Author Topic: Racking techniques  (Read 978 times)

Offline Micaiahslegacymead

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Racking techniques
« on: November 17, 2017, 07:16:10 AM »
What's the best way to re rack mead out of glass gallon carboys? I just started home brewing and am slowly acquiring more efficient tools but I am having difficulty siphoning into secondary without stirring up a lot of the Lee's. I only have a siphon hose and a siphon cane. Any information or techniques will be greatly appreciated.

Offline el_capitan

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 12:50:28 PM »
I highly recommend that you pick up an autosiphon with the clip that grabs on to the lip of the fermenter.  That makes it really easy to hold the siphon at your desired height and drop it down as the liquid level drops.  Plus, there is a cap on the end which stops sediment from being racked along with your beverage.  You probably didn't want to hear "more equipment" as your answer, but in my opinion, an autosiphon is indispensable.


Offline mabrungard

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2017, 01:14:47 PM »
I used an auto-siphon for years, but I now know that any contact between air and beer will lead to the beer staling quicker. If you consume your beer in weeks and don't sent it to competitions, then there is no reason to use anything but the auto-siphon. For all others, employing CO2 to push beer from one vessel to another is always going to be better for reducing oxidation and staling.

A rubber cap or plug with 2 ports is needed. Gas goes in one port and a racking cane in the other. Don't use more than 1 or 2 psi CO2 pressure.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 02:50:34 PM »
My experience with mead is that the oxidation at racking does not have nearly the effect as on beer and some oxidation is part of the ageing process. I recommend a racking cane.
When racking from primary to carboy I don't mind picking up a bit of sediment. I am more careful racking into tertiary and try to get it perfect when racking to bottling bucket.
If you ever get into kegging and have the equipment anyway, Martin's advice is great.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 05:51:47 PM »
I used an auto-siphon for years, but I now know that any contact between air and beer will lead to the beer staling quicker. If you consume your beer in weeks and don't sent it to competitions, then there is no reason to use anything but the auto-siphon. For all others, employing CO2 to push beer from one vessel to another is always going to be better for reducing oxidation and staling.

A rubber cap or plug with 2 ports is needed. Gas goes in one port and a racking cane in the other. Don't use more than 1 or 2 psi CO2 pressure.
 

Is there a simple way to purge the ambient air from the cane and tubing in this respect?  I guess one could hook up the CO2 and run it through the cane and tubing for a while before putting it into the cap and hope for the best, but I have been wondering about this and couldn't think of a foolproof, yet simple way to resolve it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 05:59:06 PM »
I used an auto-siphon for years, but I now know that any contact between air and beer will lead to the beer staling quicker. If you consume your beer in weeks and don't sent it to competitions, then there is no reason to use anything but the auto-siphon. For all others, employing CO2 to push beer from one vessel to another is always going to be better for reducing oxidation and staling.

A rubber cap or plug with 2 ports is needed. Gas goes in one port and a racking cane in the other. Don't use more than 1 or 2 psi CO2 pressure.
 

Is there a simple way to purge the ambient air from the cane and tubing in this respect?  I guess one could hook up the CO2 and run it through the cane and tubing for a while before putting it into the cap and hope for the best, but I have been wondering about this and couldn't think of a foolproof, yet simple way to resolve it.

well, you could just not use an auto siphon.  I use a traditional racking cane and tubing.  I fill them with water and use that to start the siphon.  No O2 in the system then.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 06:05:28 PM »
I used an auto-siphon for years, but I now know that any contact between air and beer will lead to the beer staling quicker. If you consume your beer in weeks and don't sent it to competitions, then there is no reason to use anything but the auto-siphon. For all others, employing CO2 to push beer from one vessel to another is always going to be better for reducing oxidation and staling.

A rubber cap or plug with 2 ports is needed. Gas goes in one port and a racking cane in the other. Don't use more than 1 or 2 psi CO2 pressure.
 


Is there a simple way to purge the ambient air from the cane and tubing in this respect?  I guess one could hook up the CO2 and run it through the cane and tubing for a while before putting it into the cap and hope for the best, but I have been wondering about this and couldn't think of a foolproof, yet simple way to resolve it.

A bottling cane fits into a cobra tap, so maybe a racking can would as well? I like the sterile siphon starter. One of the keg chargers could be an easy option to blast co2 in the carboy.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 06:13:25 PM »
Is there a simple way to purge the ambient air from the cane and tubing in this respect?  I guess one could hook up the CO2 and run it through the cane and tubing for a while before putting it into the cap and hope for the best, but I have been wondering about this and couldn't think of a foolproof, yet simple way to resolve it.

Simple, just don't drain the sanitizer. Start the siphon and run what's left in the line down the drain.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 08:13:35 PM »
Gotcha, but I rack to purged keg via out post and QDC connection... to keep the keg free of O2.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 08:57:51 PM »
Is there a simple way to purge the ambient air from the cane and tubing in this respect?  I guess one could hook up the CO2 and run it through the cane and tubing for a while before putting it into the cap and hope for the best, but I have been wondering about this and couldn't think of a foolproof, yet simple way to resolve it.

Simple, just don't drain the sanitizer. Start the siphon and run what's left in the line down the drain.

Do you put the racking cane into the fermenter when it's full of sanitizer?  I've never done that.  I always started the siphon with only the hose filled, which is often times a PITA and which led me to pushing the beer out with CO2.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2017, 09:04:40 PM »
Gotcha, but I rack to purged keg via out post and QDC connection... to keep the keg free of O2.

Same here. I run a gallon of sani through the siphon into a bucket and thread the end onto the QD below the liquid level once it's almost drained. Move the siphon over to the fermenter and manually depress the QD post to run the sani clear, then snap it onto the keg. Although 5 ft of 3/16" tubing holds less than a fluid ounce, so the whole procedure is really just paranoia on my part.
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Offline scrap iron

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2017, 02:43:37 PM »
Gotcha, but I rack to purged keg via out post and QDC connection... to keep the keg free of O2.
   I rack with a auto-siphon this way using the 1/4" flare beer QD. I just crack the nut on the line to let the air in the line bleed holding the QD and line over a bucket.  Then just tighten nut and pop QD onto beer out post.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 02:51:08 PM by scrap iron »
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2017, 01:28:21 PM »
I have used a standard racking cane and siphon.  I  use the hollow barrel of a ink pen to help me get it started.  I sanitize the ink-pen barrel in diluted star san, insert it in the end of the hose, then insert the racking cane into  the sanitizer and suck until I get it started.

I get a bit of the dilute star san in my mouth, pull the barrel of the pen away and spit the star san into the sink.  Re-sanitize the barrel of the pen, put the sanitized racking cane into the beer, reinsert the barrel of the pen into the beer, suck again until I get a mouthful of "liquid gold", and let the beer flow into the bottling bucket.  My mouth never touches the end of the hose.  I've never had an infection this way.

I also have measured the distance from the rim of the fermenter to near the bottom of the fermenter that is just above where the sediment is and marked that distance by wrapping a rubber band around the racking cane.  I then insert the racking cane into the bottling bucket down to the rubber band, and clamp it there using a sanitized clamp.  That then holds the racking cane at the proper height to leave the traub behind.

I've tried auto siphons but spilled more beer with them than with the manual siphon.
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2017, 03:29:28 PM »
I used an auto-siphon for years, but I now know that any contact between air and beer will lead to the beer staling quicker. If you consume your beer in weeks and don't sent it to competitions, then there is no reason to use anything but the auto-siphon. For all others, employing CO2 to push beer from one vessel to another is always going to be better for reducing oxidation and staling.

A rubber cap or plug with 2 ports is needed. Gas goes in one port and a racking cane in the other. Don't use more than 1 or 2 psi CO2 pressure.

My beer is bottle-carbonated; doesn't the additional time with the yeast scavenge most of the oxygen introduced in the process?  To date, I've not invested in kegs and a CO2 tank.

 I'm always a bit confused about the difference between forced carbonating in a keg with CO2 and bottle carbonating relative to oxygen uptake, oxygen consumption by yeast when bottling, and the propensity for staling.

I'd greatly appreciate your comments.  Thanks in advance for your help.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Racking techniques
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 11:14:52 PM »
I used an auto-siphon for years, but I now know that any contact between air and beer will lead to the beer staling quicker. If you consume your beer in weeks and don't sent it to competitions, then there is no reason to use anything but the auto-siphon. For all others, employing CO2 to push beer from one vessel to another is always going to be better for reducing oxidation and staling.

A rubber cap or plug with 2 ports is needed. Gas goes in one port and a racking cane in the other. Don't use more than 1 or 2 psi CO2 pressure.
 

Is there a simple way to purge the ambient air from the cane and tubing in this respect?  I guess one could hook up the CO2 and run it through the cane and tubing for a while before putting it into the cap and hope for the best, but I have been wondering about this and couldn't think of a foolproof, yet simple way to resolve it.
I ferment in a carboy,  rack to a keg purged w/ CO2 for lagering, and filter to a keg for carbonation and service. 

At racking I blow some CO2 through the autosiphon and then go.  This leaves air being drawn into the carboy as the beer runs out but the beer is not turbulent at that exposed interface so very little oxygen should be dissolved.  I figure I'm at least not gratuitously introducing oxygen and the yeast will have my back as I am lagering and some active yeast is left. And it's a very simple operation.

Where I'm super careful about excluding oxygen is at filtration.   I don't see any deterioration in the beer but it's all draught and gone pretty quickly!

I  guess you have to decide where problems could emerge based on your packaging and storage requirements and then decide how much trouble to put yourself through.
 
[NOTE:  I have in the past followed this procedure followed by counterpressure bottling.  That beer was stored at room temperature, but consumed fairly quickly.  So I've never really "stress tested " the system.]
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 02:26:55 AM by Robert »
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