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Old 05-20-2008, 06:45 PM   #1
May 2008
Posts: 13

Hey everyone,

I started to brew my first batch of beer (IPA) yesterday (05/19/08) and I have a question about the siphoning process.

Browsing these forums and reading the literature that came with my home brew kit, it is apparent that sanitation is one of the most important aspects of home brewing. I am beginning to read up on the next step of the brewing process and I will need to siphon the contents of the plastic primary fermenter to my glass secondary fermenter.

Anyways, it appears that my home brew kit is asking me to siphon in a similar way you would siphon gas from a car. It seems that with all the bacteria in your mouth, it would be pretty easy for some bacteria to get into the secondary fermenter?

Am I totally wrong about this, or does anyone have any tips to avoid infecting my beer?



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Old 05-20-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
Kwanesum Chinook Illahee
ShortSnoutBrewing's Avatar
Oct 2007
Portland, OR
Posts: 3,213
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Get an Auto Syphon. You'll be glad you did.

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Old 05-20-2008, 06:51 PM   #3
Aleforge's Avatar
May 2007
Wentzville, Missouri
Posts: 1,232
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I have the type of Siphon that you blow into the little disc and it forces the beer out so your mouth never touches the tube. There are some other types also that make starting the action easier. What type do you have? If its the standard one I have heard many guys filling up the tube with sanatized water, plugging the end, then sticking the cane into the carboy. Release your thumb and the sanatized water creates suction starting the siphoning action.

In any event without the easier method I hate trying to start it the old fashioned way like your doing. It takes some practice for sure.

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Old 05-20-2008, 06:52 PM   #4
bradsul's Avatar
Sep 2006
Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,898
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Some people will swear by the 'gas syphon' method, personally I don't think it's a great idea. Get yourself an auto-syphon from your LHBS or any of the major online suppliers, they are the best investment in your brewery for under $10 and make your life much simpler.

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Old 05-20-2008, 06:53 PM   #5
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,568
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There are several sanitary ways to start a siphon. The easiest is to use an autosiphon-

You can also do the "fill the siphon equipment with sanitizer, hold your finger over the end and then drain into a cup until the beer flows, then put it in the carboy", which is what I did until I got an autosiphon. With practice, it's fairly easy, but not as easy as the autosiphon!
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
Registered User
Apr 2008
Memphis, TN
Posts: 464
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:55 PM   #8
May 2008
Posts: 13

Thanks everyone,

I'll run out and grab an Auto-Syphon!


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Old 05-20-2008, 06:57 PM   #9
Sigafoos's Avatar
Aug 2007
Buffalo, NY
Posts: 847
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Another vote for the autosiphon... along with the bucket lid opener, it's the most valuable piece of equipment I have that didn't come with my starter kit. There's also a cheap DIY solution from FlyGuy that I'll probably use when my autosiphon breaks, because that thing is a PITA to clean.

Edit: Whoa. Four posts, including two of my link, in the time it took me to type that...
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:27 PM   #10
springer's Avatar
Feb 2008
Wappingers falls NY
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Before I bought an auto syphon I just filled up the racking cane and tube with (cooled) boiled water then covered the end of the tube with my sanitized thumb put the racking cane in the beer and just release my thumb instant syphon. Just let the beer run a few seconds into a cup just to clear the water.
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