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Old 11-04-2008, 09:40 PM   #1
coldrice
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Default An Embarassingly Humbling Question...

I don't think there is any way to ask this without sounding stupid, so here goes: I have the racking cane and 5 feet of plastic tubing...now how do i use it? Does one suck on it to get a flow going...and if so, doesn't your saliva contaminate the brew? I know its a lame question, but thanks for your help...additionally, does anyone have experience brewing cider with sweet mead yeast?

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Old 11-04-2008, 10:06 PM   #2
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I felt too dumb to ask and ended up breaking 2 canes before I figured it out..so here's what I've learned.

1. The tub goes onto the cane at the short end by the curve
2. Stick the long end of the cane into the barrel/carboy/etc
3. Suck on the tub end until the liquid is an inch from your mouth
4. Tip the tub down into the bucket/carboy/etc
5. It will flow
5b. If it stop flowing, start at step #3 and repeat

Yes..it will contaminate, but what else you going to do? Unless you spend $10 and get an autosiphon.

Oh...the tub may never come off the cane without breaking the cane or cutting the tub. I've just resigned myself to cleaning the entire unit as a single piece. (note two broken cans above)

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Old 11-04-2008, 10:09 PM   #3
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Maybe look into an autosiphon, no contamination and easy to use. Any LHBS or online supplier will have them. No worries about the question, we've all been there, some are still there, that's why we're all here.

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Old 11-04-2008, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldrice View Post
I don't think there is any way to ask this without sounding stupid, so here goes: I have the racking cane and 5 feet of plastic tubing...now how do i use it? Does one suck on it to get a flow going...and if so, doesn't your saliva contaminate the brew? I know its a lame question, but thanks for your help...additionally, does anyone have experience brewing cider with sweet mead yeast?

The basic idea of a siphon is that once you get a flow going, you use gravity to your benefit to keep it going. Lets say you plan on transferring your cider to a bottling bucket. The theory is pretty simple, you put your carboy/bucket/jug full of cider up higher then your bottling bucket, you start the flow (theres a few ways to do this), and put the plastic tube into the bottling bucket, making sure that the tip of the tube is lower than the bottom of the raking cane.

Still with me?

A few ways to start a flow: You can suck on the end, but as you said you risk contamination. In an emergency, some people have swished some vodka, or other strong alcohol in their mouth and then sucked the end of the tube.

If you have a carboy, some brewers put on a "carboy cap", which basically allows you to blow into the carboy to create pressure inside the carboy which starts flow.

Now, if you have a spare $12.99 I (as well as many others I'm sure) will recommend you get an auto siphon. It starts flow with a single "stroke" of the siphon. Very easy, very effective.

Hopefully I helped instead of confused you more. This was some long post about siphoning.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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Episode 011 - Siphoning Your Beer - Racking to the Bottling Bucket | Homebrewing Video - Beer Making & Brewing Videos
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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+Eleventy bijillon on the auto siphon.

Once you get one you will never use a racking cane again.

Now the only downside to auto siphons is the fact that you can't use hot liquid. Including hot water to clean. Stick with warm water for clean up.

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Old 11-04-2008, 10:57 PM   #7
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Fill the cane and tubing with water from the sink. Place your sanitized thumb over the tubing end. Move it from the sink and stick the cane into the bucket. With your tubing and thumb lower than the level of beer in the bucket release your thumb over a catch basin (or into the sink). When the colored beer hits the end of the tubing put your thumb back on the tubing and move it to your container of choice(below the level of you beer fermenter). Release your thumb and the flow will begin. Lower the tubing to the bottom of the bottling bucket or keg to prevent aeration. Congrats, you have now transfered your beer.

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Old 11-04-2008, 11:04 PM   #8
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Wow, freakin' awesome video...I recommend everyone watches that. Thanks everyone for your input, I appreciate it!

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Old 11-04-2008, 11:38 PM   #9
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Wow, freakin' awesome video...I recommend everyone watches that. Thanks everyone for your input, I appreciate it!
If you scroll around on that site, they have a whole video series starting with equipment all the way to bottling which is pretty good, and covers about every question that a beginning brewer has ever asked. I prob watched each of those a few times.

Hope the link helps

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Old 11-06-2008, 11:55 AM   #10
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A few ways to start a flow: You can suck on the end, but as you said you risk contamination. In an emergency, some people have swished some vodka, or other strong alcohol in their mouth and then sucked the end of the tube.

I use a sanitized barb fitting to get it started. Just barely press into the end of the tubing. Or a short piece of tubing barely over the end of the bottling wand.
Your mouth only touches this piece and you pull it away before any beer flows through it.
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