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Old 09-09-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
Flocculation Nation
scrambledegg81's Avatar
Sep 2009
Los Osos, CA
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So I'm coming up on transfer day, coming from the secondary (carboy) to primary (plastic fermentor w/ spigot) to settle. In the last 4 batches I've done, I've been using the Auto-Siphon, and every time it's been a major PITA to transfer, even with extension hose attached. I find it near impossible to keep pumping on the siphon, prevent it from sucking up sediment, and keep the extension hose from flopping out of the primary and creating a mahoosive mess.

Surely (Shirley?) there must be something better to transfer with?
Primary: nada
Secondary: emptyness
Bottled/Fridge: Sierra Nevada Celebration
Bombers/Growlers/Aging: The Abyss, Firestone 19th Anniversary Ale
Kegerator: sanitizer!
Coming Up: something spiffy, most likely

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Old 09-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #2

The auto siphon is great. It just needs to be used right. Plenty of hose and the right size hose will do it. If your hose is too big and doesn't fit very tightly on the racking cane, you'll lose your siphon.
He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven.

Another HERMS rig...

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Old 09-09-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
Jul 2009
Savannah, GA, US
Posts: 294
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+1 on the above post, also, make sure your source is higher than it's destination. Ideally you should only have to pump once or twice, then the siphon will take care of the rest.

From all the methods I've heard, I think an auto siphon is actually the easiest, not to mention the most sanitary.
Furry Friend Brewery

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Old 09-09-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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Feb 2009
Cleveland, OH
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The autosiphon has been a lifesaver for me. You definately won't need to keep pumping. Once you get the liquid over the top and going down through the tubing, you can stop. The siphon has started and will continue until you kill the siphon by bringing it out of the batch.
"Brewers enjoy working to make beer as much as drinking beer instead of working."
-Harold Rudolph

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Old 09-09-2009, 09:07 PM   #5
More Humann than human
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Oct 2008
the sun
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I have found the auto siphon to work great. the only thing I have going is most of my recent beers have not been light enough in color to see where the bottom of the tube is at so I just guess at about half way down to make sure I don't get sediment and listen carefully when the liquid gets to that level and then slowly inch it down with the liquid level until I get to the bottom where I can see everything.

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Old 09-09-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
Kwanesum Chinook Illahee
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Oct 2007
Portland, OR
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Use a jumbo binder clip to hold the siphon above your sediment. And as others have said, you should only need 1 or 2 good pumps to get that thing flowing.

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Old 09-09-2009, 09:59 PM   #7
Jan 2009
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I use my plastic killians tasting glass.It keeps it about 3 inches from the bottom,and wont disturb the sediment.When it gets close enough so I can see it I siphon up the rest.Also you might want to try using your bucket for primary and carboy for secondary.You cant see the fermentation but cleaning will be waaayyy easier.

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Old 09-09-2009, 10:19 PM   #8
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Aug 2009
Posts: 206
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Ditto for the autosiphon. I felt the same way you did the first time I used it. I had to keep pumping, couldnt keep a siphon going. I put a bucket below my sink and a big bowl of water in the sink and practiced until i was sure i had it. the biggest key for me is making sure destination is lower than where you are coming from. also, i use a 3/8" ID tubing and it fits perfectly on the cane thats inside the siphon. i use a hose clamp that you tighten with a screwdriver. it doesnt move or come off at all. I have about 5 feet or so of hose that goes all the way to the bottom of my carboy to minimize splashing. give it a chance...it really does work!

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Old 09-09-2009, 10:26 PM   #9
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Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
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May I ask why you're transferring from your secondary back to your primary again? You should be ready to bottle after secondary.

+whatever on the autosiphon. I have enough hose on my autosiphon so it reaches to the bottom of the vessel on the floor when I'm racking out of a vessel up on a waist-high counter. One pump and it drains the whole thing dry.
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

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Old 09-09-2009, 10:28 PM   #10
Limited Visibility
Feb 2008
North Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 579

another +1 for the autosiphon. I set my bucket on the counter top and siphon it to my bottling bucket or 2ndary that is sitting on the floor. 1 or 2 good pumps and you are on your way. Make sure your hose goes to the bottom of whatever you are siphoning into as-well.

Remember just cause it is an autosiphon does not mean it defies gravity

and I believe you are transferring into your bottling bucket??
Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings.

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