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First Auto Siphon use and Failure

I recently purchased an Auto-Siphon with 1/2" racking cane. This is the actual product:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brew ... n-1-2.html

I feel slightly embarassed asking for help with something I viewed as so simple but I have to figure out the issue. I was preparing to bottle my most recent batch on Saturday. When the time came to use the Auto Siphon, I simply could not get it to work. I couldn’t get that sustained suction that was required. As if that wasn’t frustrating enough, the tubing that they sent is still wanting to coil up and may not be quite long enough for what I would prefer. I’m looking for help on using this piece of equipment. I would’ve thought this was Homebrewing 101 and extremely easy to use. Either I simply was doing something wrong or I’m concerned I have a malfuctioning siphon. At one point, the little bit of beer that I did get into the bottling bucket actually started getting sucked up the tubing back into the auto siphon. It was almost like my siphon couldn’t figure out which direction to go. I attempted to try the siphon the next day when washing out the bottling bucket that had been soaking, even with over 5 gallons of liquid I couldn’t get the continued movement of liquid. Please tell help a rookie!

Starting with the basics, your receiving vessel is below the give vessel?

Did you pump it four or five times quickly while it was in the beer? I like my auto siphon sometimes other times I think about tossing in the garbage.
The other day I had a phone call in the middle of siphoning from carboy to keg so I stopped with about 5 inches of beer left above the trub and for the life of me I could not get it to start again. I finally gave up and dumped the beer down the drain :frowning:

I have to ask…you have other beers bottled…how did you get the beer from vessel to vessel if you never had an auto siphon?

Beer vessel must be higher than the bottling bucket…

I will give you another piece of advice…make sure you sanitize the cane and tubing very well. I use one of those wall paper soaking trays and lay the entire unit in there all apart, works great.

@Garrett, I must admit, my first 7 batches have been from Mr. Beer kits. This was my first 5 gallon batch, 2 LBK’s. I’ll be using a glass carboy from here forward. So essentially I used the bottling wand to move the beer for batch priming and then bottling. In the future I do need to get this auto-siphon working for the carboy use.

@NightHawk, I attempted to use different heights but I’m sure I did not get enough sdistance as needed. The tube that came with the siphon is simply too short in my opinion. I’m assuming I can purchase a longer hose. Any idea where to buy one best and what length? I’m assuming 1/2" tubing for a 1/2" siphon?

Hi SlickRick,

NB recommends 7/16" tubing on the 1/2" siphon to get a good seal. It is listed on the product link from your original post.

I have about 8ft of tubing, which is too long but works fine. I coil it on the bottom of the carboy or keg I am transferring to and it isn’t a problem with a height difference of 4 ft (on top of a washing machine is an example).

If you are having problems with the tubing keeping a tight coil, soak it in hot tap water for two or three minutes and hang it over a shower rod. Most of the tight coil will relax from the tubing. It is also a decent way to store the clean tubing.

Acceptable tubing can be purchase at your local hardware store or big box store.

ACE/TrueValue/Home Depot/Lowes.

Take your current tubing in or the auto siphon to get the right size.

To keep the hose from curling up, I use one of those cheep bottle fillers on the end. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/ferm … iller.html

Of course, when you go to pump your autosyphon, you must have enough hose length so the tip of the filler remains depressed in the bottom of the new container.
(Of course, the bottler adds some length anyway)
It does slow the transfer rate a bit but I find it’s nice when racking to keg and I have more than 5 gal, I can lift the hose and the flow stops. I can then fill
a few bottles and prime w/ carbo/prime tabs, or it’s just nice to be able to take a sample for F.G. and not have the beer flowing all over.

The only problem I’ve had was transferring a dry hopped IPA that plugged the tip. I sanitized a kitchen sheers and snipped the tip off and use that one when racking hopped beers.

Next time try this:

Pump 3-5 times as stated above. After last pump, pull the plunger up about 2-3" from the bottom. This allows for better suction. When you leave the plunger all the way down you tend to have problems getting the flow going.

We had the same issue with the 1/2" siphon.

The smaller one always took off with one pump.

Figured out that the large one takes a couple of pumps to fill up the tubing before it’ll actually go.

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