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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: brians on June 10, 2011, 07:47:57 PM

Title: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: brians on June 10, 2011, 07:47:57 PM
I'm talking about the plastic ones that you get for cheap at the LHBS. How many times do you use a racking cane before re-purposing, throwing away, etc?
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: WDE97 on June 10, 2011, 07:52:20 PM
I usually seem to get through 20 batches or so before they break on me.  Got sick of them breaking (usually right in the middle of using it) and bought a stainless steel one last year.  Should last a bit longer.  ;D
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: morticaixavier on June 10, 2011, 08:07:07 PM
All that plastic stuff goes yellow and cloudy on me after a few months. so I replace it cause it's hard to see if it's really clean.

Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: dbeechum on June 10, 2011, 08:09:50 PM
Yeah, I ended up going with stainless after going through a few plastic canes. Been on the same metal cane for 8 years.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 10, 2011, 09:09:10 PM
Stainless here too, after breaking 3 autosiphons and I'm not sure how many racking canes.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: morticaixavier on June 10, 2011, 09:32:03 PM
Stainless here too, after breaking 3 autosiphons and I'm not sure how many racking canes.

so do you start your syphon the old fashioned way? or is there such a thing as a stainless auto syphon?
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: narvin on June 10, 2011, 09:33:06 PM
I also use a stainless cane.

I use a carboy cap to start a siphon... easy and no need to sanitize another piece of equipment.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: dbeechum on June 10, 2011, 09:34:35 PM
Can't speak for Tom, but I run mine via CO2.

Racking with CO2 (http://maltosefalcons.com/tech/racking-co2)
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 10, 2011, 09:52:13 PM
Carboy cap with a sterile air filter.  But it on the carboy and blow, it starts the siphon easily.  I might do CO2 if I ever get paranoid about oxidation, but for most of my beers I don't worry.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: dmtaylor on June 10, 2011, 09:57:07 PM
I've had the same racking cane for 12 years and ~85 batches.  It just cracked recently so it's about time for a new one I guess, but it still works.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: dbeechum on June 10, 2011, 10:11:42 PM
I might do CO2 if I ever get paranoid about oxidation

Yeah, I do CO2 not for oxidation prevention, but to make it so I don't have to lift any carboys!
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: morticaixavier on June 10, 2011, 10:46:52 PM
Carboy cap with a sterile air filter.  But it on the carboy and blow, it starts the siphon easily.  I might do CO2 if I ever get paranoid about oxidation, but for most of my beers I don't worry.

right I think we have had this conversation before
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: speed on June 10, 2011, 11:01:31 PM
when siphoning from primary to keg i just use a 3/8 tube and suck on the end of it. i do have a fitting that i put to my mouth and when the beer starts flowing i pull it off the tube. i have a slightly used siphon for sale ;D
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: Hokerer on June 10, 2011, 11:33:58 PM
Have only ever used stainless here.  I prime it with, you know me, my hydrometer sample :)
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: cheba420 on June 10, 2011, 11:57:35 PM
I've been using stainless for the last couple years. Recently, I've lost a few siphons as I'm transferring from the kettle to the fermenter. Its been pretty frustrating. I think I had my tubing cut too short.....but anyway I picked up an auto siphon today so we'll see how that works this weekend. Seems cleaner. No need to prime.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: Mark G on June 11, 2011, 12:14:08 AM
I just broke another auto-siphon last week. It's a nice gadget, but this is the third one I've broken in the last year and a half. Next time I hit the LHBS, I plan on picking up a stainless racking cane.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: brians on June 11, 2011, 04:03:44 AM
Man, this is informative. I'm using the plastic canes but usually they get kinda funky on my after about half a brewing season. I get paranoid and replace them, only costs me about 3.50 but it will add up eventually. Perhaps I should switch to SS. Thanks for the pointers.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: Norm! on June 11, 2011, 04:11:12 AM
Stainless.....That way you cant see the stuff inside!!   Just sayin....
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tubercle on June 11, 2011, 12:39:39 PM
I point the racking cane and hose ends up and hold in one hand and fill the hose/cane up with beer with a turkey baster. I put my thumb (AKA Tubercle Valve) over the hose then put the cane in the carboy or bucket and release the "valve" on the hose in the other container.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: Will's Swill on June 11, 2011, 05:15:28 PM
I used the same plastic racking cane for years until breaking it in half during a move.  I wonder about the staining though, do you guys not clean your cane immediately after use?  Mine remained clear until the end.  Anyway, after breaking my cane I decided to try the autosiphon.  And while I'm on my second autosiphon after breaking the first, I gotta say, I love it.  It's easily my favorite brewing tool.  You can take my refractometer and thermopen (ok, I don't have a thermopen), but don't take my autosiphon.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tygo on June 12, 2011, 02:12:36 AM
You can take my refractometer and thermopen (ok, I don't have a thermopen), but don't take my autosiphon.

I can live without my refractometer but if you come anywhere near my thermopen you'll pull back a bloody stump  ;)

I'm an autosiphon disciple but I've recently got everything together I need to push the transfers with CO 2 ala Drew.  I just haven't gotten around to putting it all together yet.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: Simon on June 12, 2011, 10:16:59 AM

Like others here, I've long moved from plastic to stainless for my racking cane. It only took me braking one auto-siphon (on it's second use) and two plastic racking canes after roughly five or six uses.

I'm too chicken s*** to go anywhere near pumping CO2 into the fermenter so it's carboy cap/sanitary filter combo for me :)

To be perfectly honest, this setup is ideal except for the need to lift the carboy up above the target. One of these days I'll look into a pulley system!!  :-\      Either that or go CO2
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 12, 2011, 04:52:39 PM
CO2 should be harmless.  I'm pretty sure it's going to force the carboy cap off of the carboy before the carboy will break.  I might have to test that with one of my bad carboys.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: morticaixavier on June 12, 2011, 06:48:01 PM
CO2 should be harmless.  I'm pretty sure it's going to force the carboy cap off of the carboy before the carboy will break.  I might have to test that with one of my bad carboys.

carefully!

I wonder how many PSI are you creating with by blowing into the sterile filter method of starting the syphon? granted it's not constant but...
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 13, 2011, 12:37:18 AM
I used to know how to do this calculation . . . figure you're raising it a foot or so since you only have to get it to the top of the racking cane.  And the surface area being raised is less than a square inch.  I can't remember the equation but I would guess it is 1/2 psi or less.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: dbeechum on June 13, 2011, 02:15:59 AM
I would guess ...

And you call yourself a scientist!
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 13, 2011, 03:15:31 AM
I used to know how to do this calculation . . . figure you're raising it a foot or so since you only have to get it to the top of the racking cane.  And the surface area being raised is less than a square inch.  I can't remember the equation but I would guess it is 1/2 psi or less.
One PSI will raise a column of water 27 inches and a fraction.  Diameter as not come into the equation,  as the prfessue works on the surface of the fluid. 
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 13, 2011, 05:18:39 AM
I would guess ...

And you call yourself a scientist!
Do I? :)  It's an engineering question anyway.  ;D

One PSI will raise a column of water 27 inches and a fraction.  Diameter as not come into the equation,  as the prfessue works on the surface of the fluid. 
Fair enough - but about a half psi for a foot, like I guessed. I'll take it.  :)
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 13, 2011, 07:51:55 AM
I just broke another auto-siphon last week. It's a nice gadget, but this is the third one I've broken in the last year and a half. Next time I hit the LHBS, I plan on picking up a stainless racking cane.

FWIW, I've discovered that the largest size Fermtch autosiphons usually fail when the inflow valve breaks or gets dislodged. After wasting way too much time trying to reseat the little plastic widget, I discovered that a cleaned and sanitized penny makes an excellent replacement. Just make sure to remove the penny after you're done and rinse and dry it carefully until you need it again.
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: Tristan on June 21, 2011, 02:11:35 AM
Rule of thumb for replacement is every 6 months for tubing (earlier if it clouds or shows scratches) and every 12 months for auto-siphons.  I'm really excited to learn about the stainless steel/carboy cap solution.  I'm sick of lifting full carboys and less than reliable auto-siphons!
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: narvin on June 21, 2011, 02:27:54 AM
CO2 should be harmless.  I'm pretty sure it's going to force the carboy cap off of the carboy before the carboy will break.  I might have to test that with one of my bad carboys.

Sounds like you need to videotape (do people still use that word?) your own episode of mythbusters.

Or, if it doesn't go as well, Jackass...
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 05:58:17 AM
I think it would be fun, but I don't have a video camera.  I might have to do a webcast. :)
Title: Re: How many times do you use a racking cane?
Post by: woadwarrior on August 19, 2011, 08:48:41 PM
You can take my refractometer and thermopen (ok, I don't have a thermopen), but don't take my autosiphon.

I can live without my refractometer but if you come anywhere near my thermopen you'll pull back a bloody stump  ;)

I'm an autosiphon disciple but I've recently got everything together I need to push the transfers with CO 2 ala Drew.  I just haven't gotten around to putting it all together yet.

I can live without either of those, but if you take my Jet carboy/bottle washer, you're in for a world of hurt. ;)