Racking practice

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Well today, being the noob that I am and while cleaning up a glass carboy that I got off Craigslist, I decided to do a "racking dry run" with rinse water in my carboy into the bottling bucket. I'm glad I did this today because DAYUM!....what a PITFA!! I could NOT for the life of me get the dang siphon to maintain.:mad: I had the carboy at least 4 feet above the bucket and the damn thing would still break siphon. I checked my racking cane for clogs/cracks - nada. I will be going to the LHBS tomorrow to pick up one of those auto siphon rigs because if I don't have one when I go to rack from primary to secondary, it is SURE to be a cussfest DISASTER!!

Doing my best to negotiate the learning curve here...without crashing and burning. :D
 

Kaiser

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No auto siphon here. I start the siphon by sucking on the sanized tip from the turkey baster, that I use for sampling, which I stick into the end of the hose. Give it a good pull and pinch the hose before the beer gets to the end. Place it in the bucket and let it run. Takes some practice tough.

Kai
 

malkore

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yep, the real trick is completely filling the hose and racking cane before you try to let gravity take over.

the auto siphon is just convenient. make sure you store it in two pieces, to keep the seal nice and snug.
 

indylarry

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I just ordered my beginner kit yesterday and I intentionally ordered one from Northern Brewer that had an auto siphon. It just seemed like a lifesaver and it only cost me $7 more with shipping than from the LHBS.
 

Bobby_M

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The autosiphon has a fringe use that no other racking method has. Pumping. I use it for many things.

1. Sanitizing. When I'm sanitizing a recently kicked keg to prepare for a new batch, I connect my racking hose to a beer disconnect, put it on the keg and put the autosiphon down inside the keg and pump sanitizer through. It does the siphon, tubing, poppet and interior of the dip tube without wasting any CO2.

2. Yeast harvesting. Once I get all of the beer out of primary I use the "AS" to pump the yeast slurry into my jar. It's a lot more sanitary than pouring because you can have all kinds of bugs on the mouth of the carboy by then. The slurry can be too thick to be siphoned but it's pumped easily.

3. One-container sanitizing. Whenever you need to sanitize tubing using gravity, you always need a from and to container set at different heights. With the autosiphon, you can use a single container of saniting solution and simply pump it through the tubing and back into said container. You could coil the tubing into a bucket and hope the solution makes its way in, but you'll need more liquid in there to get it fully submerged.
 

Revvy

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malkore said:
yep, the real trick is completely filling the hose and racking cane before you try to let gravity take over.

the auto siphon is just convenient. make sure you store it in two pieces, to keep the seal nice and snug.

Whoa! You learn something new everyday!!! You mean you can dissasemble the AS? How do you do it? Does that also mean you can replace the racking cane without having to buy the whole shebang should you accidently break it off at the bend?

Not that I know anything about breaking a cane:eek:
 

Bobby_M

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Well, you can pull the cane completely out of the larger tube. That's it. BUT... it's pretty important to try to clean out gunk from the nooks and crannies of the rubber seal at the end of the cane. I didn't think of it for like 10 rackings and it was nasty. I didn't get any contaminations, but I'm surprized I didn't.
 

Funkenjaeger

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Bobby_M said:
Well, you can pull the cane completely out of the larger tube. That's it.
You can also pop the end cap off of the main tube, exposing the little one-way valve in the tip, if you wanted a little more access to clean it. I've never really noticed any nastiness in there though, as I always rinse immediately after use.

Removing this cap might make it nicer for pumping yeast slurry as well, since you could get the end pretty much flush with the bottom rather than raised up a half inch or so by the cap, and it'd also be a bit more of a straight shot for the slurry which might make it pump easier. Never tried it though, so who knows.
 

bradsul

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Funkenjaeger said:
...Removing this cap might make it nicer for pumping yeast slurry as well, since you could get the end pretty much flush with the bottom rather than raised up a half inch or so by the cap, and it'd also be a bit more of a straight shot for the slurry which might make it pump easier. Never tried it though, so who knows.
Definitely pop the end cap off if you're going to pump slurry. You can get every last drop of the yeastie goodness that way. :mug:
 
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