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Old 03-25-2012, 03:17 AM   #1
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Default Will my auto-siphon troubles oxidize my beer?

I bottled today using an auto-siphon, and on many occasions, I was just pumping air into my beer.. I don't know if this is a common problem, but I kept having issues getting a good solid siphon going.

So, I probably pumped at least 20 times where air bubbles were injected into my beer in the bottling bucket. Is this going to cause oxidizing?

And is this a common problem with the auto-siphon.. sometimes taking a bunch of pumps to get the siphon going on its own?


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Old 03-25-2012, 03:42 AM   #2
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The yeasty beasties will probably eat up all the oxygen when they start eating the priming sugar. I wouldn't worry about the oxidation too much.

Is the siphon pushing air out the bottom into your bucket? If so you need to buy a new one because the check valve has failed. You shouldn't have that much trouble getting it started so you might want a new one either way.

Or did you have the bottling wand attached to the siphon? If so there was no where for the air trapped downstream to go so it went the path of least resistance out into your beer. In this case you need to start the siphon and use a clamp to hold the liquid in the line after it starts. Then attach the bottling wand. Either that it make sure the tip is pressed down when you start the siphon so the air can escape.


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Old 03-25-2012, 03:51 AM   #3
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Well when I first started the auto-siphon, it started up like a champ. But after about a minute, the siphon suddenly stopped. And when I re-pumped a few times, it was having a hard time getting going, and was causing bubbling of the beer in the bottling bucket.

Usually after a handful of failed pumps (and adding air bubbles to my beer), it would start siphoning normal for a little while again. This process repeated a few times until I got it all siphoned.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:55 AM   #4
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You may have an air leak somewhere that is breaking the siphon. I'd try to see if you can figure out what's going on with some water before you brew again. Maybe soapy water to see if any bubbles form due to leaks?
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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Thank you, DonutMuncher, for asking a question I was wondering about. I also had a problem of the hose reaching the bottom of the secondary just fine when the auto-siphon was in the down position, but when I raised it to pump, it raised up off the bottom and thus got a little of aeration that way too.

Sounds to me though, based on Ryush's advice, it's just a question of practice.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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I had an auto siphon that the seal between the cane and the outer tube was not good and it would draw in air when I tried to siphon with it. I solved the problem by taking a sanitized turkey baster and squirting a small amount of wort above the seal. Worked great after that. No bubbles.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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No problemo, Kanth

Thanks for the advice everyone. I guess I'll practice on some water buckets and try to isolate the problem.. it could be that my tubing isn't snug on the cane and could be drawing in air, or perhaps there is a leak.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #8
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Is your tube that connects the auto siphon piece snug,if not you may need to clamp it. Otherwise you may have just had some trub gunk clog your flow a little. Or like someone mentioned you may have a damaged valve where air is leaking from.If your tube fits on your siphon pump piece too easily then you need a smaller tube that fits tighter.I tried using a bit bigger tube once and had problems so i just used my origional older one until i got the right size for a new one.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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I have had issues with excessive trub/break/lees/pulp clogging the pick-up end of the siphon and breaking the seal.

I've tried wrapping a sanitized hop sock aroud the end when this has happened with very limited success.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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If you are using your auto siphon, I assume that you are racking to secondary or bottling bucket - which means that fermenation is done, which means that yes, you are running the risk of oxidation. This problem gets worse as the beer ages (gives a wet cardboard taste)... drink it faster than yo might have otherwise.

I have had similar problems with my auto siphon, but luckily, I was practicing with water when I discovered the issue. If you pour a little sanitizer solution on top of the plunger, it makes a nice seal, and the issues you describe will probably go away.

Note - I am assuming you are using a no-rinse sanitizer that won't hurt the beer if a tiny amount gets in it. If not, use sanitized water instead.


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