Starting the siphon with your mouth, Dangerous?

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StrictlyIPAs

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I feel like this would be easier than the fill with water method I've read about. But will this drastically increase my chances of introducing a foreign organism to my beer?:drunk:
 

Evan!

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NO, do not do this! If you don't like the fill with water method, go out to fermentation trap and pick up an AutoSiphon. Easy as pie! Mouth-started siphons are dangerous---the bacteria lurking in your mouth is extremely plentiful and would like nothing more than to spoil your brew...

Oh, and welcome to the forums from a fellow c-villian. Are you a CAMRA member?
 

Slappy White

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Siphoning with your mouth is a bad idea...I tried it with one of my first batches and ended up with a very plasticy off-flavor....It runs a very high risk of contaminating your beer and also oxidizing it, which are two things you don't want. Look into getting an auto-siphon from your LHBS. Makes it a hell of a lot easier:mug:
 

Homercidal

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+1 on the autosiphon. I lived dangerously myself until I was recommended to try one. It's well worth the small price.

The other design is cool as well, but since I already had the autosiphon before I saw tha tone, well....
 

DubbelDach

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I've never had a problem mouth-siphoning... Done it 3 times after breaking auto siphons and the brew shave been fine. Some of my best in fact, but I'll attribute that to being partial mash or all grain instead of extracts.

My award winning technique was to swish with vodka, swallow, and prime the siphon.
 

Evan!

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I've never had a problem mouth-siphoning... Done it 3 times after breaking auto siphons and the brew shave been fine. Some of my best in fact, but I'll attribute that to being partial mash or all grain instead of extracts.

My award winning technique was to swish with vodka, swallow, and prime the siphon.
Well, look, I'll be honest: it's more difficult to infect your beer than many people let on, but I'm of the mindset that you're better safe than sorry. You might've made several non-infected batches by mouth-siphoning, and you might never get an infection from it as long as you live...but it does increase the chances of infection.
 
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StrictlyIPAs

StrictlyIPAs

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If I do the method in which I fill it with water (with a non-auto siphon), do I let that water go into my bottling bucket?
 

will_cbe

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I'll stick to my technique of filling the hose, boiling hose with water in it, and siphon beverage.
 

Mirage

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You fill your tubing with water, plug the end of the tube (not racking cane side) with your sanitized finger. Stick racking cane into fermenter (not all the way to the bottom) clip it on with the clip, put a pot or something other than your bottling bucket lower than the fermenter and let the water and a LITTLE bit of beer out into the bucket. Plug the end again and this time put it in your bottling bucket. :) Works great!!!
 

Revvy

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Why does anyone still bother with any kinda "old school" siphoning, when for uner 10 dollars there's something that makes it effortless as two pumps to start a siphon, with no risk to sanitization?



Bob's your uncle.
 

Evan!

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If I do the method in which I fill it with water (with a non-auto siphon), do I let that water go into my bottling bucket?
First off, make sure it's star-san solution and not water that you use to start it. Second, like Mirage says, let the starting liquid and the first bit of beer drain into another bucket before switching to your vessel.
 

Kevin Dean

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With an autosiphon at $9 and a batch of beer usually at more than $9, I don't know why people even take risks with this one. Siphoning by mouth is too risky for me. (And more work than I want to do)
 

DubbelDach

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Well, look, I'll be honest: it's more difficult to infect your beer than many people let on, but I'm of the mindset that you're better safe than sorry. You might've made several non-infected batches by mouth-siphoning, and you might never get an infection from it as long as you live...but it does increase the chances of infection.
Agreed. I was in a pinch though, and I didn't know how to do this:

You fill your tubing with water, plug the end of the tube (not racking cane side) with your sanitized finger. Stick racking cane into fermenter (not all the way to the bottom) clip it on with the clip, put a pot or something other than your bottling bucket lower than the fermenter and let the water and a LITTLE bit of beer out into the bucket. Plug the end again and this time put it in your bottling bucket. :) Works great!!!
Didn't even think of it. But for 34 of my 37 batches, I've had an auto-siphon on the job.
 

DeathBrewer

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i used to use the auto-siphon regularly, but i've been told by many experienced brewers that none of the bacteria that live in your mouth will have an effect on the beer. it's my usual method now.

one thing that is nice about NOT using the auto-siphon is the way the tube grabs against the side of the glass. allows you to not have to constantly keep your hand on the siphon.

anyway, i have never heard of anyone infecting a batch by using their mouth to siphon. but by all means, keep it clean...good practices are there for prevention.
 

flyangler18

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one thing that is nice about NOT using the auto-siphon is the way the tube grabs against the side of the glass. allows you to not have to constantly keep your hand on the siphon.
Rubberband a clothes pin to the autosiphon :)
 

DeathBrewer

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yeah, but then you have to move that rubberband. with the hose, you can just push on it a little and it will go further down the glass but keep the suction.
 

Evan!

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yeah, but then you have to move that rubberband. with the hose, you can just push on it a little and it will go further down the glass but keep the suction.
First off, I don't know what you mean about the tube "grabbing the side of the glass". My regular racking cane is the same material as the autosiphon.

Secondly, if you have the spring-type clothespins, you can get that sucker to slide all the way around the outer autosiphon tube without any rubber band...then you just push it down a little further as need be. It's my method of choice...purdy sweet!
 

farmbrewernw

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Last beer I used my mouth to siphon with turned out sour, never ever do this unless you like infected beer. I got an autosiphon after that.
 

DeathBrewer

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First off, I don't know what you mean about the tube "grabbing the side of the glass". My regular racking cane is the same material as the autosiphon.

Secondly, if you have the spring-type clothespins, you can get that sucker to slide all the way around the outer autosiphon tube without any rubber band...then you just push it down a little further as need be. It's my method of choice...purdy sweet!
i don't use a racking cane. i just use the hose. the hose curves and grabs the side of the glass due to suction, so it doesn't suck up anything other than the area where you place it. it's easy to move up and down and i've found it to be the most effective way for picking up a minimal amount of trub.

EDIT: it's also MUCH easier to see as it is right up against the glass ;)

Last beer I used my mouth to siphon with turned out sour, never ever do this unless you like infected beer. I got an autosiphon after that.
did you take a shot first? are you sure it came from your dirty mouth? :p

i'm just joking, i'm not trying to advocate the "sucking" method. i agree we should all do our best to avoid infection and take the necessary precautions so if our beer DOES go bad, we can pin it down.

i just use this method most of the time now because i'm lazy and enjoy taking shots :D
 
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I certainly would NOT recommend the practice, but I ignorantly did it on my 2nd batch and it turned out wonderfully.

Of course, this is compared to the first batch which was mediocre.


I have since purchased an auto-siphon and likely just got lucky.
 

TheSpoon

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Just so I'm certain what we are talking about here. Are you starting the siphon by sucking on the end of the tubing or blowing into the second tube from a carboy cap? From what I had seen somewhere the preferred method (assuming you don't own an autosiphon) was to blow (gently) on the longer part of the carboy cap.
 

Chriso

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I use my spigots 99% of the time.

I had a non-spigoted bucket, though, and kept breaking the siphon, over and over. That time, I did the mouth technique, but I did like DubbelDach - shot of vodka first, swish thoroughly for 15 sec, spit, then start the siphon immediately without swallowing. After two or three shots of vodka, I got tired of that, and took shots of StarSan instead.

No infection, to my recollection, but I don't even remember which batch that was.

I use the spigots for everything since then. Siphons suck.
 

WhyTee

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Just thought I'd add my two cents. I use a turkey baster. I've never had a problem with it and not that I could imagine ever breaking it but if I did I could always get another one within a matter of minutes.
 

Germey

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I have an auto siphon now and like it for the other things it can do. I mouth siphoned for about 9 years though. I filled the tube with beer by sucking on the end with it above the top of the carboy, then clamp it. I kept a glass of near boiling water nearby (although starsan or liquor would be good too) an just submersed the end for about 10 seconds. Nice for restarting broken siphons, but the autosiphon is even better for that.
oh yeah, I've never had an infected batch in 12 years.
 

chelero

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OK, I can't get an auto-siphon where I live, but I'll probably get one the next time I'm state-side. that being said, I bottled my first ever batch of beer yesterday, an IPA, and in the heat of the moment I couldn't get the siphon started! :mad: I tried filling the hose with water, but I guess I was doing it wrong, so I panicked and grabbed the vodka, swished it like a mofo, and gently sucked to get it started(jeez, that's what she said). there's gotta be a less gay way to talk about starting a siphon. my question is, should I be OK for washing my mouth with vodka first? I promise I'll never do it again!(I liked the turkey baster idea-doh! that's what she said) and I'm drinking all my beer anyway, no matter how it tastes! somebody tell me it's gonna be alright this time:(
 

SumnerH

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OK, I can't get an auto-siphon where I live, but I'll probably get one the next time I'm state-side. that being said, I bottled my first ever batch of beer yesterday, an IPA, and in the heat of the moment I couldn't get the siphon started! :mad: I tried filling the hose with water, but I guess I was doing it wrong, so I panicked and grabbed the vodka, swished it like a mofo, and gently sucked to get it started(jeez, that's what she said). there's gotta be a less gay way to talk about starting a siphon. my question is, should I be OK for washing my mouth with vodka first? I promise I'll never do it again!(I liked the turkey baster idea-doh! that's what she said) and I'm drinking all my beer anyway, no matter how it tastes! somebody tell me it's gonna be alright this time:(
45 seconds of contact with 80% alcohol to sanitize. I'm guessing that your vodka is half that concentration even before it's in your mouth mixing with saliva, and that you swished for less time.

That said, you're probably okay--you won't know until they're carbed and you crack them open. People did this for years and much of the time had no problems--using good sanitation isn't the only way to get good results, but it helps move it from "much of the time" to "almost all of the time".
 

chelero

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ll.ll. hey, I read the newbie tutorials and used the search function!! I was certain I couldn't have been the first person to have this happen. and nah, I'm down mexico-way, and we don't have that kind of selection from my LHBS, I'll ask though. and the mail doesn't really work that well, either.
sumnerH, thanks-you're right 40% alc vodka, i doubt i swished 45 secs, but it was a good 20 or so. ive been pretty meticulous with every other aspect, so I'm hoping it won't affect it too much. but, LESSON LEARNED, i won't be doing that again. I'll be practicing my siphoning skills ahead of time for the next batch-thanks for the help
 

llazy_llama

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Ah, that explains it. I just assumed any LHBS would have one, but I guess I was wrong. It's a shame you can't just order online, but I'm glad at least someone was able to help you.

:mug:
 
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