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Starting a syphon

Submitted by: Rob on July 23rd, 2002

Drawing the first beer out of a fermentor to start a syphon is not only tricky, it is also risky, since your mouth can harbor bacteria that you really don't want in your wort. One easy way of getting around both these problems is simply to fill your syphon hose with water. Carry the filled up hose to your fermenter. Close off one end with your clamp or fingers. Place the open end into the wort. Lower the closed end into a bucket, making sure that end is lower that the top level of your wort. When you open up the closed end, the syphon will start. Draw off the water, and close your syphon when the beer starts flowing. Discard the water and place the low end into your receiving container.

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Re: Starting a syphon Aug 11th 2002, 10:09 pm
or, you can simply put the end of the syphon into a 375ml or 750ml bottle, seal the opening with your mouth and and give a short suck on that. This way, you won't contaminate the end of the syphon and more important, you won't get dizzy by swollowing the first draw. Once the flow starts, you can control the syphon.
Comment by: Randy Bauer reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Jan 23rd 2003, 04:51 pm
I have found the easiest way is to use a baby nose bulb. You can get them at Walgreens. Just give it a squeeze and then stick it in your tube, let go and siphon away! Oh yeah, please use a new one and sanitize it. Brew On!
Comment by: Kevin Steen reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Mar 31st 2003, 12:06 am
I've been using a turkey baster (without the bulb) to start my syphons. I simply put the small end of the baster inside the tube and draw until the beer gets close to the end. Then just clamp it off, remove the baster, put the end of the tube into the recieving container and syphon away. As long as the baster is sanitized and I don't blow into the line I don't see how this could contaminate the beer. Can anyone else?
Comment by: Billsbrew reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Jun 11th 2003, 04:00 pm
I take a nice big swig of whiskey to sanitize my mouth before starting the siphon. I find it's the most enjoyable way.
Comment by: Anonymous Brewer reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Jul 1st 2003, 05:11 pm
To my experience, this will not sanitize your mouth. The alcoolich level in the whiskey is relatively low, surely not high enough to kill bacteria, and unless you gargle for some hours (and i'm not sure that would be enough), this trick will not do the job.
Comment by: Anonymous Brewer reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Sep 3rd 2004, 01:22 am
i gargle with listerine typr mouthwash and have never had a problem. you can also rise with 100% hydrogen peroxide, and still syphon like an old timer.
Comment by: cpapazian reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Aug 2nd 2003, 08:03 pm
I found that the best way is to buy the orange or red fermenter cap that has the hole for the racking cane and a short tube sticking out of the same cap that allows you to blow air into the carboy. About 10 seconds of a hard puff of air and the siphon is going. No contact with the beer other than the air from your lungs. I've been doing that for years and have not had a bad batch yet.
Comment by: Ben reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Nov 26th 2003, 09:19 am
instead of blowing into the carboy cap you can hook up you CO2 to one of the nipples and, with low pressure, push the beer through the racking cane. Ounce the siphon is started you can turn off the co2.

cheers
Comment by: borny reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Jun 14th 2004, 02:37 am
I use the compression release on my John Deere Model B This is an overkill in pressure but the added flavor complements the hops nicely
Comment by: lance reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon May 27th 2004, 02:54 pm
www.morebeer.com has a great little sanitary filter that works great with the system you describe, just put it inline and blow through it. They're only about 5 bucks and you can use it to filter the air if you aerate your wort with an aquarium pump too. They last a very long time too.
Comment by: BigMike2 reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Aug 27th 2003, 11:01 pm
I found the easiest way is to buy an auto-syphon. I onlu wish that I found this device years berore I did. Put the tube into the fermenter, push the racking cane down, and relax and have a homebrew.
Comment by: wortchillergoal reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Oct 10th 2003, 08:30 pm
Take your aerosol computer duster, and blow it past the end of your syphon. This will pull the air out of the hose, and start the syphon.
Comment by: thefatman67 reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Oct 13th 2003, 01:51 pm
I was using an old sanitized turkey baster, until I invested a few dollars in an auto-siphon.. It made life a whole lot easier, a snap to sanitize and i really the results..
Comment by: matroxrunner reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Mar 16th 2004, 04:18 pm
Use a piece of tubing a size or two bigger that fits over the end of the siphon hose. Use enough hose to loop down to the bottom of the bucket. Remove the extension when the liquid in the siphon is down to the loop. Remove the tube extension you sucked on. Drop the end of the hose at your leisure to draw liquid. You will never lose the siphon because the loop will always be lower than the liquid in the bucket. Bringing the end of the hose above the liquid level will simply pause the siphon without losing it.
Comment by: Kenyth reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Nov 6th 2004, 04:22 pm
any piece of tube that will fit over or into the end of the syphon...I use a ballpoint pen casing , suck until the beer crests the curve and then remove
Comment by: andy reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Mar 14th 2006, 09:06 pm
I use a small piece of tubing with a barbed check valve. Attach the check valve to the end of the racking tube, suck until wort comes near the end, clamp the tube, then aim and shoot. It works great.
Comment by: James reply to comment
Re: Starting a syphon Mar 15th 2006, 07:36 pm
I forgot to mention; remove the small piece of tubing with the barbed check valve prior to releasing the tube clamp.
Comment by: James reply to comment