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Old 04-01-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
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Default Auto-siphon vs. Mouth

Hi y'all,

I have a question that I figure might come down to preference. I've heard from various people that you either cannot start the siphon with your mouth or that it doesn't make a difference. Some say that the bacteria from your mouth can ruin your beer while my local homebrew guy swears that it won't make a difference (and that if you want, you can sanitize your mouth with some vodka and a couple Hail Marys, but that sucking beer through a straw is one of the best parts about homebrewing...)

I have to imagine this board is kind of divided on this issue. Is it a matter of personal preference, or is it a very important sticking point?

Thanks

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Old 04-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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Never use your mouth to start a siphon,I don't care what they say. Your mouth is a germ riddled pit,they're even on your teeth! Get an auto siphon,it's way easier. Or better yet,put the white/red Italian spigots on your fermenters. They have a recess on the spout to except a 3/8" tube for racking or bottling. I love'em. The easiest way to do it & no mouth germs.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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I look at it as a comparison of cost. Save one batch from a bacteria infection, and you've paid for your auto-siphon (and this doesn't even account for the hassle of fixing any plastic equipment that is compromised in the process). I guess I would rather fork out the coin for an autopishon or find a way to prime the siphon w/o my mouth rather than risk losing a batch. I'm sure people have gotten away with it for years, but people get away with a lot of stupid stuff in the name of laziness or thrift.

The risk far outweighs the benefit, in my mind, so that's my decision made.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I don't use either. Starting a siphon is extremely simple.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #5
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I just hold the end of the siphon up at the same level of the top of my primary and pour a bit of water down the tube (but not enough to get into my beer-to-be). Thumb over it, empty the water I poured down the tube into my dishwasher to get the suction going then move it into my fermentation jug once it's transferring. No mouth, no auto-siphon (don't own one yet), doesn't lose or disturb things too much. I've also heard from people often that mouth is a germ-haven. That's not to say people haven't had success using that method, it just seems inviting disaster you don't need to add.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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I just do the carboy cap trick. I stick my racking cane in one nipple of the cap, and then gently blow in the other nipple to start the siphon.

You will hear plenty of "DONT EVER USE YOUR MOUTH" ... It depends on what works for you. Some people like to be over-cautious, some people like to scientifically measure every step of the beer, some people just wing it... All 3 have pros and cons...

Ive started about 200-300 siphons this way and havn't had a contaminated beer yet... But I suppose if I did... and I could somehow determine it was from the siphon method... I couldn't complain.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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It's one of the things we learned in the living sciences. We had to swab different parts of our mouth,then onto a couple different slides. You'd be surprised what we've come to co-exist with. It's the whole basic anxium behind War of the Worlds! IE; what we've become accostumed to began to kill them... So dodging bullets so far is not a good way to live. Just a cheap one,& nothing more. Having a cold,flu,or something worse might introduce something really nastie that the little bit of alcohol may not kill.
When it's so easy to avoid,I value my hide more than saving a couple bucks.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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There are few things that I will be so "line in the sand" about when it comes to brewing, but I simply cannot see any good reason to siphon by mouth. Spend 2 dollars on a turkey baster if you don't want to buy an autosiphon. Or just submerge the majority of your racking tube in the beer and put your sanitized thumb over it. Pull the tubing out, you'll have a column of beer in there, use that to start your siphon. Or use the method of filling with sanitizer and use that to start your siphon.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #9
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Yeah, I used my mouth when I bottled my first batch a couple weeks ago. FWIW, I did dip it in sanitizer after. It's fine, but I'll be using an auto siphon next time.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:17 PM   #10
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Flyguy has a genius way to start a siphon with your mouth sanitarily using a tee. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/flyg...osiphon-25774/

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