Tips on using an auto-siphon

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switters

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I just got an auto-siphon and figured I'd test it out with water in the carboy before using it on my first batch of beer.

It didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped. It took several "pumps" to get the flow going and there was quite a bit of air in the hose. When the water level got down to 2-3 inches, there was even more air in the hose and I had to do the pumping a few times to get the flow going again. I'm concerned about this because I don't want to aerate the wort when I transfer from primary to the bottling bucket (which is what I'll use the siphon for).

I must be missing something, because folks say these are so simple to use.
 

Lcasanova

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maybe try using a hose clamp in the middle and stop the flow once you get it going, that might let some of the bubbles settle...dunno about the auto siphon though, the mini one I have hasn't given me any problems
 

JZinNM

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Try to figure out where the air is entering the hose. You should be able to see the whole length. There are only three places it can enter. The first is the seal at the bottom of the smaller diameter tube or cane. The second is the hose connection on the outlet of the cane. The third is a crack somewhere on the cane. If it's coming in at the bottom, then it's likely your seal on the cane. Take a look at it and see if it's crimped or not round. You may also try to get it wet first.

Lastly, make sure that you pump the siphon until you get a full flow where there is no air in the cane.
 

Freddy57

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I had the same problem with my auto-siphon. I put a little sanitizer water down the top of it so that it sits on top of the rubber plunger. It stopped the air getting in and my siphon runs all the way to the bottom like it should.
 

hlumbard

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Pull the plunger all the way up. Then press down in a 1 second stroke. Should work. Also, make sure you're testing with a full fermenter. If you only put a few inches in there won't be enough to start the siphon.
 

Bobby_M

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If you're using 3/8" ID tubing, it's very likely that air is leaking in. Try pushing it only the cane further. If that doesn't work, you probably want to get some 5/16" ID tubing instead because it fits nice and tight.
 

Dave258

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I had the same problem. Like Bobby said, the tubing that I bought was too big. Once I changed it, no more bubbles.
Good luck!
Dave
 

Revvy

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I've found that people who are having issue with their A/S are usually using too large a size of plastic tubing on the end....try using a plastic hose clamp like this, over the hose somewhere along the length before the bend.



Other people have found that the gasket on the bottom end of the racking tube (that fits inside the big tube) may be bad, or dried, some have added some keglube/foodgrade silicone grease around it to make a better seal, others just put some water on top of the gasket (like with a turkey baster) inside the tube, and that makes for an air tight seal.

Hit or miss Autosiphons are hit or miss usually because of a bad seal in one of the two afore mentioned spots.

And don't worry if you have to pump a couple times to get it going or if you get a air pockets sometimes, it really takes more than that to cause any damage to your beers, and we've all had a break in siphon or had to pump our autosiphon on occasion.
 
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switters

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Thanks for the suggestions. I do have 3/8" tubing, so I think I'll get some 5/16" and see how that works. But where do I get it? LHBS and AHB don't have 5/16".

EDIT: Nevermind, I just found it at Northern Brewer.
 

Zelbinian

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Apologies for the threadcromance, but I was testing out my siphon and found similar issues. The 3/8" tubing is definitely a problem, but the other thing I noticed is that the final moments of the siphoning will let a few gusts of air in. Is there any way to avoid that?
 
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