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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Siphoning
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:10 AM   #1
Archer Troy
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Default Siphoning

Arite....WTF.

Im not really understanding what to do when siphoning. Ive been trying to do it for like 30 minutes now. I connect the 3 different hoses together

L-shaped ->tube-> the siphoning tube with rigid end

the L shaped is in my fermentor and the rigid end is in my bottling bucket. And the beer wont come. I have no idea what im doing wrong, and obviously the manhual that came with my kit is doing an AMAZING job at explaining it to me.

all help extremely appreciated!

cheers!

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Old 06-08-2007, 01:42 AM   #2
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That's not descriptive enough, sorry. Could you look at this page: http://www.northernbrewer.com/siphon.html
and tell me which equipment you have? Then I could give you the answer. There is tubing, auto siphons, racking canes, etc.

Still the answer that comes to mind is that you have to START the siphon somehow. If you have an auto siphon, that's one way. If it's not an auto siphon, you connect all the tubing/racking cane together and fill with water and then do it. I'll look up a picture, too, that I've seen before that has helped me.

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Old 06-08-2007, 01:44 AM   #3
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If you search for starting a siphon, you might see people using their mouths. That's not a good idea as you might contaminate your beer.

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Old 06-08-2007, 01:48 AM   #4
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I think you just need the L shaped tube and the flexible siphoning tube. The rigid one is the "bottling wand", and is attached to the flexible tube and inserted in the bottles. Don't worry about it for now.

You need to submerge the flexible tube in some sanitized water in order to get water into it. then lift it out, holding both ends up in order to keep the water in. Go ahead and clamp it tight at the end with the clamp. Attach the non-clamp end to the L-shaped rod. Then, you need to move it over to the fermenter and place the L-shaped rod inside the fermenter with the bent end at the top. Have an empty container (drinking glass will work) on the floor or near your bottling bucket. When you are in position and ready, lower the flexible tube over the empty container and release the clamp. This will start the flow, and you will fill the container with the beginning of the siphon liquid, which is the sanitized water. Once the beer begins to come out, you can clamp it again, and move it over the bottling bucket and release the clamp again, starting the flow of beer again. That's it! You may need to practice a few times first using water in your sink or similar place. Also, if you make a mistake and the siphoning stops (you lose the gravity), then just take the tubing out and back over to the sink and start again. It's a bit messy, but it'll work.

You might want to get an autosiphon to make things easier in the future. I need to get one too.

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Old 06-08-2007, 01:52 AM   #5
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I can't find that diagram, sorry. Also, remember to have your vessels separated. Maybe one on the counter, one on the floor. If they are not like that, you'll never get a siphon started.

How to brew's instructions:

How to Siphon
When racking or bottling , you cannot start a siphon by sucking on it or you will contaminate and sour the batch with bacteria from your mouth.

All parts of the siphon (racking cane, tubing, and cutoff valve or bottle filler) need to be sanitized, especially the inside. After sanitizing, leave the siphon full of sanitizer and carefully place the racking cane in your beer. Release the clamp/valve or your clean-and-sanitized thumb and allow the sanitizer to drain into a jar. Make sure the outlet is lower than the fermenter, or you will drain the sanitizer into your beer.

As the sanitizer drains, it will draw the beer into the siphon and you can stop and transfer the outlet to your bottling bucket or bottles. Thus you can siphon without risk of contamination.

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Old 06-08-2007, 03:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper Chick
When racking or bottling , you cannot start a siphon by sucking on it or you will contaminate and sour the batch with bacteria from your mouth.
Well you can, I have exclusively for 1 1/2 years with zero infections. Mostly wine which is less likely to be infected, but ~21 beers w/o problems. I am not disagreeing that its not more risky or some would say gross, but that's the way I was 'taught' and just kept doing it when I started brewing beer. Just playing devils advocate, Yooper Chick is right it is less sanitary.
But I feel the risk is negligible at best. I guess most would say that its best to err on the side of cleanliness, and say that whatever it is "will" contaminate your batch because others have said it. I just don't like anecdotal evidence being disseminated as fact. I realize though that we often have to trust or rely on that because we have no other option. I'm just trying to provide an option. Ok, I'll get off my soapbox. Sorry. Don't use your mouth like me really, I'm not being sarcastic - its less sanitary.

P.S. Sorry to disagree Yooper Chick, I don't want to pick a fight, I like our discussion(s). And like I said, you did give the best advice.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:51 AM   #7
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yeah...here's the way i figure it....

when i look back on a batch that went bad, i'd like to know what went wrong. if i know i siphoned correctly, i can rule that out and concentrate on what the other problem may be.

you could probably throw your beer in a rinsed out carboy, pour it in a bottling bucket, and put it into bottles without any sanitation and you MIGHT turn out with a great beer. people used similar methods for thousands of years. but if something goes wrong, how will you find the culprit???

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Old 06-08-2007, 07:18 AM   #8
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If you want to avoid using your mouth to start a siphon, and you don't have an autosiphon, here are two relatively cheap solutions:

1. Carboy cap: put a carboy cap on the carboy you are siphoning in to, put the racking cane through one nipple on the cap, and use your mouth to start a suction on the other one. This way, your mouth and the beer never meet.

2. T-siphon: See my sig for an even cheaper solution (essentially, a modified siphon hose with an extra line that you can safely use your mouth to start suction.

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