Author Topic: Siphoning Technique  (Read 828 times)

Offline monk

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
    • The Brass Monkey Brewpub
Siphoning Technique
« on: May 03, 2010, 09:09:33 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

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3174
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Siphoning Technique
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 09:19:26 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.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline monk

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
    • The Brass Monkey Brewpub
Re: Siphoning Technique
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 09:22:26 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.

Offline kgs

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 754
  • San Francisco, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Siphoning Technique
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 10:45:09 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?
K.G. Schneider
AHA Member

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3174
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Siphoning Technique
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 02:46:00 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.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline Podo

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Korea
    • View Profile
Re: Siphoning Technique
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 09:09:14 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.
So good once it hits your lips!

Offline makemehoppy

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
Re: Siphoning Technique
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 11:16:24 AM »
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.