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Old 06-17-2011, 06:37 AM   #1
KellariKalja
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Default After 3 weeks of waiting, did I just kill my beer while racking?

Well, that didn't go so well...
I read all about siphoning, watched the videos, and even tried it several times with water before...maybe I had a bad siphon, it seemed to work sometimes and then not all at other times...or I just had no clue how to do it after trying 400 times.

So, I may have ruined my Brew, let me count the ways...
(feel free to let me know what you think)

1) I was finally able to siphon the beer to the other bucket with 150 grams of diluted, cooled dextrose in it...There were lots of bubbles in the process, way too much oxygen getting in the beer, and it was quite messy...Damn it.

2) While trying to get the siphon to work, the beer was just sitting there, lid off, getting exposed to lots of air. Great.

3) Each time I unsuccessfully tried to siphon, the water that was already in the siphon (cold water from the tap to fill the siphon and create pressure) kept leaking into my beer. Yay.

4) When that process was done, I began to rack the primed beer to the bottles. The pressure was strong and there were lots of bubbles as the siphon sprayed the beer into each bottle and bubbled up. Goodness.

Murphy's Law was in Full Effect last night. Water and Beer everywhere.
Yelled at my lady, cursed in five languages, and formed an ulcer or three...I am definitely investing in a bottling bucket for my next brew, if there is one....Help.


Please tell me that I didn't ruin my beer....it tasted so good when I tested some before starting the whole racking process and I was so optimistic...now I'm worried that I'll have watered down beer with zero carbonation...The only hope I have is that it looked like there were some small bubbles in the brew after racking to the bottles...


Only time will tell?



All help appreciated.

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Old 06-17-2011, 06:41 AM   #2
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your beer is fine... drink away... unless the little bit of water that fell in is full of life threatening bacteria that causes explosive diarrhea... other than that congrats on a finished brew and don't worry about it

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Old 06-17-2011, 06:46 AM   #3
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1) you mite have f-ed it slightly.
2) not a huge deal. not a good deal either, as long as it wasnt hours
3) cross your fingers
4) not good, you might have cardboard flavored beer. dont age beer, drink as soon (if) you can
5) apologize to your lady before someone else does. do it.

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Old 06-17-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
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I've never had any problems with oxygenation during a bubbly rack or bottling process. As long as you're not splashing and sloshing everything around I'm sure it'll be okay.

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Old 06-17-2011, 12:47 PM   #5
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If it tasted good going in, I can't imagine enough water got in there to dilute it all that badly. Contamination is possible, but only time will tell if it will be a problem. I wouldn't age it for long, but it should be just fine.

Apologize to your lady, and thank her for letting you make a mess of the place.

Get yourself an autosiphon for next time, they are pretty cheap and save a whole lot of headache. There is no filling the siphon with potentially contaminated water, it is stupid easy to get going, and short of a pump, it is the best thing that ever happened to transferring beer. A bottling bucket is nice, but if get an autosiphon, you can get by with a bottle filler attachment stuck in the end of your auto siphon.

Damn that Murphy.

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Old 06-17-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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I find an auto siphon to really help when racking to anything... except bottles. Get a bottling wand for that.
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...roducts_id=974

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Old 06-17-2011, 12:53 PM   #7
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Sounds like you were trying to rack straight into the bottles???

Try these next time.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/bottl...th-spigot.html

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/plast...le-filler.html

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Old 06-17-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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I was just thinking myself that it looks like you didn't use a bottling wand. You need one of those to fill the bottles gently from the bottom up. It keeps beer from becoming oxygenated when done correctly.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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No worries about contamination or the water diluting it, but the bubbles might have caused some mild oxidation. It's probably not a huge deal, but you may be able to taste it.

The 2nd-to-last beer I bottled was an IPA, and I had some issues with bubbles and other sources of oxidation on the last half a dozen bottles or so (long story). You can taste it, but it's not horrible. Ever get a pitcher at a bar and drink it too slowly, and the last couple beers aren't as good as the first couple? It's sorta like that. It ain't ruined, just not as good as it could be.

RDWHAHB, and just try and improve your process for next time

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Old 06-17-2011, 01:50 PM   #10
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By the way,I forgot to mention my latest little experiment. By the time our beers finish primary,get bottled (with cooper's carb drops),& sit three to four weeks,the hop/malt profiles are already beginning to degrade. So 1st of all,we switched to bulk priming,which seems to condition a bit quicker with some,way faster with others. So,on our last two brews,I also bought a bag of 144 o2 absorbing caps to bottle with instead of the regular caps. They def help to preserve the hops & malt flavors better. Not earth shattering,but def way better. So try those,144 count bag cost me only about a dollar more than the regular ones. Def worth an extra buck to save something I obsessed over.
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