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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > newbie question on siphoning
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
njbrew121
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Default newbie question on siphoning

i have a newbie question. i'm preparing to make my first batch which is going to be a stout. my fermenter is the plastic pail type. my concern is when i siphon the beer into the bottling pail, i won't be able to see the bottom of the pail and i don't want to pick up any sediment. can someone tell me how many inches off the bottom i should hold the siphon to prevent siphoning off sediment without losing unnecessary beer. thanks in advance.

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Old 08-17-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by njbrew121 View Post
i have a newbie question. i'm preparing to make my first batch which is going to be a stout. my fermenter is the plastic pail type. my concern is when i siphon the beer into the bottling pail, i won't be able to see the bottom of the pail and i don't want to pick up any sediment. can someone tell me how many inches off the bottom i should hold the siphon to prevent siphoning off sediment without losing unnecessary beer. thanks in advance.
depends on how much trub is left at the bottom of the bucket. what I do is lower it in and start the siphon. then start dropping the siphon down until the beer coming up the tube gets "creamy" looking (full of trub), then I just lift up the siphon a hair until the beer runs nice n dark (when doing a stout) and leave it there.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Don't forget to put a wedge, gently, (avoid stiring up the trub) under one side of the pail so you can keep as much beer as possible when racking.

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Old 08-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #4
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One thing I recommend for every brewer is the Auto-Siphon. Here is a short video on You Tube that describes its use

. By the way, this is not me in the video, I have no idea who it is, it's just the first video I came across.

On thing I have done on my Auto-Siphon is put a zip tie around the outside of the main body of it and kept the tail of the zip tie intact. The zip tie is put on loose enough so that I can slide it up and down the body of the tube. What this does is provide a "hook" so that you don't have to hold the Auto-Siphon in place above the bottom of the fermenter while you siphon. This goes for a bucket or a carboy. As the liquid level in the fermenter drops, just slide the zip tie up the body to lower the level of the siphon. Watch the outlet of the siphon and if you start to pick up a lot of solids, raise the tip a little. Also, as someone mentioned, slide a wedge under one side of the fermenter while siphoning to allow tilting.

This is the best and easiest way to get a siphon going. I would recommend this over a fermenter with a spigot on it as well. I have found that the spigots are prone to leaking, plus the ability to clean and sanitize the spigot is a bit problematic. Also, like a previous poster mentioned, you want to be able to adjust the level from where you siphon to avoid excess trub. The spigot does not allow you to do this.
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