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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: monk on May 03, 2010, 10:09:33 am

Title: Siphoning Technique
Post by: monk on May 03, 2010, 10:09:33 am
Here's a newbie question: How do you guys siphon the beer out of primary into a keg without getting hop/yeast debris into the keg?

I rarely use a secondary, and I tend to get a fair amount of break material and hop particles into my carboy.  How do you siphon in such a way as to avoid getting that junk into the keg?

Thanks, guys.

monk
Title: Re: Siphoning Technique
Post by: a10t2 on May 03, 2010, 10:19:26 am
For starters, I set up a whirlpool in the kettle while chilling, then drain from the edge so that most of the hops and break material stay in the kettle. To rack from the fermenter, I set it up on the counter a day before I plan to transfer so that everything has a chance to settle. Then I just set the auto-siphon down into the yeast cake and start it. It pulls a lot of yeast for the first few seconds, but that turns out to be a pretty minimal amount relative to the full batch - and since the siphon has the little plastic cap on the end, it won't pull yeast after that. I stop the transfer when the beer level is still about 1/2" off of the yeast cake. The key is not to move anything before or during the transfer.
Title: Re: Siphoning Technique
Post by: monk on May 03, 2010, 10:22:26 am
Those are good points, thank you.  I think I try too much to keep the yeast cake from getting sucked up, and in the process I move the siphon and end up sucking up more.
Title: Re: Siphoning Technique
Post by: kgs on May 03, 2010, 11:45:09 am
For starters, I set up a whirlpool in the kettle while chilling, then drain from the edge so that most of the hops and break material stay in the kettle.

Do you use an auto-siphon to rack from the kettle into your primary fermenter?
Title: Re: Siphoning Technique
Post by: a10t2 on May 03, 2010, 03:46:00 pm
Do you use an auto-siphon to rack from the kettle into your primary fermenter?

No, I pump via a ball valve. I would imagine the principle is the same in either case though.
Title: Re: Siphoning Technique
Post by: Podo on May 03, 2010, 10:09:14 pm
For my kettle, the auto siphon works a lot better than the ball valve does.  I found that beers with a lot of hops (I use pellets) plus the break tend to clog up the screen in the kettle.  I've hade real good success with the auto siphon.
Title: Re: Siphoning Technique
Post by: makemehoppy on May 04, 2010, 12:16:24 pm
I use the autosiphon from the kettle to the carboy and again from the carboy to the keg.
I whirlpool the kettle and let it settle for about 20 minutes while I clean up. I then start the autosiphon about half way down the kettle. As the kettle drains I slowly move the siphon tip down to keep it submerged. (A dish towel draped over the autosiphon right at the kettle lip keeps it nicely in place). As I get near the bottom I determine how greedy I want to be based on the volume in the carboy.

I cold crash the carboy at least a day before racking to the keg. When I'm ready to rack I move to my counter and place a towel under the carboy to tilt it back some. I then again leave at least an hour for everything to resettle and then start racking. Again I try to suspend the siphon tip well above the trub and as I get close to the bottom I carefully monitor and stop as soon as I see any yeast in the transfer tube.