Author Topic: Auto siphon cracking  (Read 5009 times)

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2010, 09:08:10 AM »
I've used AS's for years and have had them break. I recently broke my last one. I still have a regular "hard plastic" racking cane. I devised a new method of racking from my buckets to my kegs with no direct mouth contact to the siphon hose. Here's what I do(this is a big help when dry hopping in the keg also) I have the racking cane attached to tight fitting hose so no air is introduced. On the end of the hose(where the beer comes out) I put a keg fitting and attach it to the "out" post on my keg. With the lid firmly on, I have a qd gas fitting with a snug hose on it and put it on the gas "in" side of the keg. I suck on the hose on the C02 "in" side creating a vacuum in the keg so the beer starts flowing down the hose, into the keg, down the dip tube and with the C02 side "open" it bleeds the air in the keg to keep the flow going. I love this new method because with dry hops, you don't have the hose to pull out making a mess with hops spilling out of the keg.

But what's in your keg when you start this process?  Just air?  Then you're still exposing your beer to oxygen during the racking process.  I figure you don't purge your keg with CO2 since you talk about sucking on the keg, and getting lungs full of CO2 isn't pleasant.

I'm worried less about sanitation post-fermentation than I am oxidation.  The alcohol and pH of the beer should take care of most of the bugs anyway.  I'd rather make sure there's no oxygen pickup.  So I purge my kegs before filling, and rack under the CO2 blanket.  CO2 is heavy, so it won't just blow off quickly once the keg is open.  The beer will displace it, but the blanket will remain.  I guess you could use a lid and put a pressure relief fitting on the gas port of the keg, or crack the pressure relief valve in the lid.

I still pay attention to sanitation, but I rank oxygen avoidance higher.  I just sanitize a hose, fill it with water, hold a (washed and sanitized) thumb on the end, and start a syphon that way.  Once the initial water is clear, I put my thumb back over the hose while I move it to the keg.  There is some splashing initially, but it's under CO2.  You can start the beer moving lots of ways, but please make sure that you aren't oxidizing it during the transfer process.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline garyg

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2010, 09:54:46 AM »
To address Gordon's comment about oxidation, you could push CO2 into the keg or carboy you are racking into then start your siphon with a pump like this instead of sucking:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003NY1WF2?&tag=shopwiki-us-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325

That way there's no danger from inhaling CO2.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2010, 11:08:11 AM »
[But what's in your keg when you start this process?  Just air?  Then you're still exposing your beer to oxygen during the racking process.  I figure you don't purge your keg with CO2 since you talk about sucking on the keg, and getting lungs full of CO2 isn't pleasant.

I'm worried less about sanitation post-fermentation than I am oxidation.  The alcohol and pH of the beer should take care of most of the bugs anyway.  I'd rather make sure there's no oxygen pickup.  So I purge my kegs before filling, and rack under the CO2 blanket.  CO2 is heavy, so it won't just blow off quickly once the keg is open.  The beer will displace it, but the blanket will remain.  I guess you could use a lid and put a pressure relief fitting on the gas port of the keg, or crack the pressure relief valve in the lid.

I still pay attention to sanitation, but I rank oxygen avoidance higher.  I just sanitize a hose, fill it with water, hold a (washed and sanitized) thumb on the end, and start a syphon that way.  Once the initial water is clear, I put my thumb back over the hose while I move it to the keg.  There is some splashing initially, but it's under CO2.  You can start the beer moving lots of ways, but please make sure that you aren't oxidizing it during the transfer process.

So It's a little off topic but... I do not have the space nor the money to start accumulating kegging stuff yet. Is there a cheap and small (doesn't take up much room in my tiny house) way to get a CO2 blanket in my secondary before racking?  I ask because I am goign to do an IPA soon and want to dry hop it but don't want to oxidize it if I can help it. Would one of those cans of gas they sell at wine shops to keep an open bottle fresh work? normally I don't do a secondary but...
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2010, 11:19:26 AM »
So It's a little off topic but... I do not have the space nor the money to start accumulating kegging stuff yet. Is there a cheap and small (doesn't take up much room in my tiny house) way to get a CO2 blanket in my secondary before racking?  I ask because I am goign to do an IPA soon and want to dry hop it but don't want to oxidize it if I can help it. Would one of those cans of gas they sell at wine shops to keep an open bottle fresh work? normally I don't do a secondary but...
Yes, argon will work.  But you can get a small CO2 setup too that might still have some utility once you get around to kegging.  You can get something like this, it's cheap and small, although you have no control over how fast the CO2 comes out.
http://morebeer.com/view_product/18301//CO2_Injector_Ball_Lock
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2010, 11:23:16 AM »
So It's a little off topic but... I do not have the space nor the money to start accumulating kegging stuff yet. Is there a cheap and small (doesn't take up much room in my tiny house) way to get a CO2 blanket in my secondary before racking?  I ask because I am goign to do an IPA soon and want to dry hop it but don't want to oxidize it if I can help it. Would one of those cans of gas they sell at wine shops to keep an open bottle fresh work? normally I don't do a secondary but...
Yes, argon will work.  But you can get a small CO2 setup too that might still have some utility once you get around to kegging.  You can get something like this, it's cheap and small, although you have no control over how fast the CO2 comes out.
http://morebeer.com/view_product/18301//CO2_Injector_Ball_Lock

That looks like an option. thanks.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2010, 11:29:12 AM »
Use a carboy cap as shown and use CO2 to purge empty carboy and then siphon beer out of the primary.

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2010, 11:33:59 AM »
I don't have the AS, but I don't need to suck on it either.  I drop the dip tube in the carboy full of sanitizer, then pour sanitizing solution into the open end of the hose (maybe I just have steady hands) and when its full, close the hose clamp.  Gravity does the rest when I drop the hose down and reopen it.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2010, 11:36:57 AM »
Use a carboy cap as shown and use CO2 to purge empty carboy and then siphon beer out of the primary.



I can probably find room to store a couple carboy caps. but the little portable CO2 setup mentioned above needs a quick connect to work safely can one of those be attached to the carboy cap? I would also be somewhat nervous about hitting a glass carboy with 600psi (perhaps unfounded nerve but...)
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2010, 11:40:57 AM »
Use a carboy cap as shown and use CO2 to purge empty carboy and then siphon beer out of the primary.



I can probably find room to store a couple carboy caps. but the little portable CO2 setup mentioned above needs a quick connect to work safely can one of those be attached to the carboy cap? I would also be somewhat nervous about hitting a glass carboy with 600psi (perhaps unfounded nerve but...)

A standard 3/8" tubing can be inserted into the port and I forget to mention to use a CO2 regulator with a pressure setting of about 5psi.  ;)
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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2010, 02:37:26 PM »
I don't have the AS, but I don't need to suck on it either.  I drop the dip tube in the carboy full of sanitizer, then pour sanitizing solution into the open end of the hose (maybe I just have steady hands) and when its full, close the hose clamp.  Gravity does the rest when I drop the hose down and reopen it.
This is tough to do with a 30" stainless steel racking cane.  I've tried over and over and over.  I could do it just fine with a 24" cane, but not this longer one...
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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2010, 03:41:22 PM »
I've used AS's for years and have had them break. I recently broke my last one. I still have a regular "hard plastic" racking cane. I devised a new method of racking from my buckets to my kegs with no direct mouth contact to the siphon hose. Here's what I do(this is a big help when dry hopping in the keg also) I have the racking cane attached to tight fitting hose so no air is introduced. On the end of the hose(where the beer comes out) I put a keg fitting and attach it to the "out" post on my keg. With the lid firmly on, I have a qd gas fitting with a snug hose on it and put it on the gas "in" side of the keg. I suck on the hose on the C02 "in" side creating a vacuum in the keg so the beer starts flowing down the hose, into the keg, down the dip tube and with the C02 side "open" it bleeds the air in the keg to keep the flow going. I love this new method because with dry hops, you don't have the hose to pull out making a mess with hops spilling out of the keg.

But what's in your keg when you start this process?  Just air?  Then you're still exposing your beer to oxygen during the racking process.  I figure you don't purge your keg with CO2 since you talk about sucking on the keg, and getting lungs full of CO2 isn't pleasant.

I'm worried less about sanitation post-fermentation than I am oxidation.  The alcohol and pH of the beer should take care of most of the bugs anyway.  I'd rather make sure there's no oxygen pickup.  So I purge my kegs before filling, and rack under the CO2 blanket.  CO2 is heavy, so it won't just blow off quickly once the keg is open.  The beer will displace it, but the blanket will remain.  I guess you could use a lid and put a pressure relief fitting on the gas port of the keg, or crack the pressure relief valve in the lid.

I still pay attention to sanitation, but I rank oxygen avoidance higher.  I just sanitize a hose, fill it with water, hold a (washed and sanitized) thumb on the end, and start a syphon that way.  Once the initial water is clear, I put my thumb back over the hose while I move it to the keg.  There is some splashing initially, but it's under CO2.  You can start the beer moving lots of ways, but please make sure that you aren't oxidizing it during the transfer process.

I'm just going to say that, now as a professional brewer I purge EVERYTHING with Co2. But, that said, as a homebrewer as long as I siphoned onto the bottom of the keg I found purging with Co2 to not be necessary. And I used to go the whole rout of filling the entire keg with sanitizer and pushing all of it out with Co2. But I never found gentle siphoning onto the bottom of a keg to be a problem. (I attach a racking cane to the bottom of the tubing to be sure it sits directly on the bottom to minimize splashing)
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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2010, 06:20:17 PM »
"But what's in your keg when you start this process?  Just air?  Then you're still exposing your beer to oxygen during the racking process."

After the keg is full, takes like 8 minutes to fill, I purge the headspace twice with C02....haven't had a problem in over 17 years. I know this is one of those topics that us home brewers debate and it's not a bad idea to do what you've said but, with my rot, I've never had problems. Here's some pics of my setup. It's great for when you dry hop in the keg....allot less mess:

http://s1106.photobucket.com/albums/h377/scrarjg/New%20Siphon%20Setup/
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 06:28:16 PM by beveragebob »

Offline abraxas

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2010, 09:19:47 PM »
My Autosiphon developed spider web cracks and finally has full leaks after about 4 years of usage.  I always figured it had something to do with weakening of the plastic by PBW or the occasional strong bleach solution I run through it.  I am a strong believer in soaking my plastics and tubing in a bleach solution every now and then (with proper rinse of course).

A good turkey baster, large syringe style injector http://sciencekit.com/syringe-plastic,-luer-lock-140-ml/p/IG0028768/, or suction bulb might help get a siphon started.  I used to use a pump:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003JM6WNU/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0002PU6Q6&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=07VN997ENJSG2V7KBR0W which worked amazingly till I accidentally sucked some beer into it and the inner spring rusted. All of these should be easily sanitizeable (at least the part that touches the hose end).

Or just get a peristaltic pump....

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2010, 08:54:59 AM »
[But what's in your keg when you start this process?  Just air?  Then you're still exposing your beer to oxygen during the racking process.  I figure you don't purge your keg with CO2 since you talk about sucking on the keg, and getting lungs full of CO2 isn't pleasant.

I'm worried less about sanitation post-fermentation than I am oxidation.  The alcohol and pH of the beer should take care of most of the bugs anyway.  I'd rather make sure there's no oxygen pickup.  So I purge my kegs before filling, and rack under the CO2 blanket.  CO2 is heavy, so it won't just blow off quickly once the keg is open.  The beer will displace it, but the blanket will remain.  I guess you could use a lid and put a pressure relief fitting on the gas port of the keg, or crack the pressure relief valve in the lid.

I still pay attention to sanitation, but I rank oxygen avoidance higher.  I just sanitize a hose, fill it with water, hold a (washed and sanitized) thumb on the end, and start a syphon that way.  Once the initial water is clear, I put my thumb back over the hose while I move it to the keg.  There is some splashing initially, but it's under CO2.  You can start the beer moving lots of ways, but please make sure that you aren't oxidizing it during the transfer process.

So It's a little off topic but... I do not have the space nor the money to start accumulating kegging stuff yet. Is there a cheap and small (doesn't take up much room in my tiny house) way to get a CO2 blanket in my secondary before racking?  I ask because I am goign to do an IPA soon and want to dry hop it but don't want to oxidize it if I can help it. Would one of those cans of gas they sell at wine shops to keep an open bottle fresh work? normally I don't do a secondary but...

Well, you at least need a CO2 tank, regulator, hoses and fittings.  5lb tank is fairly small.

If you have the kind of fittings that screw on, then all you have to do is unscrew the fitting and blow the CO2 directly into the carboy.  This works for both purging the carboy before filling and for topping it off once it's filled.  CO2 is heavier than air, so as you blow it in, it will tend to sink to the bottom and displace the other air.

I don't like to blast pressure into a capped carboy because they aren't designed to take pressure.  OK, given my history, I'm paranoid about thinks that blow up, but it's still something you need to watch.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

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Re: Auto siphon cracking
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2010, 02:17:21 PM »
I really think it is the plastic they use and the way it is formed. I don't know their methods but, I even have an AS wine thief that I've used just a few times in about 7 years. Never cleaned it with harsh chemicals or anything and even that one has the VCS(Vertical Crack Syndrome). I'm glad I have a glass one as a backup although, it is nice to use it in conjunction with a hydrometer when taking readings out of the fermenter.

Update: My plastic hydrometer flask just developed VCS and I walked away after taking a sample and there was beer all over the counter when I got back. I think it's time to go back to glass and metal for some stuff.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 08:20:45 PM by beveragebob »