Major siphon issues....

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Flic

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So I've been brewing AG for several years and have never had an issue with basic siphoning from the fermenter to the bottling bucket (I use an auto-siphon). A couple brewings ago, I was having issues drawing air into the auto-siphon and also losing the siphon altogether. I usually use a mesh bag over the end since I dry-hop quite a bit. I thought maybe that was the issue but I still had the problem after removing it. Sooo, I bought a new auto-siphon thinking maybe the seals had worn but on my last two beers, same thing happened and lost nearly 2 gallons on each one. Very confused on this as there are a ton of bubbles when it siphons and at times it completely stops. Fermenter is always on kitchen counter with bottling bucket on floor . I even had to resort to adding water to the hose and tried to start my own siphon today but I couldn't even get that going. Any words of wisdom here?? I'm amazed that this problem is plaguing me and I need to solve it before my next batch.
 

Schwind

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Have you tried using a smaller ID hose? My autosiphon will leak air at the point where the hose attaches to the siphon tube if it's too big. Usually not enough to lose a siphon but that might be the problem.
 

remilard

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I always thought autosiphons were a solution in search of a problem and given that they are causing you issues I will suggest the semi-obvious solution of not using them.
 

DeafSmith

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I have a large size (1/2 inch) autosiphon. I used to use vinyl tubing and had problems getting a good seal unless I used a smaller size tubing (don't remember if it was 3/8 or 5/16) but getting the tubing on the cane was always a struggle, even with hot water to soften the tubing. Now I use 3/8 ID silicone tubing and no more problems. The tubing slips on easily yet forms a perfect seal and has the advantage that I can boil it to sanitize.
 

BrewThruYou

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I think the tubing ID is the problem as it's leaking air. You can either get smaller tubing or try a clamp or ziptie on the end of the racking cane where it meets the tubing.

I bought a 1/2" autosiphon with 1/2" tubing and had the same problem. Hose clamp or super tight ziptie worked. Edit: Don't tighten the hose clamp too much or you could crack the racking cane plastic.
 
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Flic

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I thought it could be the tubing so I have had a hose clamp on it although I'm using 3/8" tubing. I am noticing the bubbles are coming up from the bottom of the auto-siphon as opposed to starting where the hose is attached so that may eliminate the hose being the issue.

whatsleftofyou - How long is your hose? Mine is 6'. I did replace the hose a bit ago (can't recall if problem started before or after) and it may be a little longer than before. I'll try to shorten and test it.
 

DeafSmith

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My 3/8 ID silicone hose is 6 feet long, so I wouldn't think that would be a problem. If the bubbles come from the bottom, it's either sucking air from around the seal or else it's CO2 coming out of solution - I've never had either problem. I just racked a stout last week with my auto-siphon and don't think I saw a single bubble the whole time until I got to the bottom of the carboy. Maybe the CO2 had a chance to come out of solution and reach equilibrium because it had been in secondary for a month and the carboy had sat out at room temperature for a couple of hours before I started racking?
 

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