FlyGuy's T-siphon: a $3 replacement for an autosiphon

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
As much as I like my autosiphon, I find it clumsy and a pain to clean. I also really prefer a narrow racking cane when siphoning from carboys because the autosiphon is too wide to fit down into the bottom 'corner' of the carboy.

So, I came up with a different design for a siphon hose that doesn't require an autosiphon. I call it the T-siphon. Here are the parts:



1 x nylon barb tee (whatever size fits your siphon hose): $1.99
1 x cheap hose clamp: $0.99
siphon hose (I assume you have that for your autosiphon already - so no cost)

Basically, all I did was cut my hose in half and insert the T. Get another piece of hose as long as the top piece (i.e., the half that will go up to the vessel you are racking from) and attach it to the middle barb on the tee. Put the hose clamp on this piece of hose.

Just make sure that the top piece of hose is long enough that the tee can hang LOWER than the vessel you are racking from. Here is what it should look like.



Now to siphon -- this part works so well and it is so easy, you may never use your autosiphon again (I sure won't!).

Insert your hoses/racking cane(s) into your vessels. Make sure the tee is below the height of the top vessel. Now stand up and give one good quick suck on the third hose (middle tee) to get the liquid flowing. As soon as you see the liquid reach the tee, clamp down with the hose clamp near your mouth. The liquid will go right by the tee and into your second vessel! Too easy.

Oh, to ensure that you don't get a mouthfull of beer (or worse yet, contaminate it), try to get the tube that you suck on above the height of your top vessel.

If you try it, let me know if it worked for you! I wish I had figured this out years ago!

-- FlyGuy
 

fshnne1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
113
Reaction score
0
love that idea should work great, I will build one this weekend
 

kornkob

Resident Crazy Uncle
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
1,856
Reaction score
29
Location
Madison WI
Very neat.

I'll keep my autosiphon though as it also doubles as a wine thief for taking samples.
 

JayMckeever

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
Location
Pittsfield
I never got around to getting an auto syphon, and now it looks like I won't have to. Thanks for the idea!
 

The Pol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
11,390
Reaction score
116
That is sweet... why didnt I think of that!
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
14,262
Reaction score
777
Location
Southwest
This makes entirely too much sense. I like it!

If you wanted to get REALLY excited about sanitation, a turkey baster could be used to start the siphon. I used to use one at the bottom of my siphon hose, and it was always a bit of a mess. There is no mess with your design.

Kudos!
 

cweston

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2006
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
23
Location
Manhattan, KS
Yup--that's the same basic principle as siphoning w/ the carboy cap: create a pressure differential, and the siphon will flow from positive to negative pressure.

The thing I like about the carboy cap, though, is that it holds the racking cane in place so it can be left unattended. (Of course you could still use a carboy cap for that purpose with your setup, as long as the vessel you're siphoning from is a carboy.)
 

cweston

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2006
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
23
Location
Manhattan, KS
Yuri_Rage said:
This makes entirely too much sense. I like it!

If you wanted to get REALLY excited about sanitation, a turkey baster could be used to start the siphon.
Or use a sanitary filter (like what's used in an aquarium pump aeration system).
 
OP
FlyGuy

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
I don't think sanitation is much of an issue because you are only creating suction (not blowing into the tube), and the parts your mouth touches never touch beer.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,178
Reaction score
4,105
Location
Whitehouse Station
That thing sucks, literally ;-)

Looks like a good solution for anyone who already has racking canes. For anyone starting out though, I'd still give the autosiphon a leg up. Why? Well, first it allows you to pump sanizer through your tubing which is a neat little trick. Also, it's only 9 bucks which is pretty close to a racking cane + the Tee and clamp. Very innovative nonetheless, keep it up.
 

brewman !

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
2,080
Reaction score
217
If a guy wasn't careful he could learn a few neat tricks on this board ;)

Nice job, Flyguy.
 

krispy d

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2007
Messages
609
Reaction score
5
Location
Old Saybrook CT
nice set up! I just might build one of those. but then how would I get a big mouthfull of still beer when I'm racking into my keg? Uh Oh...
 

magno

Sound Level Technician
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
999
Reaction score
49
Location
Austin, TX
Thats awesome.

If and when I break my autosiphon, that will definitely be the replacement.

- magno
 

zoebisch01

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
5,180
Reaction score
11
Location
Central PA
Ahh sweet and simple and cheap! What's not to love. No more Turkey basting wort into the tube to fill it for me...!
 
OP
FlyGuy

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
One note to add -- the t-siphon DOESN'T work as well with really long siphon hoses. I found I had to pinch below the tee and then suck to get the siphon action going with a longer (>5 foot) siphon length. Then it worked fine.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,178
Reaction score
4,105
Location
Whitehouse Station
That was one of the questions I was going to ask earlier. How do you create suction when the outflow hose is open to air. Obviously the quick pinch of the hose is an easy fix.
 
OP
FlyGuy

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
Bobby_M said:
That was one of the questions I was going to ask earlier. How do you create suction when the outflow hose is open to air. Obviously the quick pinch of the hose is an easy fix.
With shorter hoses (or presumably thinner diameter hoses), it wasn't an issue -- all it took was one quick suck on the hose to get the liquid moving. But with longer hoses, I couldn't do it. Had to pinch below the tee.
 

abracadabra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
10
Location
Newnan
FlyGuy said:
One note to add -- the t-siphon DOESN'T work as well with really long siphon hoses. I found I had to pinch below the tee and then suck to get the siphon action going with a longer (>5 foot) siphon length. Then it worked fine.
Not to belabor the point, but I kind of thought this part was a given. :)
 

abt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Messages
81
Reaction score
3
Should you be concerned about aerating the wort as it passes by the tee? Not sure I like that part. Maybe there's a cheap way to put a twist-off valve or something right at the tee.
 

The Pol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
11,390
Reaction score
116
I have used this T method now for a while... but I just broke my racking cane, so I might as well get an autosyphon!
 

GoatFarmersInternational

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
126
Reaction score
0
Location
Goat Falls, MT
magno said:
Thats awesome.

If and when I break my autosiphon, that will definitely be the replacement.

- magno

That is almost verbatim what I was going to say... I already have the flyguy MLT, I can't wait for whatever is next!

Just now realizing this is an old thread... Perhaps there is a new invention out there already?
 

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
927
Location
St. Louis, MO
I never had an autosiphon...but...I don't know.

It just won't be the same if I can't walk around the house with a racking cane & hose filled with tap water...dripping all over the floor...my SWMBO yelling at me...spilling it half the time, and starting over and then getting a mediocre "suck".

Yep. This definitely makes way too much sense for me.
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
I congratulate you on your inginuity, but why do you find the autosyphon difficult to clean? :confused:

To clean/sanitize and autosyphon all you have to do is put it in a bucket of sanitizer and pump it once to get the hose filled up and let it sit. ;)

I think your contraption (which is a variation of a simple sprayer) would be more difficult (with more parts) to clean/sanitize.
 
OP
FlyGuy

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
homebrewer_99 said:
I congratulate you on your inginuity, but why do you find the autosyphon difficult to clean? :confused:

To clean/sanitize and autosyphon all you have to do is put it in a bucket of sanitizer and pump it once to get the hose filled up and let it sit. ;)

I think your contraption (which is a variation of a simple sprayer) would be more difficult (with more parts) to clean/sanitize.
Sorry, not difficult. Just awkward since it is so long.

But actually, now that I spent a wopping $3 and got a wallpaper tray, it is pretty easy. So I use both.
 

CollinsBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
422
Reaction score
3
Location
Jacksonville, FL
This works great....however, how do you keep your tubing from curling up?? I got about half of my wort siphoned to secondary when the bottom of the tubing floated to the top and lost suction. It turned out to be a real PITA!

Is there a way to keep this from happening? Or better yet, is there a way to straighten out the tubing so that it goes all the way to the bottom of the carboy?
 
OP
FlyGuy

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
No, I haven't had this problem. I am not sure what kind of tubing I use, but it stays pretty straight. I have also used it with a racking cane, but the idea doesn't work as well then because the added length/height of the siphon makes it harder to start.
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
FlyGuy said:
Sorry, not difficult. Just awkward since it is so long.

But actually, now that I spent a wopping $3 and got a wallpaper tray, it is pretty easy. So I use both.
So, you had to buy extra equipment...that cost should come up to the price of an autosyphon...:confused:

I'll stick with my AS it's easier to use and clean. Thanks.;)
 

CollinsBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
422
Reaction score
3
Location
Jacksonville, FL
I own an autosiphon as well but the carboy that I had my Oatmeal Stout in was given to me by someone and the opening at the top wasn't large enough for my autosiphon to fit into. I'm going to have to get another one I think because my beer thief won't fit into this one either which makes taking a sample for gravity readings a PITA as well.

Because of this, I ended up having to pour my stout into secondary....slowly. I hope I didn't cause it any damage. I think what will help the curling up of this new tubing is to put it in some really hot water to soften it and then stretch it out straight.
 
OP
FlyGuy

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
homebrewer_99 said:
FlyGuy said:
Sorry, not difficult. Just awkward since it is so long.

But actually, now that I spent a wopping $3 and got a wallpaper tray, it is pretty easy. So I use both.
So, you had to buy extra equipment...that cost should come up to the price of an autosyphon...:confused:

I'll stick with my AS it's easier to use and clean. Thanks.;)
Actually, no, I think you misunderstood. The additional cost of the wallpaper tray was for the autosiphon to allow for easier cleaning and sanitization. That actually INCREASES the cost differential! :)
 

Schlenkerla

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Messages
16,776
Reaction score
5,871
This is cool. I thought of something similar before I bought an auto syphon.

I was thinking about using a $5 fish tank air pump.


  • Use the carboy cap method, the cane in the airlock hole and push air into the blow off hole

    OR
  • Do Flyguys idea with the pump doing the sucking.

I don't like sucking on anything other than a bottle of beer or fine cigar. :D

Ok - a hooter too.

:mug:
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
1,200
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
FlyGuy said:
Actually, no, I think you misunderstood. The additional cost of the wallpaper tray was for the autosiphon to allow for easier cleaning and sanitization. That actually INCREASES the cost differential! :)
Ah! I can see that if you disconnect the hose from the cane, but I don't. I just put the AS in the bucket of sanitizer and pump it once to fill the hose and just let it sit there for a few minutes before using. ;)
 
OP
FlyGuy

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
224
Location
Calgary, Alberta
homebrewer_99 said:
Ah! I can see that if you disconnect the hose from the cane, but I don't. I just put the AS in the bucket of sanitizer and pump it once to fill the hose and just let it sit there for a few minutes before using. ;)
Yes, right. I take the whole thing apart and wash every surface.

I had a nasty wild yeast contamination from a bad no-boil wort kit once, and it infected all my plastic equipment. I ruined a few batches of beer before I threw out all my plastic equipment. Ever since then I am a maniac about cleaning plastic. So perhaps I go overboard, but honestly, with a bottle washer and a wallpaper tray, neither the siphon hose or the autosiphon are that hard to clean. It just takes a bit of extra time (especially for the AS). But I am always in a hurry, too, so I tend to use the t-siphon more than my autosiphon now.
 

Schlenkerla

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Messages
16,776
Reaction score
5,871
If you do fly guys idea....... what if you used your bottle filler as the sucking piece. It will automatically check when you release the lip lock.

:rockin:
 
Top