Question for carboy cap users

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hoplobster

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Hi.

I remember a thread a while back about those that use carboy caps, but I can't find it so here's a quick question for you guys.

Do any of you keep a racking cane in one of the ports of a carboy cap while the beer is fermenting? I was thinking about this at work today and thought it would really simplify the racking process as long as the cane can be sealed during fermentation; just attach a sanitized hose to the racking cane, blow to pressurize the carboy and instant siphon! I'm thinking it's like adding a diptube to your carboy.

I've always disliked how cumbersome racking can be, even with the aid of an autosiphon and this seemed like a good idea that could make transfers just that much easier.

Does anyone do this? Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

Brewsmith

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My only concern would be that it could get plugged with yeast during fermentation. It's bad enough trying to clean the gunk off of the fermenter when you're done, but trying to get it out of a racking cane would be a nightmare. I'd say it's not worth the hassle.
 

rabidgerbil

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I would highly advise AGAINST this line of thought...
there are two reasons.
First, if anything plugs up your bubbler, the pressure that builds up can end up pushing beer up and out the racking cane, and this would be a huge mess.

Second, if you are going to blow into the carboy, which is not the most sanitary means of starting a siphon, do it through the port of the carboy cap, so that you are blowing in onto a layer of co2 that will help to protect your beer from any bacteria in your breath. If you blow through the racking cane, you are going to bubble it up through the beer, and this would be a very good way to increase your risk of contamination.
 

Germey

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I just slipped one in and tried the blowing thing (have fun with the innuendos there:D ) and will not bother again. I was a little surprised at how much lung pressure it took to get that column of liquid up and going. Forget about reestablishing it if you lose it near the bottom. I have used my CO2 bottle on very low pressure and just turned on long enough to get the flow going. I think I was safe, but the image of a carboy bomb haunted me nonetheless. Irrational probably, but a little like toy clowns ever since Poltergeist.
I find the auto siphon much better.
+1 one on it possibly clogging with gunk if left in for the fermentation.
 

EdWort

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I use bucket with a spigot. Gravity is my friend. My Apfelwein on the other hand is done in Better Bottles. I use an Auto Siphon which works great.
 

derogg

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I leave a racking tube in the center port when I use my carboy as a secondary. I just cap the tube and put a three piece airlock in the other port. There is only a small layer of yeast after the beer clears. I can put a siphon tube on the racking cane and siphon into my keg. Search the original thread here. It is a wealth of info. - Dirk
 

Got Trub?

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I just insert a sanitized racking cane when it is time to rack. I use my aquarium pump with sterile filter connected to the other port on the carboy cap and that produces sufficient pressure to start the siphon and transfer the beer. This allows only filtered air into the carboy. Like others above I don't see any utility in leaving it in from the beginning and the potential for disasters as mentioned.

GT
 

jds

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I try to do it the other way. For kettle to primary, I use the cap to start the siphon, and SUCK to start. Same-same for racking to secondary.

I've heard that by giving corny kegs a final rinse with super-hot water and clamping the lid while hot, you can start a siphon through the liquid dip tube. I need to try this sometime.
 

Donasay

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I have a specific carboy cap that I use just for transfering beer out with a racking cane and my CO2 tank. I wouldn't leave the racking cane attached in the cap during fermentation as the pressure in the carboy may be sufficent to push some beer up the racking cane. But when you are ready to transfer put the racking cane in the carboy cap and use it to get the process started.

I stuff the racking can through the middle hole and hold it in with a worm clamp, then attach my CO2 line to the angled nipple on the side and push in about 3 psi of CO2. This pushes the beer out of the carboy and into any other vessel you have sitting right next to it or even up on a higher shelf. No need to move it off of the floor no need for gravity feeding, just make sure you watch it. Pressure builds up in there, and can cause the carboy cap to pop off the top. Do not under any circumstances fasten or tie the carboy cap onto the bottle, the glass carboys could explode or shatter. It does work really well and minimizes the chance of oxygenating your beer when transferring between carboys or into the kegs.
 
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i was using a racking cane that i cut off about 4" below the bend as a blow off tube, but that broke, so now just use a tube attached to the center stem of a 3-piece airlock. i ALWAYS rack with a SS racking cane in the big carboy cap hole and the sanitary filter in the little hole, just like the pic from morebeer that raceskier posted. i wouldn't leave it in during primary. i have so many carboy caps laying around i just grab a sanitized one and setup my siphon. as for not having the lung power to start a siphon i've never had a problem, but then again i was a bass trombone performance major in college, so my lungs are probably better conditioned than most to push large volumes of air for an extended period of time.
 

SuperiorBrew

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Germey said:
I just slipped one in and tried the blowing thing
:D :D :D

EdWort said:
I use bucket with a spigot. Gravity is my friend. My Apfelwein on the other hand is done in Better Bottles. I use an Auto Siphon which works great.
I got a deal on a couple of the BB Racking Arms and High Flow Valves, I liked them so much I actually paid the $30 a set for 2 more sets, It's fricking nuts that the bottle is only $25 but the racking arm and valve cost you $30.
Works great for hydro samples, snatching a glass of Apfelwein every now and then while its still ageing in the primary (helps me wait longer) and you can rack almost every drop with no trub in minutes with just the piece of hose.
 

bbriscoe

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How do you get that spigot out and back in when cleaning your carboy? Seems like it would be difficult to re-install since you can't get your hands into the carboy.
 
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