Siphon Not Working

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escalante88

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Hey guys,

Successfully (fingers crossed) brewed and bottled my first batch last night - a brown ale kit from TrueBrew. Everything went well except that the siphon refused to work with the two gallons remaining in the fermentation bucket. My friend and I put water in the siphon to create the pressure gradient, but it simply would not work as it had with the first 3 gallons. Any suggestions as to why this happened and how to correct it?

Also, we tasted the fermented beer to see if it tasted ok, but I wasn't really sure what I was looking for. It was weak, flat, and tasted like it could probably someday be beer, and certainly wasn't oxidized or contaminated, but I wasn't sure what the flavor profile should be before priming and bottling it. It is hopefully going to be brown ale in about a month!

Thanks for any advice - definitely a neophyte here...
 

Yooper

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What kind of siphon were you trying to use? A racking cane and tubing, or an autosiphon, etc? Was the tubing clogged? How much lower was the receiving vessel from the original vessel? And, last question!, how did the siphon stop?
 
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escalante88

escalante88

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Thanks for the quick reply!

I should have addressed these details before - the siphon is a racking cane with tubing. The bottom of the bottling bucket was approximately 2.5 - 3 feet below the bottom of the fermentation bucket. It wasn't clogged, and there were no visible kinks or air bubbles. The following happened: I accidentally lifted the tip of the siphon out of the beer in the fermentation bucket, which abruptly halted the flow. My buddy and I refilled the tube with water to restart the process, put the bottling bucket end of the siphon in the bottling bucket with a thumb on the end, and then I inserted the sucking end of the siphon into the fermentation bucket and he released his thumb. Nothing happened. We tried this 3 times with no results. I hope this makes sense...
 

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Next time (and I hope there isn't a next time!) try filling the racking cane and tubing with water again, and then having a pitcher next to the receiving vessel. Take your thumb off the lowest tubing, and let the water flow until you have been flowing. Pinch the tubing near the bottom, and then place it in the correct vessel. Also, consider a bigger gravity differential between the two vessels. Maybe one on the counter, and one on the flow. That's more than 2-3 feet, I believe.

Last suggestion- buy an autosiphon! I was a winemaker first, so I was proficient at siphoning and didn't buy an autosiphon until a couple of years ago. I tell you- it was the best $10 brewing investment I ever made!
 

ChshreCat

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Since you siphoned a bit out already, the high difference might not be enough to get it started now. Stick a couple copies of the yellow pages under your fermenter to get it higher.

+1 also on the autosiphon. Makes it SO much easier. You just stick it in, pump a few times and it gushes. (giggity)
 
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escalante88

escalante88

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Ok cool. So gravity + autosiphon = no more problems. Thanks guys! I am going to begin with an India Pale Ale in a couple of days and will buy an autosiphon Monday. I appreciate your help!
 

arturo7

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e-88, siphoning is ridiculously easy once you get the hang of it. Just practice a little with some water.
 
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