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Primary to Secondary Tranfer- Spigot or Auto Siphon

I’ve got a Russian Imperial Stout (5 gal batch, OG 1.094) that’s been in the primary (bottling bucket) for three weeks. I’m ready to move it to my secondary (6 gal carboy) for about a month before ultimately bottling it to age.

My question is whether I should sanitize the spigot on the bottling bucket and transfer using that or use an auto siphon? I’m trying to minimize the risk of infection and oxidation on transfer. This may just come down to personal preferences, but I’m open to any suggestions and thoughts.

If you can sanitize the whole thing there is probably no reason you cannot use the spigot as long as you also attach a hose or something to it so that the beer does not splash into the bottom of your carboy.

I’ll definitely be using hosing with either option to minimize the oxidation on transfer. With the spigot option, I’d soak a clean wash cloth in Star San and give the entire spigot area a good wipe down (especially since there’s been some slight wort/beer seepage from the spout and around the seal with the bucket). The seepage (and potential source of bacteria or infection) is the main reason I’m a little hesitant to use the spigot and would consider the auto siphon.

What is it in now? If it’s in a container with a spigot I’d use it - why not? If you’re talking about tranferring it to the bottling bucket, then to the carboy, then I’d just siphon directly. I think I must not be understanding you right.

Sorry - just re-read. Definitely use the spigot/hose.

Given the seepage, I would wet a Q-tip or three with StarSan and wipe out the spigot and then find a container large enough to set the bucket into, or use a sink, and add enough StarSan to cover the spigot and let it soak a while.

If your not sure that you can get your spiot completely sanitized prior to transfering I wouldn’t use the spigot. Shadetree’s method should work, but it would still make me nervous.

I would not use the spigot unless you were really sure you could sanitize all of it (not as easy when it is assemble and on the bucket).

I ferment almost all of my beer in bottling buckets, and always use the spigot to transfer. However, I always take spigots completely apart for cleaning and sanitizing before every batch. Once the beer is in them for primary, I put a new sandwich bag over the spigot with a rubber band or twist tie to keep dust/etc. out of it during the 2-3 weeks of primary. When it comes time to bottle/keg/secondary, I take off the bag, spray it with starsan and then put on sanitized tubing.

Could twist the spigot so it is upside down and then pour starsan solution in it for a few minutes and then turn it back around to dump it out - The outside of it is easy to clean - it is the inside I would be concerned about.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I ended up thoroughly wiping the spigot area down with a Star San soaked cloth and then taking a glass filled with Star San to soak the spigot for a few minutes before transferring the RIS to the carboy via tubing.

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