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Old 11-26-2009, 12:20 AM   #1
rshortt
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Default just racked my first cider

I just racked my first cider ever from primary to secondary carboy. I'm only making 1 gal for fun and want to keep the batches small while I'm experimenting. This one consists of two 1/2 gal jugs of store bought cider with no preservatives, 1/2 lb of brown sugar, and a packet of EC-1118 champagne yeast. If fermented like crazy and it's been two weeks, the fermentation slowed to a bubble in the air lock per just under a minute. I just racked it into another carboy.

How do you guys siphon your brew without drinking half of it? I had a few gulps - it tastes great BTW.

I started another gal batch in another carboy, consisting of 4 frozen from concentrate apple juice mixes (again no preservatives, just juice and vitamin C) and water. I poured the yeast sediment into this one as a starter. I used a higher concentration of juice in this one to try and get more apple flavor.

I can't wait to bottle my first batch!

-Rob

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Old 11-26-2009, 04:06 AM   #2
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When I need to do a siphon I sanitize an air lock and put that on the end of the hose.... lips only touch the air lock and not the hose. And make sure the hose is long enough to help hold the seal.

I normally have a bottling spigot installed in my buckets.... I connect direct to the keg and never need a siphon now...

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Old 11-26-2009, 04:11 AM   #3
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I use an auto-siphon to transfer my brews. I'm afraid that if I sucked some good brew or cider down that hose, I might not stop until I slosh when I walk...

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Old 11-26-2009, 04:30 AM   #4
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If you do not have an auto siphon the best way is to fill your siphon tube with sterile water or another sterile liquid before starting the siphon. Plug one end with finger and put other end into the brew. when you let go it should start the siphon. Let the water come out and be quick and stop the brew before it comes out. Empty water from the secondary and start the siphon again this time it should be all brew.

Putting any brew equip in your mouth before using is a HUGE no-no. I would get away from potentially disastrous habits like that before you move onto bigger batches. Trust me, you will regret not spending the $15 on an autosiphon, or taking a little extra time to siphon the way I typed out when you have a 5 gallon batch with mold floating in it.

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Old 11-26-2009, 04:42 AM   #5
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How's she gettin on? I'm surprised to finally see another Nova Scotian online. Welcome to HBT!

When I have to transfer from one carboy to another I use my auto-siphon, which only costs about $17 at our LHBS. It's a great investment and something that'll help you keep your cider sanitary. Once you've graduated to larger batches of cider you might want to consider installing a spigot into the side of your primary fermentation bucket (like jtrainer suggested). All of my primaries have them and it makes transferring into secondary or a keg very easy. Then once secondary fermentation is complete it makes an excellent bottling bucket.

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Old 11-26-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for the input. I'll keep my eye's open for an auto siphon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunarpancake View Post
If you do not have an auto siphon the best way is to fill your siphon tube with sterile water or another sterile liquid before starting the siphon. Plug one end with finger and put other end into the brew. when you let go it should start the siphon. Let the water come out and be quick and stop the brew before it comes out. Empty water from the secondary and start the siphon again this time it should be all brew.
Great tip, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunarpancake View Post
Putting any brew equip in your mouth before using is a HUGE no-no. I would get away from potentially disastrous habits like that before you move onto bigger batches. Trust me, you will regret not spending the $15 on an autosiphon, or taking a little extra time to siphon the way I typed out when you have a 5 gallon batch with mold floating in it.
Yes, this raised some warnings in my head. I am concerned about contaminating my brew.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeamusMac View Post
How's she gettin on? I'm surprised to finally see another Nova Scotian online. Welcome to HBT!
Awesome. What area are you in? Dartmouth here. What are the best places to get supplies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeamusMac View Post
When I have to transfer from one carboy to another I use my auto-siphon, which only costs about $17 at our LHBS. It's a great investment and something that'll help you keep your cider sanitary. Once you've graduated to larger batches of cider you might want to consider installing a spigot into the side of your primary fermentation bucket (like jtrainer suggested). All of my primaries have them and it makes transferring into secondary or a keg very easy. Then once secondary fermentation is complete it makes an excellent bottling bucket.
I was thinking of getting a bucket with a spigot. I'll do that when I move onto larger batches.

BTW I see you have an English bitter on the go. Have you tried Propeller's ESB? I like that one lots! Is yours anything like it?

Thanks,
-Rob
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunarpancake View Post
If you do not have an auto siphon the best way is to fill your siphon tube with sterile water or another sterile liquid before starting the siphon. Plug one end with finger and put other end into the brew. when you let go it should start the siphon. Let the water come out and be quick and stop the brew before it comes out. Empty water from the secondary and start the siphon again this time it should be all brew.

Putting any brew equip in your mouth before using is a HUGE no-no. I would get away from potentially disastrous habits like that before you move onto bigger batches. Trust me, you will regret not spending the $15 on an autosiphon, or taking a little extra time to siphon the way I typed out when you have a 5 gallon batch with mold floating in it.
If you don't have the auto siphon you can skip the filling with water and use an air lock.... YOU REMOVE THE AIR LOCK before letting the flow go... So your not mouthing the tubing.... Nothing unsanitary about it.... Also plugging the tubing with your finger is a contamination point...


A Bottle Spigot and 'J's Keg Filling Apparatus' is all you need.
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I brew the best beer around.... don't believe me, ship me a keg of your finest and I'll email a picture of me testing your beer with a write up....

OnTap: Rocky's IPA
OnTap: Wife's Ale
OnTap: Air
Fermenter: Vanilla Porter, Riley's Smile, Mead
OnDeck: Wifes Ale, J da Arrogant Bastard, Js Pale Ale, Rocky's Bark

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Old 11-26-2009, 09:48 PM   #9
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Hey Rob,

I live in in the South end of Halifax (close to school) and I've found that the Noble Grape has just about everything you'll need for brewing. Although Water 'n' Wine in Lower Sackville has a lot of not-so-common items and better prices on most items. There's a place in Clayton Park called Wine Kitz that is pretty good too, but they don't know much about making beer.

In regards to Propeller's ESB, I think it's probably my favorite beer. Garrison's Hop Yard Pale Ale would be a close second though... I'm hoping that my Special English Bitter is somewhat similar to Propeller's ESB but I haven't tried it yet so I can't say ha ha ha. It has been in secondary for 2 or 3 weeks so I'll be kegging it this weekend and I'll know how she turned out by this time next week.

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Old 11-27-2009, 12:46 AM   #10
rshortt
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Thanks man, I'm going to try to get to Water 'n' Wine tomorrow. I've been there before I was really interested in home brewing and noticed they had a lot of stuff. I work in Bedford so it's close.

About the ESB, I got onto that stuff over the summer when I discovered buying beer in growlers. It's been my favourite ever since.

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