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Old 05-11-2008, 09:39 AM   #1
Sasquatchula
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Default DAMNIT,DAMNIT,DAMNIT! Partly filled secondary and aeration problem

I know, RDWHAHB!

Tonight I decided to rack my stout from primary to a secondary carboy. EZ beans, or so I thought. About 3/4 of the way my siphon quit and I could not get it started again. Rather than chill, I panicked and decided to finish using a sanitized turkey baster. Went OK but I got tired after a bit and decided to cut my losses. My "problems" are three-fold.

1. I got a bit of aeration in the process. Enough to get a small, maybe 1/8" head of loose foam on the wort.

2. I lost a lot. My 5 gallon carboy is perhaps filled with 3.5-4 gallons. I've got quite a bit of head room in the jug.

I'm not to worried about the aeration in transfer, it is what it is, but I am worrying about the partly filled carboy and further oxidation. Should I run out and get a 3 gallon and rack to that, or just wait and see? I plan to bottle in a week.

3. And finally, I can't get the bung to seat flush with the bottle top. Which I think would be best? I got it down about half way, but I can wiggle it out with "finger strength". Good, bad, don't know?

I hope it's salvageable, as I tasted the cast-off and it has some potential for being a good first batch


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Old 05-11-2008, 09:58 AM   #2
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Yes you're right, you panicked. Transferring into secondary with a turkey baster? I can't say I've ever thought of that. Next time the siphon quits, fill it with water and (while holding on to both ends) drop the cane into the beer and let go of the end. Siphon into a bucket until you see beer coming out, then move it to the carboy. I'm wondering how you lost a gallon of beer transferring?

There is a potential (NOT certainty) for oxygenation at this point, but I wouldn't dump it. If you drink it within the next few months it should be alright. Oxidation only happens with beers that have been aging.

Dry off the bung and the inside lip of the carboy, the stopper will fit. Also since this is secondary, you don't really have to worry about it popping off so much. If that doesn't work, you can wrap the top with sanitized plastic wrap and a rubber band.

If it's only going to be in the secondary a week, just leave it be. Disturbing it more can only be worse for wear. Also, in the future, unless you need the primary for a new batch you can leave it on the yeast cake until you transfer it to bottles. I bottled a tripel today that has been in the primary since March 29, and it's delicious.


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Old 05-11-2008, 03:36 PM   #3
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If you buy an auto siphon for about 10 bucks you will never have that problem again. I went through similar troubles until i bought mine with it stopping halfway
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:51 PM   #4
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An auto siphon is worth every penny. I can't imagine brewing without one now...
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
with a turkey baster? I can't say I've ever thought of that. Next time the siphon quits, fill it with water and (while holding on to both ends) drop the cane into the beer and let go of the end. Siphon into a bucket until you see beer coming out, then move it to the carboy. I'm wondering how you lost a gallon of beer transferring?

There is a potential (NOT certainty) for oxygenation at this point, but I wouldn't dump it. If you drink it within the next few months it should be alright. Oxidation only happens with beers that have been aging.

If it's only going to be in the secondary a week, just leave it be. Disturbing it more can only be worse for wear. Also, in the future, unless you need the primary for a new batch you can leave it on the yeast cake until you transfer it to bottles.
What can I say, I was inspired! As for the loss, I just got tired and dumped what was left. It was after 2AM, I was tired. As I look at the jug this morning I see it was probably not 2.5 gallons, maybe 1-1.25 that I lost.

I had meant to keep in secondary for a couple of weeks, but given the circumstance, thought I'd shorten it. Rest assured, even it tastes like the sweat on a donkey's testicles, I ain't throwin' the rest out! Well, maybe if it's that bad, but you know what I'm saying

And I did figure out the bung, rather it figured itself out.

Thanks for the response, and thanks to you other two for the +'s on the auto-siphon. I figured gravity works fine for the rest of the world, why not me?
Cheers, and happy mothers day!
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:30 PM   #6
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Hilarious
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:45 PM   #7
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Hahahha Turkey baster!!!!! I love it - certinally not somethng I would have ever come up with.

The only question I have - is if the siphon stopped why didnt you just suck on the end and get it going again? Gravity should have taken over from there. Or as these guys mentioned even better grab an auto siphon for next time - they are worth it.

Im sure you beer will be fine - look at the bright side 2.5 gallons is better then no gallons at all
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:20 PM   #8
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Sorry if this is insulting, but - was the destination carboy well below the primary you were siphoning out of? The siphon cannot possibly stall on you if you have the carboy on the floor and the primary on the kitchen counter(or workbench, or whatever).
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab View Post
Sorry if this is insulting, but - was the destination carboy well below the primary you were siphoning out of? The siphon cannot possibly stall on you if you have the carboy on the floor and the primary on the kitchen counter(or workbench, or whatever).
Yeah, 'bout 20-24 inches. Carboy on the floor, ferment bucket on a table. I wasn't watching the source end, that was the partners job. I was on the floor watching my beautiful beer when I hear "bloop...ssssllllrrrrrbbbb" and the siphon went dry. I just brain farted and couldn't get it going again. No worries, I'm over it and will chalk it up as a lesson learned. Now I'll just wait patiently for bottling, and consider if I want to do the same recipe to establish a base, or something different.


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