Tips & Tidbits – Siphoning
“How do I get the siphon started?” or “Is there an easier way to start a siphon?” are frequently asked questions.
By far the easiest most sanitary way to start a siphon is by using the ‘Auto-Siphon’ by Buon Vino. One stroke of the racking cane/piston assembly will start in siphon in as little as six inches of beer, wine, mead or cider. A liquid level of less than six inches may require a second stroke.
Many brewers and winemakers use a racking tube and carboy cap to start a siphon from a carboy. The racking tube goes through the center hole in the cap with the curved end of the racking on top of the cap with the straight end gong into the carboy. The cap snaps over the lip of the carboy creating a seal. Blow into the second hole in the cap forcing your product up the racking tube and thus starting a siphon. Remember this works only when siphoning from a carboy.
If you only have a racking tube and siphon hose, then fill the racking tube and siphon hose with water and clamp off the hose. Immerse the racking tube in the liquid to be transferred. Release the hose clamp and allow the water to drain into a waste container. When the water in the hose is replaced with wine, beer, mead, or cider, re-clamp the hose. Move the hose to the receiving carboy, release the clamp and allow the product to flow freely into the secondary.
Keep in mind that how you siphon is important too. All equipment must be clean and sanitized. That’s inside and out for racking tubes and hoses. The product must not be splashed during siphoning. Aerating a fermented beer, wine, mead or cider will have a negative impact on the flavor and shelf life of the product. The exception is siphoning prior to fermentation. Yeast requires lots of oxygen during its respiratory cycle, so splashing is okay before fermentation begins.