells still in suspension, even once clear. This is not a problem.

Good idea with cheesecloth for fruit.

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Old 11-22-2011, 05:50 AM   #4
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I was used a little peice of linen cloth just tie it with the mouth of the tube.
This can avoid the residue in your mead from the primary but that is not mean the alive yeast will be left in your primary.

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Old 11-22-2011, 07:51 AM   #5
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for secondary rackings; I store the carboy with a slight tilt so the yeast settles to one side. Then a day before rack, I carefully sit the carboy up straight. Then rack with the racking cane tip on the clear(er) side.

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Old 11-22-2011, 01:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ExoticMeadMaker View Post
for secondary rackings; I store the carboy with a slight tilt so the yeast settles to one side. Then a day before rack, I carefully sit the carboy up straight. Then rack with the racking cane tip on the clear(er) side.
Good idea, I am going to try this next time!
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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I start the siphon halfway between the top and bottom of the carboy and just lower it as the level drops. If you start the siphon at the bottom, right in the yeast cake, you're going to suck up a lot of gunk.

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Old 11-22-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
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Don't worry about it. The yeast is not dead...it's flocculated out, which means it's dormant.

When you are racking if the bottom of the siphon is in the cake, you will get some coming through, BUT after a few seconds the liquid WILL run clear...what happens is it forms "runnels" in the cake after a bit- it cuts a path in the yeast and runs clear.

One trick is to start siphoning by lifting the buttom of it above the yeast cake, then once it is flowing SLOWLY set it on the bottom, and it will run clear after a bit..


But don't sweat the yeast

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Old 11-22-2011, 01:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Revvy
One trick is to start siphoning by lifting the buttom of it above the yeast cake, then once it is flowing SLOWLY set it on the bottom, and it will run clear after a bit..
This is what I do but I also use a piece of nylon paint strainer bag wrapped on the bottom of my auto racking cane but also about a hour before I rack I tip the bucket and prop it. I start about half way down and then slowly start dropping it to the bottom
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TyTanium View Post
FWIW, the yeast is very much alive (assuming your gravity dropped). It will settle to the bottom of your secondary, so no need to worry about getting some in the siphon. You have TONS of yeast cells still in suspension, even once clear. This is not a problem.

Good idea with cheesecloth for fruit.
Yeah I realize that there is still plenty in suspension. It's more that I don't want to be pulling as much from the bottom of my primary. And same for when I'm bottling.
But thanks for all the input. I have some cheesecloth left over from a mango-pineapple melomel, so I'll give that a shot next time. I don't think it'll catch any of the yeast but it'll catch the fruit at least.
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